Goodbye Estrellita

RV CLIPTAKE in Ten Sleep, Wyoming

A summit in Smith Rock, Oregon
I am in a car (a car!), towing a small fiberglass trailer (a trailer?), in the open prairies of Saskatchewan (what?!), and I'm sobbing.

They say that the two happiest days in a boat owners life are when you buy your boat and when you sell it. Six months ago I left Estrellita 5.10b floating at the broker's in Australia and I knew I was saying goodbye. It was a sad moment, that I marked carefully in my mind, as I motored away from her at sunrise across a glassy calm bay in our dinghy loaded with luggage filled with all of the bits and pieces that were our possessions. Carol was already back in Canada working and I had finished my pre-sale prep and Estrellita was a gleaming beauty. I said goodbye, shed a few tears, and boarded my shuttle.

Now that the boat was selling (while we were on a climbing road trip of course), I expected to feel relief and I did. While the boat was still for sale I didn't feel like I could truly close the chapter. I had a million things I wanted to write about but felt like opening a conversation would be too painful while she was still for sale. She sold, and I felt relief that I could move on.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
I didn't expect to feel such tremendous sadness. I thought I had said goodbye when I left Australia. Yet when she was actually selling I felt deep loss, a physical wrenching in my chest. I had a very real relationship with this inanimate object and that relationship was ending - we were breaking up and it tore at me even though I knew it was the right thing to do.

I also didn't expect the lightness and sudden freedom I felt. I recently read a blog post in which the author spoke about how the commitment of cruising closes off other options. This resonated deeply with me because as Carol and I discuss our long term future plans, when I think of cruising again, at the same time that I reimagine the delights I experienced on the water and in the islands, I fear losing the mountains again. Right now, even though we are in the prairies we are taking regular road trips in our wee trailer (RV CLIPTAKE) and my life has been full of peaks, of forests, of rock to climb. For all of the joys she gave us, boat ownership is a tremendous responsibility, and by choosing cruising we said no to many other ways of vagabonding and of living.

Carol (front - left) & Livia (back - right) summiting a Flatiron in Colorado
I have more odds and ends to say about finishing our cruise. I'm also going to be converting the sailing blog back into travelogue format. I'll be posting much less regularly, but our Giddyup Plan doesn't end with SV Estrellita 5.10b.


  1. It was (and still is) always a tug-of-war between the ocean (sailing) and the mountains (skiing, hiking, trekking) for us. At least, living in Whistler, we get to head down to Pelagia and go cruising (as we are doing tomorrow, heading over to the Gulf Islands). We are happy with our decision to come home. Hope for the same for you!

    David and Michelle
    SV Pelagia

    1. You are living in a great place to find a balance between the two!

  2. Really great to hear from you. Please don't wait so long for your next post. Best of times to you.

  3. There's lots of ways to live life to its fullest! Enjoy them all. And you were near our "home" stomping grounds of Fort Collins when you were in Boulder. Clay has climbed the Flatirons and up in Eldorado Canyon. Have fun! Be safe!

  4. Hi Guys.............sorry to see that you have moved back to land for the time being. We are no living back in the UK, still have my old email davidlee5508 at gmail..........hope to see you sometime, come and visit in England (Summer) or Spain (Winter). Memories of coat hanger fishing and more............David and Susie

  5. Just got into OZ, currently in Bundaberg and headed down to Pittwater where we will list our boat with rod Waterhouse. Kinda the same feeling coming up we think..... Ah well, we are looking forward to New Years Eve in Sydney and (hopefully!) a good transfer of energy to a new owner of our boat.

    Wayne & Dana

    1. Very excited for you guys. Best of luck and hope it all goes smoothly.

  6. My wife and I just found your site this week - watched most of your videos and read a few posts. We love your sense of adventure/exploring and your playful attitude!
    We are in the market for a smaller trailer, might I ask the make/model/size of CLIPTAKE?? Thanks Rick

  7. Ouch! Since my wife departed four years ago after a wonderful cruise to Nantucket, I am debating every winter to let my Pretorian 86 "Sojourn" go. You wrote so well the mix feelings. Thank you!
    My next "adventure" will be a series of national parks, sedona, Grand Canyon... which I never saw. Then, maybe later, the Great Loop ? ? ? ?

    1. Thanks for writing Robert! The road trip sounds fantastic. We've really enjoyed our last few land trips.



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