Glen Cove, New York
 
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Sojourn From The Sea
July 13, 2021
Glen Cove, New York

It was an emotional moment. Dream Time was hauled today for dry storage, she'll spend the next eight months on the hard - her longest sojourn from the sea since we purchased her over two decades ago. It will be a well deserved rest for a boat that sailed harder, and further, than we ever expected her to. The same crew that launched her fourteen years ago to begin the voyage, gathered again to carefully prepare her for stands. Mark, the yard manager, gently operated the travel lift and slings; Moses in the dory to position the tie-back and blocks; and Keith finally to clean the bottom - antifouling paint that was, remarkably, last applied in Australia over three years and 15,657 nautical miles ago. A testament, perhaps, to the product, our application and bottom cleaning regiment.

While most boats in the yard were busy preparing for, or already enjoying, a New York summer on the water, we were removing and folding sails, coiling lines, and winterizing systems for a freeze that, while still months away, will be her first since 2007. I was the only customer in the hardware store buying a shopping cart of antifreeze in the middle of a New York heat wave. Puzzled and quizzical looks followed me down the aisles.

Our sails are the original suit we purchased before the voyage. They don't owe us anything. Our patchwork of repairs and restitching saw us all the way around. Dropping them onto the decks, I thanked them for their loyal service. I thanked the blocks, too. The lines for not parting, the anchors and chain for holding us safe, the autopilot for steering us true, and Dream Time for sheltering us on our journey around the world. These were not just thoughts but spoken words of gratitude that, to a neighbor or passing marina member, may have raised an eyebrow, or concern, for "the guy talking to his boat on D dock". But I did not care. The thanks, the profound appreciation, the pride, and the deep relief of a voyage complete, of a safe return, well, it was just too great, too big of an emotion to be left unspoken.

We decided to store Dream Time not because of any doubts about continuing a lifestyle that we love so much, or even a desire for change (Catherine did not want to leave the boat - a notable reversal considering that she was most uncertain of her desire to live aboard when we first began). But rather, Dream Time's sojourn from the sea will allow us to travel abroad, to hug family we have not seen for years, to meet a new nephew we have yet to hold. And with Dream Time safely ashore, it will allow us time to focus on our next chapter, to explore new ideas, to perhaps share this story in more detail, while carefully planning and preparing for our next adventure together.

Rest easy Dream Time, and, thank you.





 


 



 
Glen Cove, New York
12:44 hrs - July 3, 2021
Home Safe

As fortune or fate would have it, when we officially closed the loop of our fourteen year world voyage, the exact slip that Dream Time departed in 2007 was empty. So seizing the opportunity we motored back into Glen Cove, New York, making familiarly nostalgic turns of the helm towards the exact latitude and longitude where, 50,252 nautical miles ago, we threw off the dock lines to begin our adventure.

We were momentarily transported back in time, guided by an autopilot of a distant yet well rehearsed routine - Dream Time gently gliding toward her slip, past the ferry pier where she had once ran aground at low tide, around the remains of an old rusted corrugated break wall that still seems to sneer at passing boats, and into Safe Harbor Marina. She knew where she was going, she was home. Catherine jumped onto our old dock, like she had hundreds of times before, over a decade ago, snugging off the port bow line on our old cleat before I hopped off to secure the springer and stern.

Completing the dizzying circumnavigation of time, which had us, if only for a moment, question the very validity of our voyage, a neighbor, a familiar face, emerged from the cockpit of his familiar boat, to say “hi”, only this time snapping a photo of us securing our lines, rather than freeing them.

We have been gone for so long much has changed; friends are now married with teenage children; others have moved away to different states; some to different countries, and a few, sadly, have journeyed through this life and passed onto the next.

But much here has comfortably, reassuringly, remained the same. Swans and Canadian Geese still paddle shallow waters, congregating on the sand bar at the marina entrance. Rabbits can still occasionally be spotted hopping amongst the bushes that soften the embankment off our bow. And old friends, on their same beautiful old boats, sail the same waters, continuing a comfortable routine with the New York seasons, one that they have maintained for over three decades. The trees, the shoreline, the seaside homes, the familiar noises and faces of a Long Island yard that, for seven years, helped prepare Dream Time for her voyage, it is mostly as we remember.

Returning to the same marina, to the same slip, on a warm June day identical to that of our departure, distorted our perception, giving us the illusion that our voyage travelled not on a linear time line but rather, like our circumnavigation, wrapped around back upon itself, somehow connecting the exact moment of our departure neatly, and perfectly, with our return. I wonder, sharing this waypoint, would we recognize ourselves today, one couple preparing to sail south at the very beginning of their world voyage, with this older cruising couple who have just returned? What advice would we share?

We have been in New York for only a few weeks. We have moved out from our beloved Dream Time which, remarkably, had been our home for longer than anywhere else during our lives, and we are now back in our small Long Beach apartment by the sea. It is a change that we are still processing. But the rhythmic sound of Atlantic surf cascading up the beach at night is helping with the transition, and making us feel right at home.


Over the next few weeks and months we shall continue to post our progress, specifically, how it feels to transition back to land-life after five thousand, one hundred and twenty three days of living on the sea.