Monday, July 20, 2015

Two Weeks

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.



Rick said...

Absolutely agree that retirement is a transition. Certainly has taken a while for me. And our cruising has changed too. Now that we live "at the boat" (our house is 25 meters from our slip), we aren't desperate to escape on the weekends, so we actually use the boat a little less.

Last week was different as well. Though we were 8 days on board, we loved spending several nights in the same anchorage, whereas before, we almost never did that. Places to go, things to do. . . relaxing was an active thing. Now we just love sitting around on board and working on little hand-work projects or reading a book.

Heidi Berrysmith said...

sounds lovely ... I need to begin my transition planning although I still have several FT work ahead switching to a 3-4 10-hr days would be a good start. I so enjoy the Tues morning Eolian updates. Hello to Jane!

Robert Salnick said...

Hi Rick -

I am surprised that it has taken me this long. But then I did spend a *lot* longer in the other life...

Robert Salnick said...

Hi Heidi -
Well, 4-10s is still 100% FTE, but I don't know how that would work out with kids at home. If you can pull it off, the 3-day weekend Every. Single. Week. is awfully nice...

And the transition to 75% FTE with 3-10s is a sea change... it is not just fine tuning. The mental attitude changes from work/weekends to life/briefly interrupted for work. I highly recommend it for a year before you pull the plug.

Jane says hi!

Jeani said...

I decided that I would begin 2016 as 'retired'. I have begun my transition by starting my first retirement project in mid October. Stratton will be joining our family then. Stratton will be joining Briggs as our second Doodle, and should keep me occupied until well into next year.

Deb said...

On the garbage issue, we've settled on a solution. We wash and dry any cans and plastic containers and flatten them and flatten all paper and plastic bags and then keep all of that in a dry paper bag. When possible, we put food bits in the water. Only genuine wet garbage goes in the can, things like coffee filters and so forth. This makes much less volume of the hard to deal with stinky type and we can go nearly two weeks on just one bag of wet trash. The dry trash sits in the aft cabin and is no problem because it's clean.

Glad to see you're almost there,

SV Kintala

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