Monday, July 20, 2015

Gone the way of the DoDo Blog

I imagine that if you as reading this then most likely you are either friend or family. The hope is that eventually we will get more people through here that are fellow sailors or those who dream to be. If you are one of the later, HI! Thanks for swinging by! If you are friends or family, of course we appreciate your following of us even if it is merely to know what we are doing since we, (mainly me, Adam) have probably not called in a bit. I know, I'm slacking.  Hey, we are busy people! You know with keeping the boat afloat and all, it's a daunting task and Gin and Tonics on the beach is where I figure out how to fix all the stuff that just broke.

Anywho, onward and forward or something like that. I always mess up those catchy phrases. Ashley thinks mine are way better since they are usually ridiculous. But I digress....... if you are like me ( God help you) you spend a large amount of your time reading sailing / cruising blogs such as this one; probably ones much better than this one!  ( Do you see that? I used a semicolon! Probably used it wrong though,  but I never seem to use those! Bonus G&T for me)  We all have our list of blogs. Some we follow like religion ( or in lieu of) and many we check in occasionally and follow up on their adventures.  When I find a new blog that I enjoy I always go to the very beginning and read all the way to present day. This can prove to be a pretty daunting task if their blog is several years old. I find as I read these blogs that a strange thing happens. I start feeling like I know these people, that we are old friends that have not seen each other in ages. I think if I ever met any of these people in our travels I'd run up and hug them like an old friend only to get a really weird look and maybe some hostility.  Seeing as I have yet to meet any of them I do not know this for sure so I'll have to report back when it finally happens. I'm sure once I explain to them that I'm a total blog creeper and think I know everything about them , they would understand. ...... I hope.  I apologize ahead of time to any of you I do this to. I'm really a nice guy, ask my dog! She thinks I'm pretty cool, oh and Ashley too. She's probably nicer than me. People probably don't freak out as much when a pretty girl hugs them so she would totally get away with it but she isn't as big of a hugger as me.  Random side story..... I went to a military academy and my senior year, I was given the officer position of "Hugs Officer". I don't actually remember the real name, but I was the guy you were supposed to come to if you had problems and I could refer you or assist you in getting the help you need, but mainly people came to get hugs. I was certainly not one to complain and I'm happy to give hugs! I mean are there people who don't? Weirdos. Ok..... back on track... crap, where was I? Reading blogs, right. I hope one day we will meet some of these people and I hope we do become good friends and can occasionally  share drinks and laughs when we run into each other (Figuratively, I can’t afford that boat repair).

As for the title of this blog. I have learned that most all blogs on sailing / cruising follow the same path and ours is no different. Blogs are hard! There is the pressure to be witty and funny. To keep people glued to their screens sharing in your adventure. Unfortunately, I'm not a gifted writer. I'm a logistics major who drives oil tankers for a living. Do what you're good at they say, and writing wasn't one. I hope people find this entertaining and maybe this blog will improve over time. We all seem to start our blogs around the time the adventure begins.  We buy the boat, pack up the house, move aboard and get slapped with reality but struggle through. Eventually, somewhere down the line we finally cast off the lines and start the real adventure that we have worked so hard for. It's at this point that  blogs start to waver, and why shouldn't they? As soon as it gets good, when we who are still tied to the dock want to live vicariously through you and your silence.  Crap. I mean I  totallyy get it, you’re sailing and exploring islands, why would you want to write in a stupid blog on a computer when the world is just beyond your porthole? Plus there is the whole "lack of internet" thing. Most people seem to do pretty well and update when they can. We all check their blog regularly staring at the same old post over and over wondering what great adventures they are up to while we take a break between projects and saving for the cruising kitty.  Then one day, BAM! There is a post! We feel like a kid on Christmas. You straighten up and get closer to your screen so as to not miss a single detail. It's like a long lost friend has returned home. By this point, people have stopped apologizing for the lapse in their updates. They know we all understand and we forgive them immediately. We read of their latest breakdown, how they fixed it, the islands they explored and the people they have met. We look at the few pictures they have posted that you just know they spent forever picking out from the hundreds or even thousands they have taken and the sting of jealousy but also the warmth of happiness runs through you. You yearn to be where they are but are so happy for them. At least someone broke away from the comfort of shore power and marina toilets and set out on their adventure. This is what keeps us going. When your own head clogs,  the power system craps out and the list of broken things keeps growing, it's these stories and pictures that drive us on and not give up hope. We laugh at their good times and hurt when they hurt. Sometimes they get personal and use the blog as a means of release. Couples argue and have nowhere else to vent and you hope for things to be ok. As I said, they become friends even if you've never met. People, though strangers, you care for and want nothing but happiness. 

Then there is that dreaded post. The post that sends you stomach plummeting. THE BOAT IS FOR SALE.  WHAT?! No! This can't be! We all want this life style to go on forever. For many people it does but for most, reality comes back to you. You feel devastated, lost. We all know that when the crusing ends, so does the blog. A dream has been fulfilled and then ended. What will happen to these people, where will they go? Most importantly, Why sell the boat???  Usually it’s people who want to move back on land and get back to “Normal” for whatever reason that is. Rush Hour traffic, Cubicles, noise and crappy views out your window? Doesn’t sound like much to return to.   This has been a dream of mine for at least 15 years. It took a while to get here, but here I am. I found the love of my life to join me. It’s not her dream, but she makes the most of it. I’m extremely lucky, trust me,  I know.  I know she doesn’t love all aspects of it, but we are still new. We are still dockside, getting the boat ready and paying off debts. In a few years though we will cast off the lines, sail where the wind takes us and it’s there I hope she finds the pure passion and love of sailing and cruising  that I have. I hope that before we know it years have gone by and we both cannot think of a better way of life. I know this may not happen, heck it could even be me that has a change of heart, but it’s always nice to dream.

 I find I follow two types of blogs the most and when the two meet as one, I get excited. I follow:  1) blogs of people who have the same boat as us and 2) blogs of couples cruising who are our age (early 30s). There are other random blogs I follow that are informative and usually entertaining, but those two are the ones I search for.  Blogs about the same boat as us is obvious. I can share and learn from those who have had the same issues, made the same repairs and coped with the same boat as us.  I am very fortunate that there is a Hans Christian Owners Forum that is a wealth of knowledge that is priceless.  Blogs of people our age, well it’s rare.  It seems that the dream to cruise isn’t achieved until retirement. People have careers, families, responsibilities and of course there is the cost.  At our age it is a sacrifice. We have decided to probably not have kids, to get rid of the house and leave our careers.  These are all risks. We are putting everything we have, Heart, soul and money into this plan.  If it goes wrong, it could prove difficult. Reading blogs of those our age shows us we are not alone. Others are sacrificing too and if they can do it, we can.   Most of you reading this blog probably understand this.   Then there are the blogs of people our age with our same boat. Whoa. This has only happened 2.5 times. Why the .5 you ask? Well one couple is our age but has a different model Hans Christian. A 41 I might add and I am envious.  Frank and Yu have an amazing blog and they keep me inspired.   Jon and Shannon have been beyond helpful. They are about a year or so ahead of us so have done all the projects I have yet to do and Jon is a wealth of information.   The saddest was SV BellaStar.  I loved that blog. It made me dreamy eyed. But it was one where the boat was sold and the Blog came to a close. They had a heck of a run though and I hope to still meet them one day.  It’s a cycle and blogs and their people come and go.  I hope one day, this blog helps people and that we are able to keep it going. As for now, we are striving to fill the sails and head South as soon as we can.