Saying Goodbye...Again and Again

Something that I was not prepared for on this trip was how quickly we would meet and then have to say goodbye to new friends. Leaving our amazing tribe of friends behind in Santa Cruz, we are all longing for the connections that ground us and make us whole. This can be a hard thing to do while cruising. As our paths cross with other families and like minded sailors, we find that we are all on different time lines, heading to various destinations, with many goals in mind. What this means for us, is that as we meet amazing people and great families, we only get to brush the surface of getting to know them. We start with the basics of where are you from? and where are you going? Then as we delve deeper into the intricacies of lives well lived, raising kids, family connections, etc, we learn that we really, really like some of these families. They are the kind of people that we want to spend months and years getting to know, however with this lifestyle we have days and rarely weeks to spend together before each family is on to their next location. We have met several families that are cruising like ours and a few other families who are land traveling for a year of more. Each has their own stories of exotic destinations that they have visited or are heading to, adventures that have had, and mishaps along the way. We exchange tips on homeschool or boatschool or unschool, books to read, and things to learn. We hang out, the kids have fun, and then it is time for another goodbye. Thankfully social media is helping us all to stay connected.

The first family we got to know was the hardest for us to leave. They were another cruiser family that we met the moment that we stepped on to the dock our first time ashore at an outer island. We first met the 15 year old son of the family who cheerfully asked what boat we were from and complimented me on my hat, which had body boarding fins on it. This quickly led to a discussion about body boarding and surfing and he said that we should meet his parents, which we did later that day. This cruiser family included a Brazilian mom, British dad, and the son was a perfect mix of both. They have been sailing for 16 years! We hit it off immediately and I had a dreamy envy, and mild intimidation, of this beautiful, tan, fit, Brazilian yoga mom and her 16 years of sailing experience. Meanwhile, I had just left my desk job in the middle of California winter. I was white as a ghost, carrying several extra pounds of fluff, and with very little sailing experience to share. After a quick introduction and chat we made plans to go surf together with the Dad and son the following day. They arrived on our boat in the morning and we headed out to the surf break. The Dad gently encouraged us to raise our sails, even with little wind, why not make the most of it. We talked the whole way over to the surf break and the more I learned about them, the more I appreciated their experience and enjoyed their company. They showed us which bommies to avoid, the shortcut through the reef, the best place to anchor. This was our first time anchoring with this boat and they patiently waited as we figured it all out. After a few hours of surfing, the Dad went spearfishing for a couple of hours. When we returned, with fish, he talked me through making a big bowl of ceviche to share on the way back. This began a epic 6 weeks of surfing, diving, and fishing with our new friends.  We would occasionally part ways and visit other islands but we always ended up back at the surf break together. During our time together we learned that their boat was for sale and within a few weeks a deal was done. Brian and I had to admit that we were a little sad, selfishly, as we were enjoying their company and learning a great deal from them along the way. The day came for them to leave and prepare the boat for the new owners. After a few hugs and "see you later" we watched them sailed away for the last time. (see photo). We realized that for the next couple of years, we will be saying goodbye, again and again.


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