Dominic and I are stoked to be at the point where we are planning for our actual departure. We began seriously boat shopping and preparing for this trip in 2012, so we eagerly anticipate the moment when we stow the dock lines, head out the Golden Gate, and turn left. We've already left our jobs and said our farewells to friends and family. My yoga membership is up next Tuesday, and we'll be selling our trusty Subaru over the next few weeks. Emotionally, and in terms of our daily routine, it feels like we've already left.
That being said, there are a few key factors dictating when we head south for good:
1. Weather. This is our number one variable, and it's totally uncontrollable. Thankfully, we live in a time where we can predict the weather up to about a week in advance with relative accuracy. But, plain and simple, it is a fact of our new lifestyle that we are completely at the mercy of the weather. We will never be sure of where we will be or what we are doing more than a week in advance. So, the completely honest answer to "when are you leaving" is "we don't know". And we won't, until the week of. Exciting, right?
The weather will also govern our pace down the coast. If we get a sunny stretch of weather, we might skip down the coast quickly. If it rains for ten days while we're in Santa Cruz, then in Santa Cruz for ten days we will be.
2. Projects to finish. We have an insane mountain of stuff to accomplish before we go, and multiple color-coded spreadsheets to try to maintain our sanity. Some things are crucial (getting the anchor chain to stack efficiently), and others are just small projects that need to be wrapped up (I have a gazillion grommets to install if anyone is interested in spending a day over the holidays hammering away…). We anticipate about another week until the boat is ready, and there will certainly be a few days worth of provisioning before we leave.
3. Trial run. We'd like to anchor Helios outside the gate for a night or two, likely Drake's Bay, then return to Alameda for any fix-its or reorganization that needs to be done. Predictions are for sunshine next week, so we're thinking this might be a fun way to spend Christmas.
So, when are we leaving? We're hoping, weather and project permitting, earlier in January rather than later. Meanwhile, we're in Alameda working 100% on the boat until we leave. It's awesome, exciting, frustrating, life changing, marriage solidifying, overwhelming, high-five worthy, and more than a little scary. Everything a good adventure should be.