There is no sky, just endless clouds in shades of ashen coal meeting up with a horizon of dark nothingness.
I am from a void, traveling towards an unseen destination as rain falls steadily all around me. Every now and again lightning lights up my world, revealing my infinitesimal dot in an endless expanse of undulating waves.
Everywhere I look, it's the same. I think I'm looking out into where I'm going... or is it from where I've come from? Does it matter? I'm here now, and as I survey the darkness around me... I woke up.
This is my earliest memory - a dream that's haunted me since childhood. When I close my eyes, I would see this storm brooding around me. When I open my eyes, I would find myself in a mid 1980's schoolyard in East LA.
Kids are screaming, the air smelled foul, and the adults were giving direction in a language I could barely understand.
A Dense 3 Months
Asa and I remind ourselves often that we've only been here in St Pete's for 3 months.
Not too long ago, we were both in the middle of a Playa.
Just this past February, we were hanging out in our apartment in Portland.
Not too soon after leaving Portland, we were in an RV... somewhere in the US...
1 year prior in December, we were in Seaside - sitting in quiet contemplation of whether we wanted to sail around the world.
We've only been in St Pete's for 3 months.
Thought its been such a dense 3 months that it feels like much longer. We consider that to be a great sign. Maybe it means that we're doing whatever it is that we need to do to attain our dream of sailing around the world.
Slowly, we're get our apartment together - as a base of operations while we prepare and plan.
We're both settling into our jobs - to save as much as possible to finance this dream.
We're continuing to plan - coming across new challenges, finding unknown problems, and figuring out how to handle them.
We're meeting others working on dreams of their own - people who have done it, those who are working towards it, and those who are still contemplating it.
Phases to Help Up Get There
One thing I've learned from this journey that Asa and I have been on is that Dreams Come in Phases.
A quick sweep of the net reveals so many people who are sailing around the world. There are hundreds experiencing greatness in the world. Social media is filled with an unending stream of pictures proving that it did indeed happen.
It's easy to feel hopeless in how unreachable these people's lives are. They are like lights in the horizon, brief flashes that say you're not alone if you can just find a way to get there.
To get there, we're taking a lesson from a blog that we found, Sundowner Sails Again, and breaking up this dream of ours further into more phases. We kinda figure that if we convert an unattainable dream into a smaller easy dreams, it might just be possible:
Phase 0 : Save & Establish
This is where we are now. We don't have the money for our circumnavigation. We haven't found the boat that'll take us around the world.
We do, though, have a burning desire to do this - and a willing and able partner in each other to see that it happens.
In this phase, we're working out a lot of the unknowns. We don't know how much it'll cost or how much we'll need to finance this. We don't know what kind of boat that we'll need. We don't know how to outfit a boat for circumnavigation.
Our research and reading has churned up a lot and we're slowly starting to piece this together.
Comments from others to their posts about costs have further revealed that the cost ranges wildly depending on how you want to do it... and that costs are more dependent on your intentions and what level of convenience or self reliance you're up for.
If you need daily showers, guided tours, a small floating 4 bedroom apartment with a private pool the size of the ocean, and qualified laborers to keep up that apartment... then it'll be very expensive. It can cost USD$5000 a month or more.
If you only need enough to catch your own fish, prefer to explore and discover remote places, and have the mind and muscle to wrench on your own boat... then it can be very inexpensive... to the tune of less than USD $1000 a month... maybe even less.
What I get from all this is not to let the monthly costs deter you. I already know what I'm comfortable with - and so the question of:
"How Much Will It Cost?"
has changed to
"What Do I Need to Do to Afford It?"
I like that much better. We've gone from a discouraging rhetorical question that has no answer to a challenge that assumes the only thing between us and circumnavigation is our will and ability to see it happen.
We've identified additional phases that make sense to us now, and I'll post on them when we get there:
- Buy Boat & Fix Up for Live Aboard
- Move Aboard and Refit for Sailing
- First Cruise & Adjustments
- Sail Eastern Seaboard then Across Atlantic
- Recreate Magellan's Route in honor of the man credited for the first circumnavigation.