Sailing Adventures

When the Dream Ends

Dear Dreamers,

Cruising the world on a Nordhavn motor yacht is the dream of a lifetime. With a well found boat, properly equipped and supplied, the world is literally your oyster. You have more freedom and independence than most of humanity, constrained only by your courage and  the seasons.

But what happens when the dream ends? Why will the dream end?

As we age, the chance of a serious health crisis increases. No one wants to be stranded ill in a third world country with no medical facilities nearby. And no one wants to leave their partner stuck with a large vessel that he or she can’t manage alone. As bodies age, this becomes more and more of a factor in our planning.

Grandkids grow up quickly. Some trade offs of sailing the world include missing music lessons, ball games, and birthday parties. The further afield we sail, the harder it becomes to return home for family events.

An old truism is that we spend 30% of the cost of a boat the first year we own it, fixing it up and making it our own. Then we spend 10% of the cost each subsequent year, on fuel, moorage, insurance, and maintenance. Eventually the cost of maintaining a boat becomes a factor for most of us.

This becomes more of an issue if we aren’t using the boat for ocean travel. Ocean boats are highly sophisticated and require higher degree of maintenance than coastal boats. Why own a Hummer if you never plan to go off the pavement?

It is a lot of work living on a boat. Hauling bags, boxes, and buckets of supplies down the dock. Launching the dink and taking the dog to shore. Long passages and too many overnighters take their toll. Simple things like getting in and out of the dink get harder as joints age and balance gets unsteady.

When is the right time to wake up from the dream? My wise Mom said, “Always leave while the party is still fun.” When we start a new business, we think about our exit strategy. When we start a new phase of life, we must also think about what comes later. 

What will life be like living on the dirt? Looking out the window and seeing the same thing every day? Living next to people who haven’t seen the wider world or a storm at sea? Who haven’t experienced the joy and responsibility of self reliance.

Does gypsy blood cool over time? Was Dorothy really happy when she got back to Kansas. Is there really”No place like home”? With no place to roam? 

Stay tuned. It is time to reinvent ourselves…

Respectfully submitted,

Douglas & Gerry Cochrane
M/V Orion, N57-25 
Hard aground in Olympia, Washington