Mid-Life Couple retires onto a sailboat

Many of our friends and relatives were envious about our big adventure until they heard about the lifestyle of living on a boat and drifting from port to port. They must have thought we were going to be sharing anchorages with Jimmy Buffett and partying with Bono in Beach clubs, not repairing sails and fixing diesels in exotic places and giving each other haircuts.

Who would want to live like that?

We love sailing. We would have to in order to live this life. It’s not all umbrella drinks in sunny anchorages as you may have guessed. In fact it’s a pretty Spartan life compared to what we were living. We do have running water, showers, toilets, a sink and a queen size bed but there are many things we do not have. Laundry for instance, has to be done by hand in a bucket, or at the Laundromat. We will not have a car, we have a dinghy. It’s a small inflatable boat that gets us to shore from our anchorage, usually with a wet ass when we get there. The water runs out and you have to refill. All your power comes from batteries that need to be charged every day. There is no cable, but we do have Wi-Fi when it’s free. These are just a few examples of the difference between life on land and at sea, but you get the point. It’s not easy or glamorous. It’s different, and it’s not for everyone. Not saying only a certain fool can pull off this kind of retirement. Just saying that it takes two people who are committed to living this way and it’s not simply buying a boat and taking off, though we know of many people who have done just that. It’s not for everyone, and that’s OK. Debra and I have many years of sailing experience on Lake Ontario in many different styles of boats. We raced and cruised all over that lake and we loved every minute of it, with the exception of the biting flies. We hate those little biting black fly bastards. So, if you think this lifestyle may work for you, start getting some experience on the water, and take some lessons in either sailing or power boating.

Retire onto a sailboat
Where are we now and what’s next?

We are currently floating in St. Augustine Florida waiting for Debra to retire in the next few days. When that happens we will prepare the boat for extended voyaging. Some things we are doing are adding extra water tanks and a water maker. The reverse osmosis water maker will make fresh water out of seawater. We need to be off the grid and independent of a marina dock as they are expensive. We have solar panels, a small generator, and we may be adding a wind generator as well, but we need to make our own water to make life easier. No one wants to be schlepping water from shore to ship in six gallon jugs every other day. No way. Plus, we like fresh showers. Mostly Deb likes me to have fresh showers. I think once a week is fine, as it keeps the mosquitoes away but she insists.

So, we are about to untie and sail away. Will this life be as rewarding as we think? Will it disappoint? We will have good days and bad. Hopefully more good days, but you need an occasional miserable day to appreciate the good ones. I always said that if we could get a good solid five years in of cruising around the islands in a sailboat I will be content. Debra and I hope it goes on much longer than that but we’ll see how it goes. One thing we know for sure is that we cannot go back to our old life in suburbia, messing around with the yard and settling in front of a TV for the evening. Just isn’t going to happen.

You can follow us in our blog (check my bio information). We usually have a few stories to tell and if anything we’ll have some good photos.

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1 Comment

  1. Wow! This is pretty inspiring. Thanks.

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