So, we got the boat, built the dock (our own little mini-marina) and parked our baby right outside our back door. It was wonderful to have that easy access for projects, learning the systems and taking care of SeaClearly. The cost of the dock was, partially, offset by not having to pay for a marina.
We made our trip to the Bahamas last year and then, this year, a bigger trip. We sailed away from our own dock, surrounded by well-wishing friends, and journeyed to the Virgin Islands. We have had a wonderful trip down the island chains. We have met people and challenges that have inspired us. Now, we are on our way home. We arrived back in the USA a couple of weeks ago. SeaClearly is floating in a slip at Harbortown Marina in Fort Pierce, Florida. The offshore weather was going to prohibit a smooth trip up the east coast so we left her there, under the watchful eye of a friend, and traveled up to North Carolina by rental car. This would give us a chance to open up the house and take care of a few items that had been put off while we were traveling for the last seven months.
Unfortunately, we have a problem. The troublesome inlet into Colington Harbour has finally shoaled to a point that prohibits us from taking SeaClearly home. The latest soundings are not good. The entrance is tricky at best. Boats with less draft than SeaClearly are routinely dragging the bottom. We already had significant difficulty finding days with enough water to get in or out. Our daysailing opportunities had been severely reduced by our worries about running aground or being caught outside with no way in. Or, my worst recurring nightmare, the possibility of getting into the harbor and never getting out again. Or being floated out on airbags.
Short story – we won’t risk taking SeaClearly back into Colington. We have to find her a new home. We were heartbroken at losing this perfect situation. We know that we have been lucky to have this option for so long. We always realized that we had a big bluewater boat that we were floating in a small pond. We may have blinded ourselves to the inevitability of this development but who can blame us for our optimism.
|SeaClearly, last year, in her (now former) home behind our house.|
What about the dream of sailing back home to our own dock? Well, we do regret that we won't be able to close the big loop and sail back to our point of departure. But, as good dreams often do, ours' has grown and changed into more than we could ever have imagined. We are embracing this as a new and different, if unexpected, chapter in our story and we are looking forward to the experience. It turns out that the dream was all about sailing away. We will figure out where to sail next.