Next Steps: Part ??? in a Never-ending Saga

Every single time I call to check in with my folks, my mother asks me if I’ve decided what I’m going to do once I’m done on Polar Bear. Sometimes she’ll ask several times in one call (it’s true, Mom. You do). And every single time she asks, the answer remains the same: nope.

You’re shocked, I can tell. But while I don’t have any definitive idea as to what’s next, I am slowly whittling away at the options as I await that burst of insight the universe has always tended to grant me at crux moments in my life. I’ve whittled a couple more options away of late:

The original plan for Polar Bear was to head south to Scotland, Ireland, Madeira and the Canary Islands, there to join the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (known as “the ARC”) and head across the ocean to St. Lucia. When that plan went belly up thanks to the boat’s owner and his horse-puckey shenanigans, I began looking into joining other boats doing the ARC. Boogie and Marlies even had a friend who’s captain of another Challenge 72 yacht who was in need of a crewman to go. I also looked into crewing on some private yacht doing a similar event from the United States, the Caribbean 1500. Basically, the plan was to continue getting experience on other people’s boats.

Keep in mind that with the exception of sailing my Hobie Cat off the beach at Plum Island when I was a teenager, I’ve always been a member in good standing of the OPBYC: the Other People’s Boats Yacht Club. Whether racing or doing deliveries, I’ve always gone to see on a boat owned by someone else.

Well not this time. No more boat bumming…at least not at this time. If I’m going to continue sailing in 2011, it’s going to be on a boat of my own. More likely, it seems a return to shore-based life in some form is in the cards for the near future. And it’s possible I’ll combine a return to shore-based life with the purchase of a boat of my own to play on wherever it is I settle in. Of course, you’re all invited to come share in the fun on the boat if and when that happens.

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