That moment...

Mon 23 Oct 2017 00:04
There's a moment, a wonderful moment, at the start of every passage.

When ever we decide to lift the anchor and head off a lot has happened beforehand. We will have looked up the prevailing winds and currents, checked when the monsoon changes or the hurricanes come and discussed, discussed, discussed.

Ever been in a busy railway station and looked up at the board and thought "I could go anywhere! Why follow the path I was planning on? Look at all these destinations... I could just get a ticket and take that step from a different platform"? That's what it's like every time we plan to move on; we could sail anywhere!

But, at some point, the decision is made, we're going there. Next we have to sort out charts and visas and entry forms, research good anchorages, make sure Lochmarin is in order, go ashore for provisions and finally ready Lochmarin for sea.

Then Phil takes the wheel and I go forward to lift the anchor, and, as I'm stowing the anchor ball, I get to look up, at the sea ahead of us and that is when that moment comes.

We're off. What will be will be.

It may be all plain sailing with a gentle swell, the wind on our quarter, clear skies, and blue water - we'll sit in the shade of the jib and watch the dolphins.

Storms may come, green water running down the side decks, Lochmarin racing the white horses on the top of every wave, storm job tight in, lightning filling the sky like the thunder fills my ears. We'll weather it, or turn to seek shelter, which ever is more prudent.

Either way we're off, all the deciding is done with, the scurry and bustle to get prepared before the weather window closes is over, there's a peace and an excitement and a conscious act of commitment to what the fates will bring.

And today is another of those moments. We aren't on deck, we are sitting in a coffee shop in Kuala Lumpur International Airport heading back to the UK.

Over these last few months it has become clear that crossing oceans is no longer for us. Some health issues, combined with no longer being able to get health insurance, made us realise we need to take another path. So we've made a new plan: we'll live with one foot on shore and one in the water, have a house in the Scottish Highlands and a smaller boat, cruise in cooler waters closer to home. And sell Lochmarin.

There I've said it. My eyes fill as I write this. It's hard: our home, our ticket to adventure, our safe place with whom we've shared so many highs - and lows! But if we're not living full time on board nor crossing oceans she's bigger than we need, it makes sense.

So we are just heading to the boarding gate, Lochmarin cleared of our personal bits and pieces and all spic and span ready for her new owners, when they find her. The decision's made, the jobs are finished.

Here comes that feeling: we're heading for a new adventure..