About me, well let’s see. I have never stepped foot on a sail boat but have spent most of my life around the water including living in Charlottetown, P.E.I. & Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada. I have always dreamed of sailing but have never really had the opportunity. About two years ago I started to plan for the future and for my retirement, I decided that I would not be working past my 40th birthday (I was 29 at the time). I decided that I was going to retire and buy a boat then set sail for foreign ports and see the world while I was still young. I setup a savings plan to ensure I could reach my goal and started to do some research on boats, schools and everything sailing related. Just over a year ago I went through a divorce and kind of lost my way for a time, it finally took my dream to watch the sun rise and set from the deck of my own boat over an exotic lagoon that pulled me around to life again. I reassessed where I was money wise and setup my plans again. Growing up my step father was a general contractor and my grandfather was an auto mechanic, I spent summers helping rebuild engines and building houses. I have no problem working with my hands and would be doing most of the work on my own. Being Canadian I am pretty fluent in French but I wouldn’t mind learning some Spanish before I leave. I would think that English, French and Spanish would cover the majority of the world.
So here I am now, I have booked a sailing school and in 8 days I leave for the USVI to take the first steps towards what I want to do, and what I have dreamed about since I was a kid. I understand that there is a chance I will not like sailing but I also understand that I might get swine flu and struck by lightning on the same day too (the odds are about the same). I have been diligent with my savings and currently I receive just over $6000 in income from my investments a year, this is stable income and currently just re-invests back into itself as it is paid. I also have zero debt; I own my car and rent my condo. I have been in my current career for 10 years. I have been lucky as I have discovered that I don’t like to be in one place for an extended period of time and my career has given me the opportunity to move up and be transfer every 2 years or so if I want.
So this brings me to my cross roads, I have come to a point in my life where I just want to start my grand adventure. I have read up on the debate about ‘go small, go now’ and I think this is just what I might do. This year I had planned a vacation to Spain in July and a vacation to Fiji/Vanuatu for October but I think I will cancel them and bank the money. I am looking at working for the next 11 months and save every penny. I can then look at liquidating my assets (car, furniture, electronics…) as they are no longer needed. I can join a local sailing club and crew to get some experience this summer and then buy my boat next spring. Spend the spring and summer as a live aboard and take 6 months in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River to get use to the boat before leaving in September / October and heading south. I could spend a month or two in Nova Scotia if needed depending on the weather.
The other option is to look at buying a small Abbott 22 this summer and work for the next 35 months spending the summers on Lake Ontario on my Abbott. I could use the extra time to take a small engine repair course and spend some time exploring marine electrical systems. The problem here is that I will be spending money on slip fees, storage and then the need to sell the Abbott before moving to a larger boat when I retire. Of course I could just keep working for the next 5 years saving everything I can and then leave… It will really depend on just how much I enjoy my trip to the Virgin Islands. The earlier I leave the more likely I would have to return to Canada from time to time and work to top up my savings. I could sail for 3 or 4 years, sail home and spend a year working and living on my boat while weather permitted then haul out the boat and rent a small place for the winter. Or I could pick up odd jobs in foreign countries from time to time but I can’t imagine that would be easy. How easy would it be to apply for a work visa in Australia to be able to work for 6 months to a year? Would I even be able to work in Spain or Italy?
After all the research I have been doing I have set my mind on setting sail on a Bayfield 29 for a number of reasons. I would be looking at upgrading the tankage on the boat but this would be my choice to sail around the world spending years in the South Pacific, Australia, the Mediterranean…
So that’s me and that’s my plan. My 2 biggest hurdles right now are sailing school which I will be next week and then sorting out the actual monthly cost of operating a boat. I can easily find info on slip fees and marina facilities locally, provisioning is straight forward for most areas but what about slip fees in the pacific, how about provisioning in South America… I guess I can learn as I go, that will be part of the fun.
Thanks for reading and I would appreciate any feedback from the seasoned sailors out there.
P.S. - My nick Krozet, I have been using it for over 12 years since i started out on the internet. It is based on Crozet, a tiny island in the South Indian ocean.