Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Homeward Bound

The last three days in the canal system have not been very note worthy in themselves, but as our trip comes to a close I find myself reflecting on the past two and a half months of travel.

This journey has been quite remarkable in more than just the scenery. We have seen more of the United States coastline than I ever thought I’d see, from the tropical foliage and beaches of Florida to the beauty and grandeur of the Hudson River. But I find in looking back that it is about so much more than places and people. The memories we’ve made together, the family bonding time, the love, that’s what stands out for me.

I have had so much precious time spent with my family. Andy and I have bonded in a way that would not be possible without spending 24 hours a day together experiencing the world from such a small space. We have also been able to spend this short and precious time in Henry’s life together. Most mothers are alone with their children most of the time. We’ve had time as a family. It has been quite magical. Our pictures and our memories of this time will be treasured always.

Henry has flourished during this trip. He has grown so quickly. I think that he has benefitted from the fresh sea air, the sense of adventure, and the attention and dedication of two adoring parents.

Charlie has really found himself on this trip. Many people along the way have asked us if he is part Schipperke, pronounced ‘skipper key’. We looked online and it was like reading Charlie’s horoscope. The translation for Schipperke is ‘little captain of the boat’. That’s Charlie. He is a sailor at heart. He runs around on deck, barks at anyone who happens to come too close to the boat, and seems right at home when we’re at sea.

Then we have Buddy. He loves the Florida sunshine, and the time spent with us. He does not love the sea, and is a ‘Nervous Nelly’ who sits and quivers when the weather is rough. Buddy is afraid to follow Charlie when he jumps ashore, but piddles every time we pick him up. He does, however, love the adventure of discovering a new place at every port. As Andy often says, it is nice to be able to provide them with a good life when their lives are so short.

Living on a boat wouldn’t suit everyone. The space is limited, life is simpler in a lot of ways, and more complicated in others. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I hope we get to continue this lifestyle for awhile, but even if life doesn’t lead us in that direction I am so thankful for the past five months that we’ve been aboard.

Thank you to everyone who has kept up with our journey and read my stories. You inspired me to write them. I plan to keep up with the blog while we’re at home. My entries may be less frequent, as there will probably be less to report, but I have enjoyed this form of journal keeping and plan to keep it up. Hopefully we will be able to continue our adventures and head south again come autumn.


  1. Deb:
    Thank you for your wonderful blog. We did a similar trip in reverse, leaving Queen City in September 2007 and arriving in the Bahamas for Christmas. Reading about your journey took me back to many of the places that we enjoyed as much as you -- Fernandina Beach, Charleston, Oriental, the Hudson River valley. It was great to be reminded of the natural beauty of the waterways and the friendliness and generosity of the people you meet, both cruisers and local residents. Your frank descriptions of mishaps and rough days made me ache for you and your little ones, the gorgeous Henry and the furry crew. How resilient you are, and what a positive outlook on life!
    Best wishes to you and Andy in the next phase of your life's adventure. I hope to meet you some day when I'm visiting my sister Belinda (Sansei).
    -Bonnie James bonnievagrant@gmail.com

  2. Thank you, Bonnie! I really appreciate your encouragement. I look forward to meeting you too!