In short, stay.
Fall arrived while we were in Barkley Sound. We had had great weather for so long, even when other people nearby had rain and we were overdue for a soaking (see soggy clothes at right). The soaking came and stayed. It was now “rainy” season with occasional sunbreaks instead of summer.
After 3 winters of living aboard, Carol and I had both been dreading this winter in BC/WA a bit. Even though we both felt like our decision to cruise “in the area” for our first year of cruising was a very good decision for us, as the weather turned damp and grey it was painful to not head South. We would hear other boats heading South on the radio and there were several long conversations between Carol and I while we were in Clayoquot Sound about whether we should just go. Pull up anchor and sail to California – now. We have all of the gear we feel we *need*; we have enough experience to be ready to get out there and get some more. We’re chomping at the bit…a bit.
In the end we knew that deciding to go South this summer instead of next, while possible, would take away from some of our fun in an area we may not be back to for quite some time (by boat). It would take away from our 3 months of exploration on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, and our spring/summer sailing wherever we explore next year. We knew that once we decided to go, we would start the mad dash to finish getting ready and stop playing where we were. Second, we have some exciting stuff we want to do this winter. Third, we have some annoying boat tasks that will be easier to do while we are near our family and other resources (reducing the suck factor). Finally, we had the opportunity to make some money early in our cruising which is a decision we made prior to cutting the docklines, worthy of its own post at some point. Suffice to say that Carol will be working part-time this winter, doing what he loves. I will be working on the boat during his part-time work (more boat work posts, right?) and we will be playing, on the boat and on land, in between work times. We aren’t stopping cruising by any means. We are doing what cruisers do – padding the cruising kitty when good, easy, lucrative opportunities present themselves, and using the resulting need to stay near major cities in the area as an excuse to explore and play in and around those cities, and also to do some air/land travel – more on that later as well.
South in Summer 2011 as planned. *sigh*