|Echo Bay sunset|
Transitioning to retirement is not an event... it is a process. And at this stage of the process, we have discovered that our previous usage patterns for the boat have changed.
In our old life, we were off the dock for three or four days at a time (towards the end of my career I was working 3 10-hour days/week, a schedule I highly recommend to anyone approaching retirement as a way to 'ease into' it). Except for vacations, when we were off for longer periods. But that meant that normally, provisioning was not a difficult task - not much different from the normal day-to-day provisioning that goes on while living aboard. Pretty much it was "How are we fixed for coffee and beer?" before we left.
But as I mentioned, our patterns have changed. Now we are typically off the dock for two weeks at a time. This means that the old slapdash provisioning has had to be upgraded. And we need to fill the water tanks before we leave. And... well lots of things. Because our trips now are not just a quick jaunt across the Sound to Port Madison or something, but real cruises instead. The kinds of cruises we used to take once or twice a year and that really do need to be planned for.
We have settled (for now, at least) on two weeks because of a couple of things. First, garbage. Regular readers of this blog may remember that I have mentioned before that our limiting capacity on Eolian is not water, fuel, storage, etc... it is garbage. And in two weeks we reach the "full but still manageable" stage. (After a month we are at the "garbage bags on the stern" stage.)
And second, two weeks seems to us like a nice split in life styles... 50% on shore and 50% living aboard.
What we do while off the dock has changed too. Before, we used to zoom from place to place, rarely leaving the anchor down longer than over night. Why? Perhaps because we subconsciously heard the clock ticking in the background and felt the need to get as much in as we could before we had to be back at the dock. This too has changed. Now we spend days at a time anchored in the same place. Today, for example, is our fifth day at anchor here in Echo Bay on Sucia Island... and we expect to be here for several more days.
So, is this better? It certainly is different than our previous life - I think it is more like the life that world cruisers live.
Retirement is good.