• close family • small boat • big world •

Goodbyes for Now

November 15, 2015

by Greg
Man-o-War Bay, Tobago

There are many goodbye posts on blogs and Facebook pages of cruisers these days. This is of course because everybody is leaving. Hurricane season is largely over. Boats are on the move. Some are heading back north up the Windward and Leeward Islands. Some are heading west to the Panama Canal or to cruise the western Caribbean.

We are heading south to Guyana and Suriname. Were we heading north, we'd probably know somebody in almost every harbor from here to Puerto Rico - from this season in Grenada if not from other times and places.  As it is, we're heading south to Guyana and Suriname, and I'm pretty sure we'll know nobody at all.

Good friends gathered for the kid wedding in Les Saintes,
arranged by the  "bride and groom", Ruth, 6, and Luca, 5.
(It was Ruth's  second marriage.) Participating boats are
), Daydreamer, Gavroche, Proud Mary, Sasquatch,   
and Traveller, and we miss them all!

It is definitely sad saying these goodbyes. It's possible we'll see some of these cruisers again - that's what cruisers tell each other, but it's likely that we will never see many of them again. Several of our friends are "done" and are selling the boats and returning to land lives. Others are heading into the Pacific.

This kind of thing is built into cruising. It sounds strange to say in the midst of the sadness of goodbyes, but this is one reason I like it.

It's not because I'm anti-social or don't want to get close to people. This constant reality of goodbyes serves as a reminder that each moment is unique. It helps keep me
from coasting  (no pun here). It helps me live in the now. Some of the most "connected" I've ever felt has occurred in those exciting moments when we have hauled anchor and we're a starting voyage to a new place, old friends behind, new friends and new adventures ahead.

So tomorrow we're heading for South America.

By the way, for the trip south, we have borrowed crew from SV Daydreamer. Daydreamer is heading north, but Anna, a very good friend of our kids, is sailing south with us, and we are very happy to have her on board. We'll return her sometime in December we think.  Just before Daydreamer hauled anchor to sail away north, there was the realization that Anna had brought no shoes with her to our boat. This is another thing that I like about cruising - the possibility that a kid could sail to a new continent and not think about needing shoes.