Early this morning, Cream Puff slipped her mooring lines as we embarked upon our new life as full time cruisers. What is a cruiser? There are many definitions of a cruiser; see Cindy’s post for her explanation about the different ways people can travel by boat. For me, a cruiser has always been a sailor who sets off and takes their dock lines with them (instead of leaving them on the dock for the return tie up) because they know they are not coming back. I think of cruisers as people whose home is their boat. They have no homeports and travel in only one direction, away from where they have just been. They are nomads on the oceans. Our cruising travels have just begun.
Our departure from St. Petersburg was very unceremonious and we wouldn’t have had it any other way. Our friends knew we were waiting for a weather window to head safely south so it will not surprise them when they next walk our dock and find us gone. We hope they pause and take a minute to reflect on good times spent with us and smile. We hope they can share in the joy that Mark and Cindy are out doing what they have dreamed about doing for so many years.
Friends in the marina have offered words of wisdom and wished us well in our future travels. As they came to the marina to visit their own boats, they’d take a minute and knock on Cream Puff’s hull. Once we popped up out of the hatch like eager inquisitive prairie dogs, we got the dreaded question, “When are you guys leaving?” We were busy working our way through a long list of chores since moving full time aboard Cream Puff and really had no set date as we readied our new home. We’ll be ready when we’re ready was our attitude. We would very politely reply, “Soon”. But, as the list got shorter we found ourselves answering, “In a couple of weeks”. Most recently, we answered, “Next week” and then, “Tomorrow”.
It feels like we have be saying good-bye to people for eons. Before our farewells in St Petersburg we departed Atlanta. We don’t like to say good-bye. We already know for us this is going to be the hardest part of the cruising lifestyle. We know we will meet many wonderful people in our travels, enjoy their company and learn their cultures. Does knowing we will meet new friends help soften the sadness of parting with old friends? Not really, but it helps, a little bit. We will miss St. Petersburg and its people. It is a city for which we have developed a distinct fondness. The downtown area offers a casual lifestyle with every amenity within walking distance of the marina. We will relish the memories here. But for now, it is time to move on. Where? To wherever the wind take us.
To be continued…