Friday, July 15, 2016

Swallowing the Anchor

This is a difficult post to write.  

Bill and I will soon become CLODS.
We have a few months left, but that departure time will be here before we know it.

Some readers (sailors!) will know that acronym.  For the non-sailing folks, a CLOD is a Cruiser Living On Dirt.  The other oft-heard expression is that we are 'swallowing the anchor.'  Either expression tells you that we have reached the end of our cruising years and it is time to retire back to land.  I would continue cruising for another year or possibly 2, but Bill is ready to call it quits now.  And we each have always believed that when one partner is ready to stop cruising, then it is time to stop.  How awful it would be to live on a boat with someone who does not wish to be there.  We have seen that situation in some other cruisers and it never works out well for either partner.  Plus, there are so many things that I physically cannot do anymore due to my painful arthritic hip and damaged knees.  Boat life has become increasingly difficult for me physically.  It is time to quit and find an easier lifestyle.

Lori, Bill and Dan with BeBe in background
BeBe already is under sales contract to soon-to-be new owners, Dan and Lori Carlson of Chicago.  Dan and Lori flew to Trinidad last Friday and spent several days with us going over BeBe.  They presented us with a sales contract and we accepted.  

Bill sent an email to about 20 people who had contacted us over the past 18 months looking for a boat like ours.  All these people were looking to purchase an Amel, preferably a Super Maramu 2000 model such as BeBe. Five people responded that they were interested in seeing BeBe and might be serious buyers.  We did not want to show the boat to anyone until late September as there were several things we wanted to do first -- such as clean carpets and empty some of the overly stuffed lockers.  It is amazing how much junk one can accumulate living on a boat for 10+ years.

But Dan was insistent that because of employment commitments mid-July was the only time he and Lori could make the trip to check-out the boat.  We finally said 'okay' but that they would have to stay in a hotel because we did not want company on board while our 2 grandchildren were with us.  And they would have to understand that the boat has not been cleaned and prepped for sales viewing.  Dan said they wanted to see how we lived aboard anyway; they had already looked at several Amels listed for sale over the past few years but those boats had all been emptied.  They wanted to see ours while still filled with all our 'stuff' -- to see how real cruisers live.

While they were here in Trinidad they had the opportunity to join the cruiser group playing Sunday afternoon Mexican Train Dominoes.  And our friends, Simon and Jenny aboard Fenecia, joined us all for dinner one evening aboard BeBe so they had a small opportunity to see what the cruising life is all about -- the people one meets out here.

Bill and I will be flying home to Houston with the grandchildren for the month of August, then we will return to Trinidad and begin trying to figure out what should be shipped back to Texas and how.  We will sail BeBe north to the US Virgin Islands where we will meet Dan and Lori in early January and spend a few weeks familiarizing them with the unique sailing characteristics of this Amel Super Maramu 2000.

And then Bill and I will be retiring to our little bungalow in Galveston.  Bill has a number of activities planned for retirement:  1) he has been appointed Vice Commander of the Galveston Squadron of the Texas Navy; 2) volunteering at the Texas Lone Star Flight Museum doing maintenance on those old WWII airplanes; and 3) volunteering on board  the tall ship Elissa, where he crewed before we began this round-the-world 10+-year sailing adventure.  I have no idea how my time will be occupied once we are CLODs next winter.


  1. Wow, that's a shock! Your explanation brought tears to our eyes! We were hoping to get to cruise with you next season. You are always welcome here in Montana when you are back on land! It's beautiful here! Watch for our next post with more details! Good luck with this change of direction. We know you will continue your life's adventure in a grand way!

  2. Aww. So Bill, at least, will be a tall ship day sailor. Well, maybe you can get a boat to explore the far flung reaches of Double Bayou and Clear Lake....

