Well, we did it. We went from a being land based nomads to sea-based, learned to sail, and finished off our first full sailing season… all in a single year. Not that we intended to rush it at all, but looking back at where we were and what was in our minds just 14 months ago, it’s pretty crazy where we are today – which is Bellingham, Washington by the way. We returned to where the boat was purchased because our broker has a slip for Meriwether for the winter, and it also happens to be where the van is stored. Double bonus!
Because I love stats, and it seems to be the way of the sailor, we kept track of everything. Yea, I have a spreadsheet for that, which you can see on our about page. We started our full-time sailing life exactly six months ago, spending it all (but for the one week in the BVIs) out on the waters of the Puget Sound. During that time we logged just under 170 hours of sailing/motoring. Considering the average boat owner puts in about 50 hours each year, we packed a lot of sailing into a single year. In our land based travels we regularly traveled 10,000 miles or more each year (good ol’ 60 MPH speeds), but in the boat mileage comes at you 10 times slower (literally, 6 MPH speeds). Sailing 30 miles in a day is a seriously big day. Over the course of the season we traveled a total of 697 nautical miles (802 road miles) on the boat, which we are happy with.
Unfortunately, the Puget Sound is not the best place for steady winds, so our motoring hours out numbered our sailing hours; 95 to 72, using 64 gallons of diesel over the six months. Heck, that’s a single weekend of travels in the van. We grew from sailing Meriwether with only two sails to using all three, as she is intended. We took up a mooring ball 27 times, and anchored 15 times, spending 50 over-nights at anchor (a stat worthy of the resume). And the scariest part of sailing – docking – we pulled off 22 times (not including the 4 fuel docks we visited) without any serious incident. We came out the other end having gained years-worth of operational experience. We feel much more competent as sailors, growing from short 5 to 10 mile trips to doing a max of 37 miles in one voyage (9 hours). Wind speeds that would have scared us away just a few months ago now bring smiles to our faces. We found out a lot about our boat; honestly falling more in love with it now then when we first got it. And of course, we met a ton of great people along the way who offered us guidance, advice, and some great stories and experiences.