I landed in South Africa today after a long series of flights from San Francisco. As soon as I got in my rental car, I drove straight to the boat yard in St. Francis Bay. With my camera in hand, I walked through the boat for the first time in twelve weeks. We are probably three to four weeks from final assembly and putting her in the water. Here is a tour of WAYFINDER as she now sits:
I get a ton of questions and comments about my plans, so I thought I’d add a little of that here. This boat will be my home the moment she goes into the water. Everything I own is in South Africa with me, and it isn’t much. Living aboard a boat sounds glamorous to a lot of people who would probably go crazy if they tried it. For me, it’s pure heaven. But it isn’t for everyone.
When I moved aboard a sailboat at age 21, I didn’t think I’d ever live on land again. That’s how right it felt to me. I lived on my sailboat for a few years, and I lived on other people’s boats for many more years. It was a great profession, a lot of hard work, but vastly rewarding. I’m getting back to the lifestyle that fits my personality. For those who think of me as a writer, this seems like a transition into something new. You have to remember that this is me moving back to something familiar. The writing has been a bizarre turn in my life, not the other way around.
The great news is that these lifestyles compliment one another. I’ve been writing my fool head off as I get away from the book tours and the conferences. The BEACON 23 series is now complete (the final entry should go up in a day or two), and I’ve been publishing the WAYFINDING series that I’ve long dreamed of writing. Today, I pick back up with the sequel to SAND. The writing and the sailing go hand-in-hand. My blog and my social media feeds will suffer, which is a good thing.
The plan is to depart Cape Town in the middle of October and head toward the Caribbean. From there, I’d like to go north up the east coast for a summer, before heading back down and through the Panama Canal. I’ll then have to decide whether to go up the west coast or head for the South Pacific. A lot will depend on the direction the wind is blowing.
Living aboard a boat and sailing it long distances is a ton of work. It’s grueling at times. Which is what I love about it. The last time I did this, I was a starving college student who sold everything he owned to take off on a $10,000 boat and live his dream. Along the way, I met so many people doing the same thing. Young couples with kids. Older retired couples. Single men, single women, families with pets, you name it. It’s not for everyone, but it’s accessible to most anyone. It’s a crazy lifestyle, but it’s the one that makes me feel the most fulfilled.
The good news is that you don’t have to come with me in order to follow along! I’ll keep you updated right here.