Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Homeward Epilogue

sv Ruth Ann in Beaufort, SC, 12/23

Ruth Ann is the last in a series of boats on which I was attempting to escape. I found her when I found an older gentleman who loved and appreciated his sailboat, but didn't have the time to sail her or to take care of her properly. Three years later, she was launched again after an extensive refit ‘on the hard’ in a North Carolina boatyard. I had repaired blisters on the hull, rewired the entire boat, re-rigged her mast, replaced the plumbing, repaired the bowsprit, changed all the lights to LEDs, and even replaced the seized diesel engine doing all the work myself; fuel lines, electrical connections, and shaft alignment. 

In the last year and a half, I have sailed Ruth Ann up and down the U.S. East Coast. We have done a lot of sailing and put more than 400 hours on that ‘new’ engine. It's been an adventure; along the IntraCoastal Waterway and offshore in the Atlantic too. In well over 500 days, I have only spent about 30 nights at a dock or on a mooring ball. In fact, about 12 of those nights were just at a friend's dock. Every other night, I've simply been swinging on my own anchor; sometimes up a lonely creek, other times near a town.  I have been living the life I had always wanted to live. I have been self contained and self-actualized; a happy man.

Nevertheless, I had gotten into a rut lately. For several months, I’ve just been a working stiff who’s had to row to shore to get to work. I haven't been wandering, or even sailing much lately. By an accident of circumstance, I was stuck in one place to keep a part time job to hold myself together.

Because this summer is forecast to be an active hurricane season, I was planning to head north and get out of the hurricane zone. Wherever I headed, however, I was going to need to find some job again. So, I had to plan for potential storms and the availability of work. The calculations were getting complex.   

Then, by chance, it became clear that I could be of some help to the family back in Michigan. It was a good time for a reset and my plan was revised. I am going to spend some time up north where I will find some work and help out where I can. Ruth Ann will be tucked away at a nearby Florida boatyard where I had previously worked on another boat and I know the family who owns the place. She’ll be hauled, cleaned, blocked, and strapped down for the season. When I get back to her there will a few projects to accomplish. That might mean a few weeks in Fort Pierce before she is relaunched. I’ll have a full plan by the time I head back. Ruth Ann will get polished up, treated to some new equipment, and – better than ever - we'll get back to living the vagabond life. I am grateful for the flexibility to take care of myself and to help out where I can.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Temporarily Closed

The last few months, I’ve been in limbo and just getting by. I’ve been working three evenings a week and trying to hold myself together. The universe didn’t ask if I was prepared or not, but I’ve had to spend a bunch of money at the dentist recently. So, when it also seemed like I could help the family up in Michigan, I decided to do just that. I’m going to spend some time up north helping out and making some money. 

I’ve been lucky enough to be doing exactly what I’ve always wanted to do for the last couple years. Nevertheless, I’ve been bogged down for several months, not really traveling but hanging out in one spot or another for a length of time so that I could work. For a variety of reasons, it’s a good time for a reset. I have no regrets. I’ll be right back.  #BRB


Homeward Epilogue

sv Ruth Ann in Beaufort, SC, 12/23 Ruth Ann is the last in a series of boats on which I was attempting to escape. I found her when I found a...