Let’s go for it! All we have to do is sell thebusiness, the house, the cars, get rid of all of our stuff, oh and learn how tooperate a boat. The idea was great; ofcourse, the execution was plenty of work. One short year later, we were in Newport, RI preparing to move aboardour beautiful, to us, 1989 Kadey Krogen trawler. As incredible as it sounds, we actually madethe life changing decision within a few week’s span. It all started on a vacation sailing tripwith our two sons, Bradford and Tom, and daughter-in-law, Jayme in BritishColumbia in August of 2014. Actually,the seeds were planted the year before when Bradford took us all down theColorado river on two rafts through Catarac Canyon and the Canyonlands. This was a life changing trip; seven days,six nights with no other souls around except our family down the river, campingat night and basking in God’s beautiful outdoor world, secluded fromexpressways and all contact with “normal life.” We returned from the trip feeling changed, but not quite knowing exactlyhow.
As our ownpersonal outdoor adventure travel specialist, Bradford then planned the sailingtrip in BC for the next summer’s family vacation. He, Tom and Jayme had planned their strategy touse the trip to help us see that there was more to life than commuting on theinterstate every day and working so hard. We had encouraged the boys to follow their passion in life and that anavocation would open itself. They haveboth followed their dreams. Bradford inadventure travel, outdoor sports with film and photography and Tom inspecialized search and rescue. So, now maybethey needed to teach their parents and encouraged us to change our life. They stressed their appreciation of all thatwe had provided for them over the years, but they were on their own now andflatly, we should live a different life. As a trawler would pass by, we would hear, “that could you; you could dothat!”
On the bowof Bradford’s sailboat, we pondered, could our prudent fifteen-year plan toward retirement be turned upside down intoselling everything and traveling on a trawler? Returning to Atlanta, we began to investigate our crazy idea. One memorable point was Leigh’s meeting withhis entrepreneurial coach, Kent Gregoire. After explaining our plan, as if we needed his validation that we hadlost our minds, Kent’s immediate response was, “the only thing that will keepyou from doing it is you!” This quicklybecame one of our mantras along with a list of inspiring quotes that Wendyresearched. At Kent’s suggestion, wealso created a memory board to visualize what our new life would looklike. Soon thereafter, sitting on thesofa one evening, we took the mental leap. “You in?” “I’m in; you in?” “I’m in.” That was it. A high five and we started working the steps to make it happen. Although the entire process seemed daunting,we decided to just make a list and start working it step by step. One of the biggest challenges was figuringout if we could live simple enough to stay within our new budget.
A large partof the decision was that Wendy could continue her passion of painting. For over fifteen years she paintedcommissioned portraits in Atlanta, and then seven years ago she delighted inthe change to her own original artwork, mostly coastal themes. She grew up in Clearwater Florida and loveseverything about the water. The thoughtof living the subject matter for her artwork was thrilling. She likes to feel that her work evokesuniversal memories for all who love the water as much as she does and now she couldbe in that world each day! Anyway Wendy is adamant, she will paint alongour journey, someway somehow.
After muchstudying, two boat shows, two Trawler Fests and many, many nights pouring overYachtworld.com, our broker helped us find the perfect new home for us, awell-loved 1989 freshwater Kadey Krogen 42. We started with no boat knowledge, but over the months of searching, we learnedthat we wanted an efficient, seaworthy boat that was built forpassagemaking. Without the patient guidanceof our broker, John Clayman of Seaton Yachts, there is no telling what we wouldhave purchased. There were several boatsthat we really liked, but John would steer us away, sometimes gently, sometimesnot so gently. Our inexperience reallyshowed, but the running joke became, “what boat would John let us buy?!”
In October, at our first Krogen Cruisers Rendezvous we learned that we wereadopted by an incredible owners group. Everywherethat we see another Krogen there is always a new friend to meet. They are knowledgeable, always willing tohelp and … well, they throw great parties! Krogen owners also seem to use their boats togo places, not just stay tied to the dock, so it’s very fun to trade storiesand learn of cool places to see.
So, how isour new life, you ask. We love it! We moved aboard in early November 2015 inNewport, RI and have made our way down the east coast and to the Bahamas. Along the way, we stopped in Beaufort, SC andStuart, FL for five weeks each. At eachlong stop, Wendy has been able to find great temporary studios to keep hergalleries stocked with paintings. Someof the expected favorites of our new life are the quiet anchorages, a family ofporpoise riding our bow wave, beautiful sunsets and sunrises most every day,waterfront dining every night (on our aft deck) and certainly, the great peoplethat we have met. Some of the unexpectedfavorites are not having a car and riding our bikes or walking to the grocery,basically living a simpler life. Although our simpler life means that ourmonthly budget is much less than when we were both working. Also, we enjoy working together and learningseamanship as a team. Of course, we havehad our share of memorable goof ups along the way!
So, that’sthe Cliff notes of our move to the boat. We will try to keep up our blog going forward and at the same time fillin some of the past year or so. Thanksfor joining us on our adventure.
Some of thequotes and our mantras that helped us keep our “eyes on the prize” as we workedtoward getting rid of thirty years of acquired stuff and changing our life:
Faith istaking the first step even when you cannot see the entire staircase.
Fill yourlife with experiences not things. Havestories to tell not stuff to show.
I do notneed things to remember the people that I love.
You cannotstart the next chapter of life if you keep rereading the last one.
Never get soused to making a living that you forget to make a life.
Let’s findsome beautiful places to get lost.
The travelersees what he sees. The tourist sees whathe came to see.