Tim, Bill and I have become equal owners, equal partners. If we need to identify one captain on board, we will rotate that responsibility. We will sail West around the world, as participants in a rally called the Blue Planet Odyssey (www.blueplanetodyssey.com). The “BPO” has a theme of calling attention to global issues of climate change and health of our oceans. (More to come about that.) We will be following a predetermined schedule over 2 ½ years, and rendezvousing with other boats at the major stops along the way. And we will be starting the circumnavigation in less than 2 years.
This is not what I had envisioned, by a long shot.
People say, “You’re going to sail around the world with two guys you hardly know, that you met via the Internet!?” Yes, I am. Sometimes I reply, “When at sea in a small boat, stuff will happen with people you DO know, including close friends and family!” Most people laugh and agree. The three of us have a strong commitment to a shared goal, and we have demonstrated a willingness to work things out.
As for not doing it alone: What a relief! Bill and Tim are both good at troubleshooting problems and doing repairs. The fear of “too much boat to maintain” is gone. And splitting the costs three ways is a wonderful thing.
About the west-about route in the tropics, and not sailing below the world’s big Capes: I’m okay with that. If I want to sail around Cape Horn someday, maybe I’ll do another voyage.
About taking 2 ½ years, and stopping “everywhere” along the way: This idea has grown on me. One of the reasons I didn’t want to “sight see” originally is that I didn’t want to deal with all the logistics of taking a boat into new countries and staying in unfamiliar ports. But as part of the BPO rally, most of this is predetermined – minimal work on my part.
About not having the “freedom” to go wherever we want along the way: Although commonly we think of freedom as avoiding commitments, there is also a freedom that comes from being committed. When Hallie and I sailed for a year long ago, we had a strict itinerary because we were meeting friends/family all along the way. There were sailors who thought we were nuts. But as those sailors perseverated about whether it was time to leave or not, and whether to visit island A or island B, I didn’t see them having any more fun than we were having. I’m okay with following the BPO schedule.
About leaving sooner than anticipated: well, there’s my “pull” toward retirement!