Closing the Loop
20 January 2010 | Brisbane, Australia
Of the possible titles that rattled around in my head ("End of the Line", "Death of a Dream", "What a Long, Strange Trip its Been"), I thought "Closing the Loop" was the least dramatic, and most accurate.
By now, you're probably getting the impression that our little South Pacific cruise is winding down. It is. Of the 3 primary elements needed for a trip like this - money, time and desire - only time remains. The other 2 are tapped out. So, we've been taking steps, both small and large, to bring the trip to an end. To close the loop.
Of all the adages one could apply to a big sailing trip, "easier said than done" probably sums it up best. It is certainly an apt description for the process of leaving this lifestyle behind, and preparing ourselves for the new, old lifestyle. Emptying cabinets, sweeping dusty floors, and removing baggage are not just real descriptions of some of the physical tasks facing us, they are also apt metaphors for the psychological adjustments we need to make.
Alright, enough psycho-babble. Poor us, right? Anyway, some concrete actions have been taken in our effort to move on. A biggie is deciding what to do with Meridian. We had originally thought that selling her here in Australia would represent our best outcome, but we didn't fully appreciate the difficulties in that. Not only is Oz not immune from the whole Global Economic Downturn thingie, they also have some fairly-Draconian customs laws and fees associated with importing a foreign-flagged vessel into their fair country. The bottom line is we would have to write them a very large check (which would bounce) before even beginning the long sales process. Unacceptable, yes. Unavoidable? No.
So, our avoidance-tactic du jour is as follows. We have agreed with another cruiser-family to hire them to deliver Meridian back to the States. We will prep the boat for the 4-month, 5,000 mile upwind slog back to North America, but will then take the easy way out and fly home. As they say, nothing goes to weather like a 747.
Nancy and the girls are already booked on a flight next week. They land in San Francisco on January 27th, and will be staying with family and friends for awhile. I'll stay in Brisbane getting Meridian and the delivery crew familiar with each other, and will then fly home around mid-February. Active job-searching will then commence. Wish me luck!
So, though we have lots of mixed feelings about the whole thing, we're feeling pretty good that there is a workable exit-strategy. We'll of course miss the cruising thing, but we are also excited (well, 3 of us are anyway) to get back home and pick up the pieces. A cold beer awaits the first one of you that correctly guesses who will miss this lifestyle the most.
Its been a wonderful, educational, growing experience. Filled with nice memories and great friends, we'll not soon forget our time aboard Meridian. But, alas, the time has come to close the loop.
Thanks for listening, and for being a good, supportive audience. It helped us, knowing that we had good people back home who were following along with us. See you soon.