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

    #reunited with his true love ❤️
    One boat goes into storage and the other one comes out of her winter home. Tim is reunited with his favorite boat, Sprinkles, our #rhodes19 🔹 Time to get her tuned up for racing in Chicago and New Orleans. #sailing #sailinglife #dingysailing #onedesignracing
    The mighty crew of Felicità has made it home to the North Woods of Wisconsin. 🔹 We visited family and friends in Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado 🚗. Celebrated my nephew’s graduation 🎓, got haircuts 💇‍♀️, did some big repairs to the Volvo 🤑, and managed to dodge Covid even though we had a close call 😷. 🔹 We have lots going on this summer, but for now we’re happy to sit still for a minute. And before we know it, it’ll be October and time to return to our girl ⛵️ . #homesweethome #wisconsin
    ‼️ Auntie brag alert ‼️ One of the reasons we hauled the boat out so early in May was to make sure I was in Colorado to watch my favorite nephew, Beres, set foot into his next chapter. @templeuniv , you’re lucky to have this fine young man headed your way! #goowls #templeuniversity #thefutureisbright
    The Hoover Dam tour is well worth the trip. 🔹The only thing that was SUPER weird was the complete lack of acknowledgement that the water levels are dropping to drastic levels. #nothingtoseehere 🙈🙊🙉 #hooverdam #waterreclamation #nowater #lakemead
    I’m making Tim do tourist stuff today as we make our slow way home to Wisconsin. 🤣 #hooverdam #visitingmom
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