(September 1, 2017)
Well, our Alaska cruise is done. Now it’s time to prepare for the next leg of our adventure, down the coat.
Our homecoming began on Friday, when we arrived in Anacortes from Vancouver. Leaving the False Creek basin, Breakaway simply wasn’t able to get the boat in gear with all the traffic, so after several tries, we tied her up alongside Mobert and hip-towed her all the way out of the harbor. Surprisingly, we didn’t get as many strange looks as I expected two boats motoring out while still rafted together would have gotten.
As we left Anacortes, we passed the droves of sport fishing boats between Vancouver and the border, and WOW, was it hard not to stop and fish! I haven’t caught a fish in weeks now, and I think I’m starting to get the shakes. But, we wanted to stick close to Breakaway, which couldn’t slow down or risk losing the transmission completely, plus we were unable to maintain our speed over ground due to current, so we forged ahead.
We’d planned to take a 6-hour motor to Sucia, but we were slowed far more than we expected by current and by the extra hour or so it took to get out of the harbor that morning, so when we approached Sucia around 5PM, we decided to head straight to Anacortes – we were out of time to enjoy cruising the Salish Sea. We got safely docked (and miraculously, Breakaway did also – but only by backing in, since forward gear wasn’t happening), and we had a fun little barbecue on Breakaway to end our buddy boating adventure. After seconds and ice cream all around, we said our goodbyes and headed off to bed.
I had very mixed feelings about our homecoming. I was worried there would be pressure from a lot of different directions to stay. In many ways, it would have been easier to just stay out cruising – but, the girls especially needed to see the family they’ve been missing for months, and we need to stop somewhere to get prepared for our passage south – and Anacortes is a logical place.
At the time, I couldn’t quite articulate how I felt about this stop. Maybe I was worried we’d get into port, pack up the boat, and staying on land would be the easiest option, the path of least resistance. And so staying might happen.
Out on the water, there’s a plan. and you have to stick to the plan… [but] coming back to a place and a situation that so easily allows for – and maybe even encourages – completely changing the family’s lifestyle back to a land-based life…well, that could be a tough force to resist.
But, as Rich has reminded me, staying means finding a place to live and getting jobs. Although our future is slightly clearer now than it was when we left, it’s still hopelessly confused, and full of possibilities, none of which I’m ready to rule out yet. We’re simply not ready to settle back down.
I just worry that we won’t be ready to go, either. Whether it’s because boat prep takes too long, or because it seems like staying is the path of least resistance, or because we simply wouldn’t be able to make a decision until our weather window has closed and we’re forced to stay – there are a lot of things that could happen at home.
Out on the water, there’s a plan. And you have to stick to the plan, or you could find yourself in an unsafe situation. Sure, weather can change whether we leave port today or the next day, and it can dictate that we need to stop at Y anchorage instead of X anchorage one day – but when you’re out there, plugging along, having an amazing and wonderful time, you really don’t think twice about abandoning it all and completely changing your family’s lifestyle (again) back to a land-based life. But, after completing a tour of Alaska, and coming back to a place and a situation that allows for – and maybe even encourages – completely changing the family’s lifestyle… well, that could be a tough force to resist. As tough as the weather, even.