I wasn’t at home when we were tied into slip A58 in Monterey Harbor. I was homesick. Surprising yes, since I was on my own boat, tied up with my usual dock lines, cooking in my own galley, and sleeping in my own bed. I spent my time in Monterey constantly checking the three forecast areas on NOAA to find our perfect weather window to head north. Again, I was surprised at myself. The trip north is usually hard, wet, and cold. Our boat is in great shape and we could actually (foolishly) cash in Tucker’s retirement accounts and head south for at least a year. I always want to go south, or anywhere warmer than wherever I am. But I wanted to go north, to go home.
I’ve been thinking about the meaning of home for a long time. Years ago when we travelled back and forth from Maine to California I was going home in both directions. Tucker and I have lived in many houses and towns and cities over the years yet I was never settled. I was always looking for the next thing, our sailboat, and of course the elusive liveaboard status that we finally have.
Like Miss Rumphius, I want to travel the world, live by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful. I wonder if traveling the world living on the sea will count as both (travelling and living) in the end, but I suspect I will live on land again someday. Will it feel like home to finally sail into Round Pond Harbor? Will there be many places that feel like home along the way? Santa Cruz might be right, but there’s an 18 year waiting list. Many people make Mexico their home for a season or two or more. Fiji is a cruiser’s favorite, yet as Americans we’re allowed only 90 days there. Some cruisers stop in New Zealand or Australia long enough to rent a house, get jobs, and send their kids to school. Some people like Lin & Larry Pardee and Fatty & Carolyn Goodlander have managed to round the world many times and never really stop.
Some people go out in the world simply to explore. Janna Cawrse Esarey sailed Dragonfly during her 2 and a half year honeymoon searching for the meaning of wife. Karen on Syzygy is sailing to renew her spirit. Tucker and I want to show our kids as much of the world as we can. I’m certain though that I’ll be looking for home. Although I’ve hoped it is simply, “where you drop your anchor,” I’m now certain there’s much more to it.
We sailed Convivia out under the Golden Gate Bridge two weeks ago and returned yesterday. I was coming home. I was excited and relieved and looking forward to being in our usual spot. It may be next fall or the following that we head out the Gate and keep on going but for now I’m happy to be here at our marina and happy to know that I’m a sailor, a liveaboard mama, getting herself and her boat ready to sail around the world someday.