Thursday, November 26, 2009


Vero Beach
27 39.77 N 080 22.37 W

Libby and I compared notes this morning. We think it is fair to say that the past 4 years, 10 months have been among our happiest years; if not the happiest years of our lives. We are very lucky and very thankful to have had those years. To whom or what?

Thankful for good health, without which we couldn't live this life.

Thankful for our family which has been totally supportive of our retirement and a source of joy when we visit. Each of our children has created independent, happy and stable lives of their own. That brings us great joy and allows us as parents the freedom to look out for ourselves.

Thankful that we had the financial wherewithal to retire at age 60, and the wisdom to choose a frugal life style which matches those limited wherewithals.

Thankful that we live along the East Coast of North America. For those like us who summer at 45 degrees latitude and winter at 25 degrees latitude, there is no other place in any hemisphere so hospitable, varied, and interesting.

Thankful that we stumbled across sailing as a hobby. It is so suitable as something for Libby and I to do together, and to become a life style just by doing it full time.

Thankful for the boom years of the 1970s. During that boom, capable, affordable, and durable vessels like the Westsail 32 emerged. The excesses of the 70s were not sustainable, yet we still benefit from them. If our choices had been limited to sailboats built after 1994, we could not have afforded to start.

Thankful that we enjoy each other's company enough to live sustainably in such tight quarters and with so little opportunity for time alone.

Thankful for the coincidence of timing that made us decide to retire early. It was not a long-term plan, but rather an impulse. It just so happened that in late 2004, I finished a very long project, had no plans for a new project, and was forced to wonder "What should I do with the rest of my career?" I had been dreaming about cruising and reading about it. The idea just popped up, "Why not do it right now?" I'm quite sure that if I had my toe in the water to begin just one more big project at work, that the idea of cruising would have stayed suppressed for another 5 years.

1 comment:

  1. Good post. Makes me want to leave right now. We officially started the process of shoving off, and will be ready to go by spring. Will we do it, not sure. Everything hinges on the pension, which is now with the gov't. We may move the boat south, and have to work for a bit.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Libby, and thanks for giving us some insight into the cruising life.
    We'll have to introduce ourselves to Pat and Walt, as we are now at their marina in Sodus Bay. Take care.
    Paul and Deb


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