Reflections on 2018
It’s a new year and a chance for new beginnings, as the sayings go. I don’t know if I buy in to the idea that you have to, or can only, start anew at the beginning of a new year, but it’s a good opportunity for a reflection post so here we are.
2018 was a whirlwind year of huge decisions, grand adventure, frustrating struggles, and epic achievements. I almost can’t even fathom how much changed for us over the last year. Because my brain works better this way, I’m going to break it down by month as an easier way to track things:
January 2018: We were living on Gypsy Days in the middle of winter, facing some of the worst flooding Boston had seen in decades. We had survived our first two months as liveaboards and were finally feeling comfortable in our little home.
February 2018:We began to get to know our neighbors at Constitution Marina and had settled in to our winter routine.
March 2018: The whole month of March was nor’easter after nor’easter. We would have storms for 4 days, it would settle for 3, and then the whole cycle would begin again. At least we didn’t have to shovel our driveway, we could just sweep it in to the almost frozen harbor. Aaron’s father visited us through this, and got to see our boat.
April 2018: Winter continued and our spirits waned. Tanya took a trip home to Vancouver which reinvigorated her sense of adventure and desire for a world away from winter. Aaron found out his company was going to be (at least temporarily) defunct at the end of August.
May 2018: We travelled with our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach and teammates to Brazil for an amazing 10 days of laughter, sunshine, training, and sightseeing. While on that trip, we finalized our decision to leave Boston once Aaron’s job ended. Aaron also travelled to Tennessee for a friend’s wedding.
June 2018: We began making serious strides toward making our dreams a reality. We forcibly befriended the resident sailing guru (hi Tyler!) and he told us the first steps we needed to do (replace the steering pedestal and the traveler). We spent the month sourcing and doing those tasks.
July 2018: July 1st was our first sail on our boat. We spent the rest of the month continuing to sail with the help of Tyler and working on boat projects (and still working full-time). We did our first solo sail and overnight anchoring trip on July 28th.
August 2018: Aaron took the final three weeks of the month, and Tanya took the final two weeks of the month off and we finalized all of our plans, our boat projects, our research, and our learning. Aaron’s mom visited us and she was our first passenger we took out solo. Some projects included: installing a new house battery, installing solar power, storage solutions for Aaron’s surfboard and other things on the bow.
September 2018: We left the dock and the amazing community we had fostered at Constitution Marina on September 2nd with our good friend Tyler aboard to see us through the Cape Cod Canal. We traversed Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and entered Maryland.
October 2018: We made it to Norfolk, our halfway point and spent three weeks ashore, visiting friends and family (and attending a wedding) in Norfolk, Whythville, and the Outer Banks. We did a couple small boat projects and basically relaxed after a crazy previous month. We went through Maryland, Virginia, and the northern part of North Carolina, finally on the ICW.
November 2018: We continued down the ICW but were holed up in Beaufort, NC for three weeks with transmission woes. We felt our spirits wane as our bank account plummeted, but also met some amazing people who we have continued to keep in contact with. We were in North Carolina for the whole month.
December 2018: Once we were finally free from Beaufort’s grip, we hightailed it down the rest of the ICW, chased by the increasingly cold winter weather and trying to make up for lost time. We traversed the rest of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, meeting up with friends along the way. We prepared ourselves for our Gulf Stream Crossing and reached our destination, The Bahamas, on December 30th.
To distill the info above, we lived on our boat, decided to take our boat to the Bahamas, learned how to sail, learned how to do a ton of boat projects, and made it from Boston to the Bahamas all last year. It really does seem incredible when put so simply.
After such an incredible year of growth, change, and success, I don’t even know what to expect or aspire to in the next year. If anything, 2018 taught me that anything is possible so just leave yourself open to possibilities and don’t be afraid of adventure. I supposed I look forward to the places we will see, the people we will meet, and the experiences we will have this year and plan to keep our hearts and minds open to any possibility that comes our way. When people ask us how far we are going to go or how long we will do this for, we usually respond that “we will keep going until the boat sinks or the money runs out.”
Hopefully neither happen in 2019!