There were times in the last month that I thought, we are never going to leave this dock. Our boat is literally putting down roots in this slip. Projects will weigh us down and drown us before we ever fill her sails.
But she sails. Beautifully. Comfortably. This floating home and her crew are finally finding their bearings.
After a very busy and exhausting month, all the way through the night before departure, we cast lines on Thursday morning and guided the boat out to the Atlantic Ocean. We had tested and readied as much as we could with the engine and other critical systems, but truthfully, we weren’t completely sure how the day would unfold. Would the engine quit? Would there be problems with the rigging? We haven’t developed the trust in this boat yet that we had in the Pearson. But this first family sail was the beginning.
With a slow but steady breeze from the east, we put up both sails and made our way north with some aid from the engine. Sure, hoisting the main took more effort, since the sail is older and baggier and doesn’t slide easily through its track. And yes, it was really choppy through the channel out to the ocean – Claire and I both started feeling it – and once we were out, though the waves were minimal, there was a steady swell. But once we got the sails hoisted and the boat flattened out, so did our tummies. A bit out of practice, we are reminding ourselves how to best tackle these longer day passages. We didn’t need a perfect sail; we needed an uneventful one, and we got it.
We made it to our slip in Fort Pierce at dusk, exhausted but renewed, and have been exploring town the last few days with some boat projects thrown in. The plan is to leave tomorrow for Port Canaveral, roughly 60 nautical miles north.
The vast to-do list is still there, the challenges and adjustments to our new life continue, but finally with some forward momentum, it feels as though a huge weight has been lifted.
It’s funny – we’ve been at this a little more than a month now, and looking back, we’ve already come such a long way, earning our stripes as we go.