Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

Readers of this blog are well aware that I rarely, if ever, talk about our plans for the future. Instead, we thrive on uncertainty, seize the moment and live within the confines of a cruising world defined by tides, weather and whims of our own devise. All of that, bracketed by a need to work in order to keep us going. In our minds, we’ve always found our nomadic life to be more rewarding when we’re actually out living it than when we’re planning it. Cruising plans and schedules rarely work out as planned and far too many sailors sit at the dock and talk and talk and talk about where they’re sailing, yet never go a mile.

For the crew of Yahtzee, those cruising miles have stopped … for now. By the end of 24 hours we’d paid for a year of moorage in Seward, Alaska, found a quaint winter cabin and, oh yeah, Jill got a job. Wow, that happened fast.

The boys at home on Yahtzee in Seward Harbor.

To be sure, it was a whirlwind romance here in Seward. We fell in love with the town when we stopped in a few weeks ago, Jill quickly applied for a couple jobs and when she got callbacks, then interviews and a job offer, we were making decisions and plans faster than we have in years. Literally, it has been three years since we have paid for permanent moorage. Though that’s a hard pill to swallow, the reasons are sound.

The town of Seward nestled under tall mountains.

Why stop, why here, why now, what about the blog?

Our spring and summer of cruising Alaska has been far more incredible than we ever imagined, and one of the outcomes for us is that we now firmly know this cruising life is for us. We always thought it was, but the farther we went, the farther we wanted to go, and go, and go. And in assessing our future plans we realized that we have to stop now to make money and do some work to the boat before we can take off sailing south to Mexico and beyond. How’s that for sharing plans?!

Of course, the money thing is a big part of this decision, but not our sole reason for stopping. As I said in a recent post, we could keep going with what I make writing and editing from the boat, but we need to pay off debt from last year’s boat work and build up a cruising kitty again to do it right and responsibly.

Career-wise, we also understand that Jill needs to get a job in her field now if she wants to work again — which we’ll need her to do. After months of applying for jobs from Alaska to California, she was finally fortunate to get a couple interviews and a job offer, but potential employers along the way pointed out that her gap in work history was a problem. That said, she’s broken back into the field of social work and we’ll be more careful moving forward to make sure the gap doesn’t get too big. As a friend and fellow cruiser aptly yet half-jokingly quipped, “The machine doesn’t like vagabonds like you because it needs workers to keep it going. And if you’re not one of them, you’re out, and it’s hard to get back in.” That’s reality.

Our winter home.

Another reality is that, even though Yahtzee is set to go wherever we need her to take us, after living on her for five years total and cruising full-time for three of those in a damp environment, she needs some love. And the only way to dote on her properly is to move off for some time — which, among other reasons, makes Alaska perfect. On top of cheap moorage, we rented a beautiful, inexpensive cabin in the woods so we can get the boat emptied, dried out and cleaned. Or as Jill perfectly put it, “Because I love this boat and life so much, I can’t wait to get everything off of it.”

That makes the other part of this equation here in Seward absolutely perfect. We’ll be in our rental cabin from October through the end of April and then living on Yahtzee from May through September. That will allow us to focus on working on the inside of the boat during the winter months, and then we can tackle some outside projects once we move back aboard in the spring. Seward has marine professionals we can turn to for help with some of the jobs, and parts are easy to come by.

One of our favorite anchorages near Seward.

Overarching throughout all of this is that Alaska is freaking amazing. I’ve fallen madly in love, and Jill’s happy to be home for a while. Whether its winter sports or summer, sailing or fishing, mountains or the sea, when we’re not working or working on Yahtzee, there is plenty to do. And when summer does come, there are numerous anchorages nearby to explore, the Kenai Peninsula is a cruiser’s paradise and Prince William Sound is just a hop away. That’s a win win.

Even though we won’t be cruising full-time for a little while, I’m still planning to keep the blog rolling. I have lots of content that has yet to be shared and I’ll be able to write about some of the projects that we’re starting to outline. We’re excited about what the future holds for our crew and boat here in the great state of Alaska. So stay tuned.

8 thoughts on “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

  1. Marvelous! Look forward to your continued blogs and hope we stay in touch. All the best to you and your family. I’ve heard lots of great things about Seward from my co-worker. His dad owned the candy store until quite recently! I am sure the boys will stop in there for ice cream!!!!

  2. Wow! Inspiring, and it makes my head spin!
    I helped bring a boat south from Seward to Seattle some years ago. The boat had been winterized. Even though we ran some fresh water through, our tank water had (for me) a nauseating “bubble gum” flavor. We survived. What a grand trip that was leaving Seward and sailing down the gulf! I totally get your love affair with the area. I can’t wait to see your future installments of: “Life in a cabin in Alaska through the winter”

  3. Andy, I am happy about your decision to anchor in Seward for a year or so. Y ou both have made a wise decision. You have had so many wonderful sailing adventures and I know the boys ave learn a lot. Maybe it is time to sit back and enjoy a quiet life for a while. You have always been full of adventure as I remember from watching you grow up. Grandpa would be proud of your decision to “hang it up for a while”. Y ou know that is what he would say. We love you and look forward to seeing you all in a couple of weeks. Love to you all GMA

  4. Awesome. I have to admit your previous post had me worried. I kept trying to find easy solutions for you guys to make some cash. This sounds like a perfect solution.

    Looks like the boys are going to be introduced to snow in a big way!

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