I knew a few things about Mark by our second date. Perhaps I wasn't quite aware of all his personality quirks, his likes or dislikes but I did find out one very important bit of information- Mark wanted to sail. Not just a little day sail around the bay but a transoceanic trip from New Zealand to French Polynesia. This was his life's ambition and the driving force behind his desire to retire by age 50. I being a bit of free spirited, try anything kind of a gal, took him at his word. If this relationship was to be mutually satisfying, a bit of adventure was going to be required. I was "down with that", so we filed it back in the "someday" file.
Christmas and birthday presents were easy for him- cruising guides for French Polynesia, charts for Fiji, sailing watches that not only told the time, but functioned as a compass, barometer, thermometer and split timer. It was fun to buy him these things with an eye to "someday'. I never thought of it as a frivolous, offhand, pie in the sky dream, it was something that was important to him and it was becoming increasingly important to me as well.
Fast forward almost 4 years and we are newlyweds looking forward to our life together. Sailing was still in the far off plans but it was easy to be distracted by work, a newly blended family, home owner duties, friends, kids, inlaws and outlaws etc. While starting our married life and making plans to move back to the UK, life threw us a curve ball. I won't go into details for many reasons but suffice it to say that sometimes through no one's fault, dreams don't come true. It was while sitting around in a deep funk that I picked myself up, wiped away my tears and made a new motto for myself " If your dreams are dashed and don't come true, dream a different dream".
Right. I made the decision that there were no guarantees in life and that if we spent all of our time thinking about "someday" we would find ourselves at the end of our life having done nothing of importance. I suggested to Mark that we should delay our departure to the UK and take advantage of our current proximity to the Carribean. We should spend a year with the youngest kid on a boat, cruising the Caribbean and either South America or the East coast of the US. After realizing that I was serious, Mark signed on and we got down to the business of dreaming a new dream.
That was 4 months ago. Most people take a few years to formulate a plan, purchase and outfit a boat. We would have 9 months before our tentative departure date of November, 2009. If 9 months is enough time to grow a human, surely it will be enough time to hone our sailing skills ( Mark is a bit rusty, I aspire to being a greenhorn), learn all that we can about navigation, safety, route planning, provisioning, financial planning, etc. etc.? It IS daunting and a huge challenge but what in life that is worthwhile isn't?