To Sell Or Not To Sell

BreakfastWe’ve been back for only two weeks, and already, our cruise seems like ages ago. I’m always so surprised – and so disappointed – at how we just slip back into the daily routine, even if we are still splitting time between the condo and Clarity. The roots of what’s familiar, what’s expected, what’s known, grow like weeds.

I think that’s one of the reasons why we’ve decided to sell Clarity.

For something bigger and more equipped for living aboard full time, and in places other than the Great Lakes. For a boat where the list of projects to reach living aboard longer isn’t so long that we lose motivation (though ongoing projects are a reality with any boat).

We are selling Clarity so that we are one big step closer to realizing our dream, in whatever form that takes, still to be determined (staying in the Great Lakes, sailing down the East Coast to the Caribbean, etc.). It’s time to actually take action toward something we’ve been talking about for years. Otherwise, those roots of what’s comfortable and what’s expected, will strangle us.

We’ve told friends and family about wanting to live this lifestyle more permanently for awhile now, and I’ve come to expect (understandable) reactions of surprise and confusion – I myself was more prone to this reaction five, even three years ago.  How will we work and make money, is another question I get – but more on that in another post. What’s shocked me the most, though, is how much concern is expressed about Claire not being in school.

It’s not that I don’t value what organized school provides – in fact, Claire started preschool just two days after we were back in Chicago, and she attends two to three mornings a week. She absolutely loves it, and I have no doubt that she’s learning so much, even just observing the other kids there.

CupsBut though I can value the school setting, why is it so hard for others to value non-traditional settings? Why has it become the expectation for kids to sit in a classroom and learn about adventures, rather than live them? Why are the parents thought to be not putting their children’s best interests at heart, when they’re committing to both being present, teaching and learning alongside them?

And why is it more important to socialize with the same classmates every day, rather than to introduce yourself to new people, in new places, with different cultures? Claire is our social ambassador, after all. She’s never come across a person (or puppy, for that matter), that isn’t immediately informed of her name and what special treat she’s had that day.

Again, I’m not discounting proper schooling – I already see the benefits for Claire! I just struggle sometimes as to why the definition of it is so concrete. We are blessed as a family to even be able to consider this lifestyle. Why would we let it pass by? And of course, if Claire was unhappy on the boat, we wouldn’t even be considering it. But unprompted by us, she asks to go back when we’re not there, and the pure joy that makes it so hard for her to not skip or run down the dock when we get there speaks for itself.

There’s no time like the present – when Claire is still at a young enough age where we feel confident that we can teach her the milestones that are included in the curriculum. And when she isn’t yet tethered to a schedule of whatever sports or hobbies or activities she’s involved in, because we want to give her those opportunities, too. (Whether or not she develops the passion for sailing that we have.)

So, wheels are in motion, so to speak. We’re decluttering and giving Clarity a deep clean, and I’m trying to write a listing that will do her justice and convey her importance to our family in between the lines of dimensions and specifications. It could take a year for her to sell, or it could take a few months. And if she doesn’t sell in a somewhat timely manner, we will likely go back to that long list of “must-haves for long-term cruising” and just commit to executing.

There’s an old Scottish proverb, “What may be done at any time will be done at no time.” It’s time to go do.


Claire’s Corner: Parents… You Have to Teach Them Everything

Tales from the Crib…

Sometimes, you need to give your parents a run for their money. I consider it my full-time job – keeping them in line – and I’m very good at it.

We got to the boat Friday morning and shortly thereafter, mom and I met up with some friends to head to the beach. It’s such a high, running out to the water and getting just far enough in to make mom scramble and yell. I did it at least five or six times, then picked up some goose poop from the flock that was sunbathing nearby.

Also, do you know how much fun it is to pack as much sand as possible into your swimsuit and your swim diaper, cake your hands in it and then dig around the beach bags looking for snacks?!

(Note to other kids reading this: Sand is the gift that keeps on giving, all day, everywhere, no matter how much the parents think they’ve washed it off. There are so many places to hide it! But your eyes are not two of them.
I learned that one the hard way.)

So we got back from the beach and mom and dad seemed pretty convinced that I was going to nap. Mind you, I was exhausted – but this is the time, kids, when you have to remind them that you’re in charge! I rallied. After all, as I’ve mentioned before, naps are for sissies.

What to do with an entire two hours that you’re usually snoring and your parents are trying to accomplish tasks? Demand something you want! Again. Then again. Then again. The exact same thing (it doesn’t matter if they said no or yes – this is irrelevant). I said “I want a snack” at least 30 times in one minute. It was a personal best. Then, when they gave it to me, I threw it on the floor. And cried. #Winning

When mom and dad realized that going out for a sail would not be a good idea, we played around the boat some and dad and I fed a duck that stopped by for a quack chat.


But I brought it full circle during dinner. Dad grilled brats and mom made a fruit salad. I could tell they were tired and just wanted to get through the meal, but tough love is the best love sometimes! I knocked my bowl of fruit salad all over the cockpit and climbed on mom while she tried to finish her meal because, quite frankly, every moment that she’s accomplishing something else is a moment she could be focusing on me.

All in all, it was a busy day! I was pooped (ha!) from all of that teaching so I passed out pretty quickly for the night.

Saturday, though, I gave mom and dad a break. The sun was shining and the wind was steady out of the southeast, so when they strapped me into my harness for a sail, I didn’t protest too much. To be honest, it was fun watching the bubbles and boats passing by with dad and reading books with mom in the cockpit with a mouth-full of trail mix.


When my stomach was rumbling for lunch, I realized that all of my aminals must be hungry, too, so I climbed down below and fed them while mom got me some cheese and crackers.


I was still tired from the day before, so when she whispered a prayer and hesitantly tucked me away in my travel crib for a nap, the rocking of the boat was so soothing that I gave in. And what do you know! – I woke up two hours later to the sails coming down and us motoring over to tie off lines at our slip.

Then, it was off to the splash pad at the park to paint the town red with one of my best buddies, followed by an impromptu pizza party back at the boat.

Sometimes, when I let my parents be the boss, it can be even more fun. (Just don’t tell anyone I said that.) Sunday is a new day though – stay tuned!