We arrived in Mystic at 2:00 am on June 17th after a short and, gratefully, uneventful sail from the C and D Canal. As I am typing up this blog all I can think of is how quickly the past month has gone by! Arriving home has been a whirlwind of activity. We are sorry that it has taken a month to update the blog. It is a bit embarrassing.
Although we arrived in Mystic at 2:00 am we did not get into our slip until the next morning. We were having engine trouble. We chose to land the boat on a fuel dock at a nearby marina instead of trying to find our marina and slip in the middle of the night. It was a good choice but unfortunately the marina who owned the fuel dock charged us for a full night of berthing despite us being there for only seven hours and never using any electricity or water. A bit disappointing!
Our arrival at Mystic Shipyard was a completely different experience. The very talented Kenny was waiting for us at our slip ready to help us get tied up. He is the type of dock hand that every marina needs. We just followed his instructions to get into the slip then he secured our boat perfectly. He helped us with our electrical cords and hooked up our water hose. As we finished, I commented to Mark that it would be alright with me if we didn't move the boat for the rest of the summer.
Not only have we not moved the boat for the past month, we have done almost nothing to it. I think after all of the times we have needed to rush to get everything done before leaving again, we subconsciously decided that since we aren't going anywhere we didn't need to do anything right away. So one month later, we haven't cleaned the inside or the outside of the boat. Luckily, we had good rain shortly after we arrived which did clean off the salt. We haven't changed the fuel filters or oil in the engine which needs to be completed. The hatches are still caked in salt. Suddenly, we have all the time in the world to get things done and the motivation to do it has dwindled exponentially.
We were greeted shortly after arriving in our slip by Rick and Kimberly Dieterich who own Springline Yacht Sales which is located in a building at the end of the dock. Rick sold us our boat six years ago and he is now Mark's new boss. Yes, Mark accepted a job with Rick as a yacht broker. Thus, many of you now understand why we returned back to New England earlier than expected - because Mark needed to start work. By the way, if anyone wants to buy or sell a boat, you know who to contact.
Click here for Springline Yacht Sales
The day after we arrived in Mystic, Mark went to work. This entailed him getting ready at about 8:45 am (for work at 9:00 am), dressing in shorts and a polo shirt, and walking to his office in a building at the end of the dock. On the first day he came back to the boat at 3:00 pm because he had yet to have lunch. Then he took a nap for the rest of the day. He has spent one afternoon cleaning a boat for a showing, driving to Falmouth, MA to check out a boat, photographing a boat he listed, taking our dinghy to the morning field to check out another boat. It seems like he never knows where the day will take him. I am thrilled that he decided not to return to his earlier career path. He is so lucky to be doing what he loves and working with such great people. In addition to Rick and Kimberly, Mark is also working with Andy Baker who joined us on the first leg of our trip from Virginia to the Caribbean. We met he and his wife Linda right after we bought At Last and have been great friends ever since.
The docks of Mystic Shipyard from Springline Yacht Sales
Mark has been working a lot since we got back, working 6 days a week and studying about the yacht brokerage business in the off hours. I have been trying to take care of all of the details in getting back on land. My original list had about forty items on it and it seems like whenever I cross something off Mark and I find something else to put on the list. We did get cell phones the day we arrived. We now have a PO Box in West Mystic. My parents arrived the first day with my car which I am thrilled to have back. They had it detailed for us and I can honestly say it has never been so clean. We are trying to survive with one car for now but we have decided that it will be impossible once I get a job. I have been working hard at searching for a job. I have applied for about ten positions and had an interview last week. I am hopeful but don't want to jinx it so I will wait until everything is finalized to make an announcement.
We have had a wonderful time visiting everyone. I went back to Baystate to attend a party for my previous boss who is moving to Florida. It was great to see everyone again and I left with a wish that I could return to my work as a transplant social worker. I loved the job and the people I worked with. I also spent a weekend with my girlfriends back in Springfield. Mark and I have both been amazed at how quickly it all feels so normal again. Whether it is family or friends, after a few hours it feels like we never left. The relationships just keep falling back into place. It is so comforting.
We have already met some great people at the marina. The first night we arrived we were invited onto another boat for drinks with a group of people. We had a great time as we shared stories of our great adventure. People had so many questions about what we did and what it was like. At this point you might think that we are getting tired of telling the same stories. We are not. We love that people are so curious and interested in what we accomplished.
Things feel like they are falling into place quite nicely. We love Mystic and feel very comfortable calling it home. We both seem to be very content with living on the boat for the summer and fall. We hope to find a place to rent over the winter or even house sit for someone. We have also talked about renting an apartment where we can keep all of our stuff (it is all still in storage) and then live in it over the winter time. At this point we are trying to take one thing at a time and not rush any of the bigger decisions.
I continue to be amazed with going grocery shopping. Although the galley is still small on the boat, at least it is stationery which makes cooking much more fun. We have been enjoying the idea that if we have cravings for certain foods we can just go out and get whatever it is. The down side of this is that it is going to be really easy to gain the weight back that we lost. I think Mark has gained about 10 lbs. since he got back to the US. Luckily, he still has the pony tail. I am encouraging him to keep it but he is getting tired of the upkeep of long hair and the lack of good pony tail holders for men.
I will end this blog with another great story of just how small the world is. A little over a week ago I got a phone call from Mark while I was out running errands telling me to get home because I wouldn't believe who just pulled into our marina. It was Michael from s/v Finnish Line. If you go back to the blog which I wrote in Cairns, Australia you will discover that he is the man who was in our slip in Wickford, RI the season before we rented it. He left the slip to sail around the world in 2010 and we left a year later to do the same. We first ran into him in Cairns, Australia and then saw him intermittently a couple of more times along our circumnavigation. You can imagine our surprise when he pulled into Mystic Shipyard into a slip right down from ours. It felt like we had come full circle, having both our boats in Mystic together after both finishing our circumnavigations. Amazing!!
In addition selling boats, Mark wants to help others prepare for a circumnavigation. He welcomes any requests for information and support. He also is preparing a list of items that we needed for the trip but that we will be selling now that we are back. So if anyone is interested in spares, safety gear, etc. send us an email.
We are so appreciative of all the emails we have received remarking about the end of our journey. We understand that many will miss all of the stories. We cannot begin to express how touched we have been by all of the support and how many people have enjoyed reading the blog. Although we are happy to be home, Mark and I also feel a great sadness that this adventure is ending. But a new adventure has begun and we will continue to let everyone know how we adjust to firmer ground. Mark says that this adventure may be more difficult than our last. But maybe the rainbow we saw our first day here is a good omen. We will keep updating the blog so stay tuned...