While I've been reading various posts on this forum for a long time, I'm only now, I guess, actually "joining".
Like probably many folks, I'm a mid-50's guy who spent probably too much of my life getting educated, pursuing a career, getting a mortgage, etc., etc. Now, as I watch old friends and colleagues having ignored some of the other things life can bring, only to wait too long to do so, I'm pursuing a different life.
A couple of years ago, my wife and I decided to go cruising. Sell the house, buy a boat, and head out. After lots and lots of time spent doing this, we finally made the leap this past January. We've been out now for 8 months. First, to the Bahamas (Abacos) and from there up to Georgia. We've gone up the ICW (going outside some of the time), through the Chesapeake, Delaware Bay, and are about to go up the Jersey Coast to NYC.
The cruising life is a mixture of pleasure and pain. There's lots of fun in meeting new people and seeing places we've never seen, particularly from the perspective of a boat. Although I "knew" there would be boat maintenance to do, I didn't appreciate just how much of it! It is amazingly time-consuming. Even though we tried to do our "due diligence" and learn the skills needed, I was again surprised at how much we didn't know (and still don't), yet experience seems to be teaching us. And, then, there are those moments of sheer terror! E.G., dragging anchor in a crowded bay at 2 a.m. (along with 5 or 6 other boats) when a sudden 35 knot storm blew in! The chaos that ensued was, indeed, terrifying. However, no one was hurt, the boat only got a few scratches, but the lessons learned were valuable and our mistakes have not been repeated.
So, I look forward to reading more and perhaps to offer at least something in return.
St. Francis 44 cat