Making the Decision to Go

August 30, 2022 in Updates - 1 Comment
Photo credit: Onno Kok

Eighteen months ago, we declared that Tim was going to retire in the summer of 2022 and we were going to get ourselves and our boat, Felicità, ready to set off on our world cruising adventure. This decision was a bit of a plot twist, as it was a three-year acceleration of our original plan. From that moment, it was game on. But, let me catch you up on how we made that decision.

Covid’s Silver Lining

The pandemic did not darken our doorstep beyond constant low-level anxiety, social starvation, too much alcohol, and too many carbs–we were beyond blessed. I’d been running my business out of my home for 15 years and because a core service we provide is eLearning, my company offered something our clients suddenly needed a lot of. And Tim, as a sales engineer, serves power plants, so his customers weren’t going anywhere. And, neither were we. We weren’t going out, we weren’t traveling, we weren’t spending much money. That meant we were able to pay off the boat loan and turn our attention to the refit and putting money into the cruising kitty.

Mooring Ball Living

We also moved to the top of the mooring ball waiting list December 2020. We’d been on the list for two years. This meant our slip fees dropped way down since we could move out of the expensive marina onto a cheap mooring ball. Again, this opened funds up for the refit budget and cruising kitty.

View from the mooring ball

OG Wisdom

The other thing that happened was a trip to the Caribbean in February 2021. We flew to St. Thomas post-vaccine to attend a John Kretschmer Sailing workshop. It was me and four OGs (old guys). A few bottles of red wine in, they started grilling us on why we weren’t shoving off now. Tim punted the question to me as I’m the one that was worried about money. I’m a touch younger than Tim so setting off this far from my own retirement makes me a little squirmy. And, it’s not what we’d planned. You’ll hear sailors say that, “plans are written in sand at low tide,” definitely the case here.

After talking candidly about our finances, all the guys doubled down on the, “WHY AREN’T YOU SHOVING OFF RIGHT NOW?” question. And then, Dave, one of our shipmates made a case that I could not ignore. He’s a super fit man who is building a trimaran in his barn as I type, and was 70 at the time. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “This is an important decade. Tim’s body at 60 is markedly different than his body will be at 70. Don’t wait.”

John and Tim a few days after they talked me into shoving off early.

So here we are, two months until we throw our lines off in San Diego for the last time. And one month until Tim retires. Watch this space… lots to share!

~ Gretchen


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1 Comment

  • John R Buzan August 31, 2022 at 8:18 am

    Yeah, that point about health NOW vs health ten years from now is right. Glad you’re getting ready to shove off. Enjoy the adventure!

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    Meet Gretchen & Tim

    Meanwhile, over on Instagram

    Oil change day on Felicità. 🔹 The north winds finally calmed down so we have a three day window to change the oil, replace a broken hatch, change out our jib furling running rigging, and top off our provisions (aka, wine supply). 🔹 We’re hoping to head out Monday and get positioned to cross the Sea of Cortez from Muertos right behind the next Norther that blows through. 🔹 #sailing #boatprojects #oilchange #yanmar #liveabaord
    The Universe will take care of you if you let it. 🔹 It most certainly did for me when it put Hillary aboard Felicità for the days leading up to and after losing my dad. 🔹 We laughed, we cried, celebrated each sunset, swam with whale sharks, played guitar and sang beautiful(ish) harmonies, hiked, she kicked our butts in every game we played, we ate beautiful food, and toasted friendship, laughter, and Captain Steve. 🔹 We set our anchor in seven different anchorages and covered 140 nautical miles round trip. We saw whales, rays, sea lions, all kinds of seabirds, and dolphins.🔹 Shipmates don’t get much better and we miss her already. ♥️ #sailing #catalina42 #liveaboard
    Virtual memorial for Steve Buzan on Friday, January 27 at 4pm ET/3pm CT/2pm MT/1pm PT 🔹 Friends and family are invited to attend to celebrate our Dad. 🔹 Zoom link details will be posted on our Facebook pages a few days prior to the service. 🔹 Details will also be in his obituary on the Darrell Howe Mortuary website in Lafayette, CO
    New post on our tracker. ⛵️⛵️ LINK IN BIO ⛵️⛵️ We’re making moves up the Sea of Cortez. 🔹 #sailinglife #sailing #catalina42 #cruisinglife #daughterswhosail
    I’m touched to the very center of my being by all the texts, calls, emails, and posts. 🔹 I feel your love and support and it makes the loss of the first man I ever loved just a little bit more bearable. 🔹Just dropping in to say I’m hanging in there. In large part due to the fact that Tim, my favorite shipmate and Chief Humor Officer aboard Felicità, is here to ply me with jokes and wine. 🔹 He was the last person to sail with dad on the Chesapeake which makes my heart swell. 🔹 And, also on the scene is my ride or die, Hillary, who is not light in the humor department herself. 🔹 My dad LOVED Hillary and she joined us on several sailing adventures. Also, fun fact… the winter after he retired, he was spending six weeks at my house in Evanston, IL and he painted her living room and dining room. Any friend of mine was a daughter of his. 😍 🔹 Another fun fact is that this song was my ringtone for dad. It is crushing to know he’ll never be on the other end of the line again.🔹 But onward we march. Stephanie and I are planning a virtual memorial… details to come. 🔹 Thank you so much for your kind words, shared memories of my dad, and all around love. 🔹 Your light is pouring in… ♥️
    Day is done…
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