The background story

“Well there goes my dancing partner”, a disgruntled friend mumbled under his breath. It was Thursday night, our weekly go-climbing-then-go-dancing night, but this week there was a surprise. My friend had invited John along, not knowing we knew each other.

I hadn’t seen John in three years. We had climbed together then, when I was at the gym 4-5 nights a week, but had fallen out of touch. Turns out we had taken turns traveling and living in Richmond, missing each other every time.

That summer, we picked right up where we left off, climbing, playing kickball, and generally being goofy. But as the summer wound down, I got anxious- that summer lovin’ was coming to an end and I had an impending plane ticket to Ghana.

It hurt to interrupt such a good thing for so long, but I left with a brave smile and a “see you later”, knowing “later” couldn’t come soon enough. Luckily I didn’t have to wait long. John quit his job, let visa sponsor his plane ticket, and chased me to Ghana two months later. There we made our first joint purchase (the African painting prominently hanging on our boat) and talked about our future.

We were both ready for a new town, new opportunities, and new careers. We wanted a city with rocks to climb, water to sail, and jobs to have. So three months after I returned from Ghana, we packed up the truck with everything we owned and started a 6-week, 7,000-mile, life-changing trek across the great USofA. We friend-hopped across the country, sleeping on couches, in tents, or crammed into the back of the truck. We cooked most of our meals on a campstove, but caved and bought frosties every time we saw a Wendy’s.

When we left Richmond everything was happy and profitable, but by the time we pulled into Seattle, broke and bedraggled, so was the country.  We crashed on the couch of the only people we knew in Seattle for “a couple weeks” (read: 2 months) while we found jobs, housing, and ourselves in this giant congested city. The longer we lived in Ballard, the further we migrated onto the water, until we finally gave up resistance and bought a boat.

We immediately moved to Bella Bella, BC on the boat, then ventured on to Alaska, spending almost 2 years monitoring wildlife, exploring the coast and climbing that very steep boat-ownership learning curve. You can learn more about that chapter on straitsailing.blogspot.com.

Now we’re off on the next adventure, this time heading south to chase the sun. So stay tuned!

2 Comments on “The background story

  1. Halcyon, the boat’s name from previous owners – The moment I heard this beautiful boat’s name I knew it to be perfect.
    Not only that, but a rainbow appeared in the sky the day they bought her – what a portent of good fortune for this new pairing!

    1. adjective
    denoting a period of time in the past that was idyllically happy and peaceful.
    synonyms: happy, golden, idyllic, carefree, blissful, joyful, joyous, contented
    2. noun
    a. tropical Asian and African kingfisher with brightly colored plumage.
    b. mythical bird said by ancient writers to breed in a nest floating at sea at the winter solstice, charming the wind and waves into calm.
    “And what is so rare as a day in June?
    Then, if ever, come halcyon days;
    Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune,
    And over it softly her warm ear lays;
    Whether we look, or whether we listen,
    We hear life murmur, or see it glisten …
    ―James Russell Lowell

  2. Just wanted to wish you both the very best life has to offer. What a wonderful story.
    Question
    Where did you get the boats name and what does it mean? Sail on.

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