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Burn the Ships!

After two years of serious work getting ready to set sail on our cruising adventure, tonight is the eve of the first leg of the journey. Tomorrow at 6am, we cast off our dock lines and head north for a one-month exploration of Canada's Desolation Sound and Princess Louisa Inlet. Sailors the world over have these spots on their bucket lists, so we cannot leave the Northwest without seeing them for ourselves. Expect our site to be active with details of our trip.

Canada is a shakedown cruise for our trip down the Pacific Coast this fall, inevitably taking us to the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) where we plan to spend several months exploring. As we were going through the boat today, getting rid of the last things that we just don't need, I have been thinking about Cortez's expedition to the New World in 1519. He was sent by the Spanish king on a conquest that led to the fall of the Aztec Empire. When he landed in what is Mexico today, his crew was suffering from bad morale and they longed to return to their homeland. Obviously, Cortez could have used an HR professional on board, but his way of motivating the crew to accept their lives in the New World was to burn the ships down to the waterline so that there was no going back–literally. The phrase "burn the ships" has become cliche for letting go of the old to free you for what lies ahead. While I believe that Cortez's mission was morally misdirected, to say the least, as I went about my work today, I kept thinking about the last two years that John and I have spent letting go of stuff (farm, house, jobs, furniture, cars) as a similar kind of burning of the ships–save Karma, of course. We have sold or given away a majority of our possessions and now we have what we need aboard our boat, but not much more than that. We are freed of stuff and ready to go. New Adventure, here we come. No turning back.

In the coming days, we will check into a new country from the boat for the first time, make an overnight passage for the first time, and see breathtaking sights in new-to-us places. Currently, the weather is looking good. We are delighted to be going with buddy boats of people we genuinely enjoy–a flotilla of our own, but no conquests on the agenda. Only good times ahead!

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