Leaving was anticlimactic, as is so often the case with monumental occasions in my life. I usually don’t feel the emotional impact until later, and then it is prolonged. For a year after Jay and I got married, I still woke up next to him incredulous every morning. After four years of long-distance dating, maybe I had gotten used to the seeming impossibility of my ambitions. Maybe that’s why, even out of sight of land with fathoms of water under our twin keels, I can sit here in the rocking cabin and calmly say, “We set sail today.”
There was no going away party at the dock this weekend to celebrate the long-awaited departure of the “Robinsons.” No fanfare, no pomp—we simply untied the dock lines and left, as if we were going for a day sail. Of course, it is understood that we are only going away for a couple of weeks. But I know better. A couple of weeks and a massive oil spill heading this way could well stretch into a couple of months and a trip to the other side of the Gulf Stream. It may not, but life is funny like that. One moment you live in the suburbs and the next you find yourself cruising along at eight knots in azure seas. Of course it doesn’t always happen that fast, but looking back, it certainly feels like a big change in a short period of time. And if we are back in a couple of weeks, we will be different people who return. A two-hundred mile trip offshore with an overnight sail—out of communication range—represents the next step for us as a cruising family.