Keeping a fresh perspective

MRCYB which we got to know quite well. 

This was our third summer in the Rias of Spain. It felt good to know where to go and how to get there. But it also felt like we'd 'been there, done that.' We had conversations daily like, "Okay, where do you want to go today?" And I'd answer, "Oh, I don't know, where do you want to go?" There was no drive to explore, to seek out new destinations, to find new experiences. Complacency had set in. We'd drop anchor and not even go ashore. If we went into a marina, it was to do our laundry, fill the tanks, and provision. Then off again. 

I found myself thinking back to America After three years on the Chesapeake, I felt driven to explore further afield. We spent ten years cruising Long Island Sound and found ourselves sailing off farther and farther every year to find new experiences. We started taking off on a Friday evening and dropping a hook in the next bay over. On a long weekend, we'd sail off on a Saturday as far as we could make it, then work our way back. Pretty soon we were overnighting for slightly longer stints, going as far as we could through the night, then taking several days to work our way back. 

Eventually, it was not enough to visit the same old Block Island, Martha's Vineyard or Newport. We knew the harbours from Quissett to Sandy Hook really well. That's when the bug bit to go walkabout. We sold the house, got on the boat and sailed north to Maine and Canada, then across the Atlantic to Ireland. Now, that was an adventure. The following year, we crossed again to the Caribbean and then returned to Ireland the next year.

Soon we were sailing up and down between the Shannon and Donegal getting to know the west coast of Ireland, albeit it is never the same twice. Next, we thought Scotland would be good to see. Then the Rias were calling. But first, we explored Kerry and Cork, a delightful cruising ground. With each new place, a sense of discovery was fulfilled. Once we knew a place well, that went missing. 

Once we left the Rias and got to Camarinas and A Coruna, the clock started ticking again. We had to go ashore, we had to get out bikes out, we have to explore and see what there was to see, not just what had changed. 

And here we are heading back home again. We miss Ireland. We miss having a boat to sail on a whim. We miss taking off from home to go exploring elsewhere. Flying to the boat parked somewhere else is not conducive. We forget what's onboard, we don't remember what needs to be replaced. We can't work on her in the meantime. So home she goes. This time to offload personal gear so we can take her to England to sell. And find a new boat. 

We haven't explored the Outer Hebrides or France or England for that matter. There's a lot of Scandinavia and the Baltic calling to us. But we need a different boat. Not a problem. I think Aleria will find a great new home. We need a boat that can do shallows and cold, despite the heat waves wracking the continent and the Americas. 

We will miss the friends we made in the Rias - Carmella and Carmen, Alberto and Alfredo, Oscar, and so many more. But we'll be back. When we've forgotten what it was like and remember the joy of tapas and Albarino, we'll be drawn back to see what we cherished and how it has changed. I find myself thinking back fondly to the Chesapeake and New England. Perhaps next year, if we're in between boats, we'll charter and join an OCC cruise, just for the craic. Or maybe not. True cruisers. Wanderlust takes over our souls from time to time. And we have no idea which way the wind will blow. 

Always heading toward the sunset.


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