  3. Best of luck in all your future endeavors. Bill has been such a fantastic resource on the Yahoo Amel forum, I want to thank him for that, and for volunteering to help us in our search for a boat. Fair winds to you both! Duane & Peg

  4. Bill and Judy, It's been a real pleasure crossing paths with you and following your wonderful blog updates. Good luck with this next phase of your retirement. We and Baraka are currently in Alaska, but otherwise are basically CLODs as well. We highly recommend it! Dave and Jan

  5. I was so sad to read your post, but hope that you will both enjoy the next phase of life. At least you got to do what you wanted to do while you could. I just wanted you to know that your interview "Costs of Cruising" was a great inspiration to me and we did exchange a couple of emails after that. We have been part-time cruisers since that time. So thanks for your encouragement and help!
    S/V Midnight Sun II

  6. Sad but it happens. We said goodbye to our land travels via motor home after our planned 10 years +1. It was sad but as you said "when one of us is ready to stop" stop it is. We kept our RV but used mostly for hurricane evacs now. Condolences and Congratulations. Galveston is not a bad spot to be and grand children are not getting any younger either.

  7. BUGGER WUGGER sadly it looks like we wont get to sail in company with you now......damn blast curses now we can never see how fast your 'old' boat is vis a vis BeBe. SHOCKED is me Margaret is away cruising............along the Danube and without any sails. That sort of news is going I suspect to encourage her to want to sell Highland Fling too, as a fair number of our Caribbean sailing friends are going landward too as age and physical issues catch up with them. Obviously we wish you well but saddened by that news as we were really looking forward to doing some cruising in company and hearing all your stories first hand during the 2016/17 Caribbean sailing season. GUTTED is me I need to go make a cup of tea now.

  8. don't know where my last comment went but I wanted to take a moment to thank you for sharing your voyage and adventures with us all. Judy and I corresponded early on as we were both divesting of stuff and getting ready to leave the land life. We never did manage our circumnavigation so it was especially nice to be along via the blog with your trip. All the very best in your future adventures~ Liz

  9. Judy, Bill -
    This is hard news for us to read. My mind goes back to a wharf in Papeete where we met you in 2008. We have cruised together and apart again and again from then to last year when you once again zigged as we zagged. So many memories...cramming into that little car in Opua with Spectacle to go to dinner in Pahia. Judy babysitting me over a game of Rummikub or Mexican Train while Frank took apart the fwd head on our boat so I wouldn't have to smell the mess. Bill constantly and patiently mentoring and teaching. Remember when Frank told him that if he was dying, he would want Bill to be his physician because he has such a soothing "bedside manner"?! You have both been friends, mentors, advisors, and goodwill ambassadors to not just us but to anyone who has a need or a care to listen and learn. You give unselfishly, you share your knowledge generously and you are great to have at a birthday party in Fethiye or a wedding in St. Petersburg :) You have often been what we call the Advance Party, paving roads for the rest of us and passing on the wisdom of your experiences. We have shared so much together. We look forward to a reunion and a celebration with you when you get back to Texas. We will be at our home in League City for the winter. Until then, we know you will make the very best of your time aboard your beloved BeBe.
    Much affection,
    Barbara and Frank
    s/v Destiny

  10. So sad :(

    This is the end of an era

    Best of luck in your next adventure

    Mark and Cindy
    s/v Cream Puff

  11. I'm so far behind! Just reading this ... sounds like new adventures ahead! Glad to hear you've already found a new home for BeBe. Best wishes for your new chapter .. sounds like you've packed a lot in the past 10 years!

  12. Sorry to read that BeBe was now sold and that you and Bill have now reached the end of your cruising years. WE did not have the opportunity to meet, either in Houston or on the high seas but I want to take this opportunity to thank Bill and you again for your help in sponsoring Marian and I in our quest to become Commodores at the SSCA. I am glad to be able to confirm that your support was key to the success of our request and that we now are proud Commodores of that great sailing community. Since writing to Bill earlier this year we sailed from Sicily to Greece and then Cyprus where our boat Odyssee is now waiting for us to be back next spring.
    Thanks again for all your support.

    Jean Marc and Marian
    s/v ODYSSEE


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