So Far, this Independence Thing is Working

kids riding on stern of sailboat

One year ago today Tom and I declared our personal Independence Day, cast off the dock lines and headed out to cruise aboard Sunshine, our 32 foot Freedom.

Since that day we’ve sailed to every state on the east coast of the U.S. I can’t really say we’ve sailed the entire coast, because northern Maine scared us away with fog, and the tip of Florida and the Keys eluded us on our recent jaunt south.We only made it as far as Fort Lauderdale.

tom quincy at wheel

Still, we feel like we’ve accomplished quite a feat. Though many cruisers have gone farther than we in a year, not so many do the trip while also working, and doing major work on their boats. And even fewer sail from New England in the middle of winter.

Though sometimes it’s seemed we were completely becalmed, moving too slowly, or not getting anything done, we’ve actually crammed a lot into these 365 days. We’ve covered something like 2,000 miles (at 7 miles per hour) bought lobster straight off the boat in Maine, sailed with ice coated decks and frozen toes off the coast of New Jersey, rebuilt our cabin top, swam with a gator, watched a manta ray the size of a Subaru jump out of the water just off our bow, grounded our boat, took our grandsons for their first sail and showed them flying fish, found our way in fog and darkness, threw out an anchor in 60 mph winds and ran below, hoping the anchor would catch and the lightning wouldn’t strike, and watched the Superbowl and the World Cup along the way. It’s been a full year, without too many episodes of fireworks.

quincy myles tom at sea

And up until a week ago, we were still doing the whole thing backwards – too far north in the winter, too far south in the summer – while everyone else was going the opposite direction. This July 4th marks us turning over a new leaf, at least for the coming year. We’re staying put in South Carolina for the summer, then in the fall, plan to join the cruising crowd, heading to the Bahamas. Or the Keys. Or the Gulf. The fine points are still up the the air, but we’ll go somewhere south and try a winter of sailing in sunshine instead of snow.

Hope your year has been full of independent adventure too and that the one that starts today is even better.

Happy Independence Day!

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  1. Hi Nancy and Tom, Jeff and I have been enjoying your sailing trips. We think of you every time when DIVA sails by your old house. We miss you but are glad you are having such a wonderful trip. Great new job on the head! Alixe and Jeff

  2. Hello Kids!
    What a good wrap up of a year’s passage. How short a period this last year seems to have been but boy oh boy have the adventures been piled up for this later recounting. Older relations will always wonder if they should perhaps have gone along! Alas most of them chose less independence and stayed in place moored to something solid. But this is your time and you will make the very best of the places yet to be seen and adventures as yet unknown. May all your storms be small ones, all anchorages tight ,all alligators of manageable size and fisherman willing to sell the catch at low prices.

  3. Sounds wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing your adventures. I sure hope Arthur, or whichever the latest hurricane was, didn’t cause you any grief. Blessings to you both! Nancy R.

  4. Hello Nancy, it is fascinating to read your entries and feel your sense of freedom. A freedom that so many of us long for. Yet, you have taken the leap and I don’t hear any regrets! Wonderful. I am sure you are inspiring others to follow their hearts, too, in spite of “fear and trembling”! I just may be one of them! God bless you all on your good fortune to experience God’s creation firsthand. Reuben

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