We’ve talked about it before: our philosophy is to do everything in small increments, making progress one little “baby step” at a time. We like goals, milestones, checkpoints, and measurable results. We might be a little bit weird that way. We also like being totally within our comfort zone.
We moved aboard the boat in the following progression: one night aboard, weekends aboard, a month aboard, then living aboard full time at the dock. When we knew how to live on the boat, we left the dock and hung on a mooring ball in Marathon for 5 months. Weaned of the dock, we were ready for a cruise and left Florida for three months in the Bahamas. At each step we made progress in a one particular area so that we were completely at ease for the next step.
Sometimes we make mistakes, or something unexpected happens to shake things up, but otherwise our day-to-day existence is pretty normal. It is certainly different than if we lived ashore, but to us it has the same sense of normalcy. While we may not notice it all the time, and we probably wouldn’t have described our goals in any such terms, that kind of normalcy in itself is a major success. This is our life, and it works.
Much of the reason for our return to Florida is to gain perspective on our time away, compare the reality to our expectations, reset the expectations that weren't met, and make any necessary changes before setting out again. We already have a pretty good list of lessons learned and hope to address them directly in individual posts.