Happy Holidays From Mystic
19 December 2013 | Westerly, RI
This is the first time At Last has ever felt snow
Dear Family and Friends,
It seems quite impossible to write this holiday letter and express the joy that Mark and I feel to be home safely again. After 20 months at sea and two years of living on At Last, we are home and on land. As we were recently quoted in the World Cruising Club's magazine Latitudes,
"The biggest highlight of our trip was completing the circumnavigation safely, the boat and ourselves all in one piece. Truly, that is the big accomplishment. As we pulled into Rodney Bay Marina, we docked the boat and felt an incredible sense of relief. We were back, all was well."
We have begun to settle back into a "normal" routine. When we landed in Mystic in June, Mark quickly began working as a yacht salesman for Springline Yacht Sales. He traded in his suit and briefcase for khakis and a backpack filled with tools and a camera. I started work at Westerly Hospital in August as one of two social workers there. My colleague and I handle all of the behavioral health issues from the ER to the medical floors and the ICU. I am really enjoying it. I feel incredibly lucky to have found something so quickly. Most days I am leaving for work before Mark even gets out of bed. I remember the days quite clearly when I was the one still sleeping when Mark was going to work.
We moved off the boat in October and into a small cottage on Misquamicut Beach in Rhode Island. We are renting the house for the winter and plan to move back onto the boat in May. We are thrilled to have a washer and dryer again. Unfortunately, the house has only one bathroom - can you believe how spoiled we were to have two bathrooms (aka heads) on the boat! It is nice not having to worry about whether the water tank is full and to be able to just flush the toilet and not worry about the waste again. We are sad when we see At Last out of the water in the parking lot at Mystic Shipyard but she is having a well-deserved break.
We are continuing to live pretty simply. All of our items are still in storage except for our winter clothing so we are managing with what we had on the boat. We have been sharing a car although my parents have been very generous with letting us borrow one of theirs. We have no Christmas tree and only two decorations around the house. Somehow, we adjust and have gotten very used to having so much less.
We just had a great visit with Grace and her boyfriend Matt over the Thanksgiving holiday. Grace is finishing college in the Spring with great grades and will start a co-op program with PP&L after she graduates. We are so proud of her for working so hard in such a tough program. Matt and Grace also adopted a wonderful 120 lb. black lab named Buddy. We so enjoyed visiting them over the holiday.
We have thoroughly enjoyed reconnecting with family and friends. It was a very long time to be away. We are fantasizing about where we might sail to next. We seem quite clear that another sailing adventure is in our future. Don't worry everyone; we will not be going as far or for as long. Just dreaming about it is enough for now...
All our best and love this holiday season,
Janet and Mark