For almost ten years now I have thought of sailing off into the wild blue yonder. Tales of a tropical oasis in Fiji and diving in PNG do nothing to quell the desire, in fact it grows stronger by the day. I have also become addicted to watching YouTube sailing videos, living vicariously for the moment through channels like SV Delos, Sailing La Vagabonde and Sailing Sophisticated Lady. These guys seem to make a small living by producing videos for wannabes like me with the desire to pursue a similar lifestyle.
But it forced me into a downward spiral of despair, thinking I would never achieve the goal of sailing off into the sunset with enough funds for contingencies... And being the risk averse type I need to know there is a small amount for emergencies. So I came up with a plan! It's a 12 month plan and it involves something I haven't been able to do for quite a while due to high mortgage costs.... Save money! Alongside the plan and the funds is the skill to go on a sailing adventure. It occurred to me that if I won lotto tomorrow and was financially able to sail away, I wouldn't really have the skills to take on an immediate ocean crossing and more than likely become another statistic lost at sea if inclement weather were forced upon us.
So, step 2 of my plan has been to sign up for a day skipper licence and continue on the path to Yachtmaster, an essential education in my mind for any boat owner to formalise any pre-existing knowledge and one would expect to also build the knowledge base while gaining compulsory hours at sea.
And so begins the countdown for departure, even if it is simply a 3 month coastal trip to be used as a shakedown for future runs further afield, the proverbial clock is ticking. And with less than 12 months to go, there is a lot to achieve in the interim. Saving, reducing monthly expenses, maintaining systems on the boat and servicing those onboard consumables that are ready or near for replacement.
I am looking into the boat systems and researching the upgrade to lithium batteries, but if not living on the boat I may not yet be at a point to afford those bad boys and they can be replaced just prior to departure. That process is for a future post.