We moved aboard Footloose in October 2015, while still working and selling our home. We settled in and began a new countdown to our 2016 summer cruise. Sometime between the house sale and Christmas Eve, it dawned on us that this was really happening. What began as a dream 5 years ago, step by step became a reality. We now had 6 months give or take to get ready. What does that entail? Yes, there are the boat projects, the minutia of decisions on this part or that, washing machine or bucket, etc. Moreover, there is the emotional component, a letting go of familiar life and the good-byes to our family & friends.
For the boat projects, we made a list of things to get done before our departure, 91 items, or so, that expand as you go. While repairs, maintenance, upgrades are important for safety and comfort, we knew that we needed to make time for actually operating the boat. To make it happen, we sent Evites to our network of friends for Tiller Times scheduled bi-monthly, and we were soon booked for dates January-May. With this plan, we would gain experience, while connecting with dear friends and sharing our sailing adventure.
I was nervous before the first date. Before the first guest arrived, I sat visualizing our docking maneuver, reviewed sailing tactics with Michael, ensured the provisions were adequate, and prayed for calm winds, and nerves. It took some getting used to paying attention to boat operation, while chatting and watching out for people aboard with or without sailing experience. We were nervous as we acutely felt the responsibility. We carefully checked Predict Wind and monitored the radio and radar, even though we were traveling to known, albeit challenging waters in the SF Bay. With each Tiller Time, we learned something new, our friends had a blast, and we did too.