Wow. If you review our life since 2013 when we took Eleanor Q out of the bay and started cruising waters north and south of here, it’s been quite a ride! Retirement #1…nearly 2 years of cruising…going back to work…moving several more times… retiring again and moving to Annapolis. Can’t say as we let any grass grow under our feet. We specialize in transitions.
Since Frank retired last March, we’ve been having a whole lot of fun figuring out how we most want to spend our time, and we are grateful every day that we live in an area that presents so many opportunities for activities that we love. In addition to sailing and racing, for me, there is so much to participate in musically. And then there’s our new shared obsession – PICKLEBALL! (Frank is more obsessed than I am, but I’m not far behind). Yeah, go ahead and snicker. And then, GO TRY IT! Seriously, it is completely addicting. There is a club 300-strong in the area with open play 7 days a week. Frank plays 4 – 6 times a week; I usually get in 3-4 depending on scheduling. It’s a terrific workout and is as competitive as you make it. Frank has quickly moved up the rankings in the league. You know, he’s not competitive by nature or anything. Or obsessive. Right?
All that said, this fall we learned a few things about ourselves. We recognized that, although we enjoy cruising and we love Eleanor Q, we are not looking to move aboard and go back out on the water for months and months at a time any more. We just don’t want to leave our home/life in Annapolis for long stretches. Frank has an expression from his fishing days: “You don’t leave fish to go looking for fish!” In other words, if you’ve got it really good where you are, why leave it to be somewhere else?” So in thinking about our nautical future, here are some conclusions we drew:
1. We are most likely to cruise for 4-6 weeks at a time, but no more.
2. The rest of the time we’ll be boating around the Chesapeake.
3. We want to be able to get places faster.
Eleanor Q has been our pride and joy and has taken excellent care of us. She is sea worthy, beautiful and comfortable. That said, she’s a long distance cruising boat. It is time to find her a new home. And so, after some soul searching and more than a couple of tears, we put Eleanor Q up for sale. It may take quite some time for her to be matched up with new owners, so we may get to use her for a while yet – we’ll just have to see how it goes.
We had some BEAUTIFUL day sails late into the season and anchored overnight into October… it was a warm fall.
Looking into the future, we are thinking of what our next vessel will be… and have some criteria:
1. Able to cruise at 10-12 knots comfortably.
2. Good engine access.
3. Comfortable state room bed for our aging backs and easy in/out for those middle of the night trips… you know what I’m talking about.
And yes, that means something other than a sail boat. We’re looking at smallish tugs that still have a nautical look and feel, but something that will get us places more quickly.
Being in Annapolis, we can still get our sailing fix in the racing scene. Frank recently purchased a Laser (a one person boat) and he’ll get heavily into that in the spring. And we have been sailing together on a J-80 which takes a 4-person crew. The captain of that boat has been an excellent teacher for me (me being new to the racing scene) and Frank has helped me transition into the feeling of a small boat. So we’ll still be sailors!
I do not look forward to the day when we actually let Eleanor Q go…. that will be a heartbreaking day for both of us. But when we think about the number of places we can get to in short order with a motor vessel, we can get excited about that. St. Michael’s for lunch? No problem! Scoot up the Chester River with ease because of a shallower draft? You betcha! We’ll be much more nimble around the bay, but will still have the comfort and stability to go to New England in the summer. We will not pursue purchasing a new boat until our current Eleanor Q is sold, so you may still see us out and about on her for a while yet.
So think good thoughts that she finds a worthy new home. And although it will be a special chapter for us coming to an end, we’ll transition into yet another new chapter of a pretty interesting book! Hope you’ll keep reading along…
And Happy New Year! Hope it is full of happy transitions.