If we haven’t posted in awhile, it’s because we’ve been super busy! In the last month, we got married (in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico), both negotiated 3 months leave from work, rented our condo for the summer, and hauled out the boat.
We now have three months unpaid vacation from June thru August, three times longer than our 1-month cruise last summer. This shifts things into a whole new ballgame. Although it seems short compared to other cruisers who take 1 year sabbaticals (or longer), it’ll be the longest time we’ve ever been away from work, since starting work over 10 years ago. Isn’t that crazy? We know people who have been working 20 or 30 years or more who have never had more than 2 weeks away from work.
We both have great jobs, and are lucky they’re understanding of this – but we’ve also been surprised more people don’t do this. We’ve talked to other cruisers who couldn’t even contemplate taking 3 months off work – they simply assumed it wasn’t possible (when sometimes all it takes is to ask).
After our 1-month cruise last year, I thought to myself “I could’ve kept going.” Had it not been for the broken transmission. After reading books like Vagabonding and Joshua Slocum’s Sailing Around the World Alone, I’ve never understood the American dream of settling down with a car and a house in the suburbs, working 9-5 with maybe one vacation a year. To me it makes little sense to save all your time freedom for the ages where you’ll be less fit and less healthy. Time freedom is what you get when you’re not working – the freedom to do whatever you want with your time. From our cruise last summer, we discovered it’s amazingly liberating.
We’re planning to go to Desolation Sound and probably the Broughtons, with stops in Puget Sound, the San Juans, the Gulf Islands, and the Sunshine Coast / Howe Sound area. More details to come later – but, our timeline is intentionally vague – in cruising you can’t know for sure when you’ll be where or what you’ll want to do.
It’s a bit scary preparing for the longest cruise we’ll have ever done. From our experience last year we know things don’t tend to go wrong when you’re puttering about your home port doing day sails or short overnights. Things go wrong when you’re on a multi-week cruise, in more remote areas away from easy assistance –
Things go wrong when you least want them to.
Packing Up and Renting out our Condo
Fortunately we have a pretty sweet condo in a very desirable location, and Seattle real estate is hot right now. We’ve already leased it.
It’s a lot of work renting out your place though. We’re renting it furnished, so don’t have to deal with furniture, but the work still includes:
- Clean up and get rid of stuff we no longer need
- Pack up and store personal belongings
- Advertise rental
- Draw up rental applications and lease agreements
- Handle logistics like finding a friend to be oncall in case of issues
We’re embracing minimalism, learning to downsize and reiterating maxims like “If you haven’t used it in a year you probably don’t need it” and “If it doesn’t spark joy, toss it.”
One person thought we were crazy to do all this work to rent our apartment for only 3 months. But, unless you live in a tent under the I-5 bridge, your housing is the biggest asset / expenditure you have. Whether you have a mortgage, a fully paid off house, or rent, that’s a lot of money to leave on the table. Renting our condo will actually fully pay for our cruising expenses each month (if it weren’t for the mortgage). It’s pretty awesome to realize that going cruising means our total expenses (including food, insurance, etc) are lower than our monthly housing cost alone on land (not counting food, etc).
We’ll have some more details on the cruising plans coming up later, and probably some more project posts. We’re in the midst of a haul-out at Seaview now, elbow deep in grease and a pile of tools.