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R/V Tender Spirit: Now Land Cruising
Join us as we discover new cruising grounds with our "boat" the RV Tender Spirit. Swallowing the Anchor doesn't mean giving up cruising!
Three Years....and Finally Adjusting
07/19/2015, Unalakleet, Alaska

I realized this afternoon that it has been three years since we sold Tender Spirit. Oh, how I miss her. On the other hand, I have been really enjoying our summers cruising in the truck. I'll tell you, there is a life after sailing. I have had a very difficult time readjusting to this new lifestyle. Every day I daydreamed about our cruising adventures, and I quietly schemed how to return to our cruising life.
Then this summer arrived. We were sharing a beer with a couple from Indiana. We chatted with some year-round RV visitors from all across the US. We exchanged fix-its, and tips for free and low cost camping (best anchorages in Anchorage). It suddenly dawned on me...DUH....we ARE cruising. We just swapped out the keel for 6 wheels. We still have a trusty diesel. OK, the sail plan is simplified, and our anchor has never dragged; the truck goes to windward so sweetly!
I guess this is our new normal, and I am finally not agonizing over our land-locked ways and feeling like I am somehow no longer an adventurer.
This summer I really enjoyed seeking out unusual places to camp. We challenged ourselves to see how little we could spend in camping fees. Well, we spent $65 total from Mid. May through this month - so, mission accomplished.
Our biggest mistake in all of our cruising years has been not having a positive exit plan for when it became necessary for me to re-enter the work force. I got a huge dose of independence, and having that experience will fuel our next adventures as we work towards our permanent retirement.
We just finished provisioning for another exciting school year. I have returned to Bering Strait School District. It was here I started as a first year teacher at Little Diomede. I am back now as the district librarian.
I have the world's greatest job now, traveling to all of our districts 15 villages in small airplanes all year. I love catching up with old friends at Gambell and Diomede. Some of my students now have their own children in school! It's exciting to see where our district is going and especially being a part of it once again.
So, I am back to my old happy self once again, ready to travel...but with pac boots instead of Crocs, and armed with books instead of varnish brushes.

2012 Transitioning back to the Land
Wonderful School Year!
04/30/2013, Point Hope

We had a great school year at Point Hope. We really are enjoying this warm, friendly community! The school year is winding down as whaling season for the community is winding up.
We will be spending the summer in our home state this year enjoying the "Great Land" as we all fondly call it. We will also be taking a look at a couple of cruising boats for sale. We aren't quit sure if we will be purchasing this summer, it all depends on what we find. Regardless, we will have fun cruising on the Alaska road system.
We decided that I will continue to work usual with cruisers lingo...."as long as it's fun" and we are enjoying our anchorage. The lovely part about this arrangement is that we have the summer months to either land cruise or start preparing a cruising boat...if we find one.

2012 Transitioning back to the Land
05/01/2013 | Bria
Yay for being back North! I've never been to Pont Hope, but I've heard it is beautiful. I wish you both the best of luck and if you decide to go on another cross-country sail across the US and you come through Wyoming, let me know!

Take care, Bria
05/01/2014 | betty
friend! great to hear you are back teaching! thanks for posting on your blog, i love your updates. can't wait to read about your summer adventures. bless you!

We are back in the north country now, enjoying Point Hope, AK where work is abundant so we can start saving for another cruising boat.
That's right, I guess we don't make such great land lubbers after all. We are back on a 5-year plan for me to teach and then retire.

We are hoping to find the new "Tender Spirit" and be out there again exploring.

2012 Transitioning back to the Land
10/24/2012 | Rebecca Childress
Sounds like you know how to have fun everywhere you guys! We are still in the Marshalls working and hoping to leave next year with a pocketful of cash to carry on sailing!
Chilkat River
06/04/2012, Haines

The weather is great in Haines this morning. Another sunny day greats us as we enjoy a morning cup of java on the "new boat". We will be loading everything on board the ferry for the passage down to Sitka. We leave tonight on board the M/V Columbia.

2012 Transitioning back to the Land
07/03/2012 | Susan snyder
Are you still in Sitka...please say yes my son Brandon saw you and forgot to tell me it was about 10 days ago. If you are give me a call at 738-6058. I would be so thrilled to see you guys! ~Susan
07/24/2012 | Bria
I LOVE this! I bought an FJ Cruiser in May and have a hard time keeping it parked...too many adventures to be had, I feel. Enjoy that highway...and take notes, 'cause I want to travel it someday. AND when you make it through WY to Yellowstone (if it's next summer or after,) perhaps we can meet up on a weekend. We have a family+friends biannual trip on Memorial Weekend and Labor Day weekend, so let me know!

You're living my dream, friends. Enjoy! xo
Tender Spirit Has New Owners!

Well, we are sad to say good-bye to Tender Spirit. We sincerely hope the new owners love her as we did. If you see her out there, wave and give a cheerful greeting!

We are touring Alaska in the new camper. We have definitely enjoyed seeing the mountains and wildlife. We've seen everything from caribou and moose to ptarmigan and black bears. We have traveled on all of Alaska's highway system. We are now heading down the Marine Highway with stops in Sitka and Wrangell. We will then go back to Haines and then Anchorage to finish out our summer travels.

While we have been cruising, we are also thinking about our future. I expect that we are not...well...quite through with our boating life. Chuck has already told me that our next boat will be called "Spirit Tender"!

So, hang in there as we probably won't be able to really give up our beloved life on the water!!!! I expect it will not look like our past cruising days. Quitting cruising is much more difficult than you can ever imagine!

I am looking forward to getting back into the classroom this school year. I miss the energy and the productivity...and always the challenge to educate young people in a remote setting.

So, it you're out and about and see a truck and camper that is behaving like a sailboat cruiser.....pop on over and lets swap some sea stories!

2012 Transitioning back to the Land
06/05/2012 | George Stonecliffe
Just saw your sailblog comment, and info about selling Tender Spirit. We loved hearing about Spirit Tender! We will try to keep tabs on your rv blog site. Will that be connected to Facebook? Cheers, George and Sue
07/24/2012 | Bria
Oh friends! Tender Spirit has been SUCH a part of your lives and I am sad to see her move on. While you live vicariously through those of us who are out on our own adventures, I'm sure I can say that I'm not the only one to have LOVED living your adventures in TS with you.
New Blog Site
04/20/2012, Anchorage, Alaska

I am building a new blog about our land cruising adventures. I am sure there will be some fun Robin Williams style RV moments as we learn about our new magic carpet, the RV Tender Spirit!

Come join us as we travel by road exploring North America!

Also watch as I learn how to use Wordpress!!!

2012 Transitioning back to the Land
04/20/2012 | Ken & Lori
I remember finding your boat card pinned to a post at a bar in Nuie. Proof we are truly living!
05/22/2012 | Bria
Hi friends! You still look and sound like you are doing awesome. What a great "new boat!" I had an '82 Bronco with a camper on it for years and LOVED it! Right now, I'm looking at possibly buying something next week...perhaps, so I have my own wheels for the summer and to work on paying off while I'm still in AK. :)

I'm back in Wyoming for the summer, practicing being a mom, so if you get this way on your new wheels, let me know!

Graduation in Gambell was really nice this year- we had 6 gratuates: Randy and Iisi Soonagrook, Nok Kaningok were among them. Michelle Slwooko graduated from Mt. Edgecombe and Yimi is super proud, as are we all!

Yimi retired this year and Barb Greene got a job as the counselor in Huslia. Other changes around the village...there isn't much; we lost 8 of our 18 this year, which is better than the 13 we lost last year, but still too much, I think. It kills me 'cause of those of us who stuck around, only a few are doing it because we love what we do...and between us, I don't know how much longer I'm staying in the village- it's hard with a family down south and Josh and I are wanting a baby of our own soon...? Such is.

That brings you up on what's happening with me. I hope you continue to do well and keep up with the blog so we all know what you're up to!

Love you, Bria
New Boat
04/17/2012, Anchorage, Alaska

I thought you would like to see the "new boat". It will take us on new adventures. We will probably name it the RV Tender Spirit.
What do you think?

2012 Transitioning back to the Land
04/17/2012, Anchorage, Alaska

Well, it is way past time to update you on our latest happenings. The past few months have been a whirlwind of plans made (and changed), boat work, tears, and major changes.

We worked hard on the boat going through all the lockers, and tidying up. The woodwork looks fabulous, and the stainless steel is sparkling once again. We hauled her out of the water for the usual bottom paint and zinc chores. Unfortunately, this time would be our final voyage on Tender Spirit. She has a "For Sale" sign on her and within two weeks an offer was made. The last of the surveys are being completed and paperwork is being finalized. It looks like this chapter of our lives is drawing to a close.

I write this with a sad, broken heart, but realize it is the right decision for us. We arrived back in Alaska a few weeks ago and have been busy building a new life for ourselves. I will be returning to my teaching career. I will be teaching at Point Hope, on the North Slope. Right now we are in Anchorage planning our summer travels. That's right, with every close to a chapter, a new one begins.

We originally planned to spend spring and summer in the big city of Anchorage renting a high rise apartment. It was on the 14th floor and located on the corner with great views of the mountains and Anchorage. We thought it would be something new to try that would give us a place to stay until we left for Point Hope, but as you know, all of our plans are written neatly at low tide for a good reason. Instead of paying rent and watching those funds fly away forever, we decided to go cruising, only this time, we will go with a pick-up truck and camper.

We just aren't good at looking out of a window.... and, well...watching the same view for the 717th time would get terribly boring in a hurry, and what about the rest of the day? So we hatched a new plan before we even moved into the apartment. We plan to explore North America by road during the summers and teach in the the winters. As we explore our own country, we may even find some property to do the "homestead" thing with a big garden, chickens and other assorted critters. Between you an me however, I doubt we can settle in just one place. We can't seem to agree on the perfect climate any more than we could agree on the perfect boat!

I will keep this blog up for awhile until I can get a new blog up and running for our new cruising plans. I finally have a decent internet connection to get started on this new adventure blog.

The weather is warming up and the record snowfall is slowly melting. We are waiting another week or two for a warmer weather window to leave Anchorage to explore by land.

2011-New Zealand Part II

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Adventures of Tender Spirit
Who: Joan & Chuck
Port: Sitka, Alaska
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