49. First Anniversary

The other day, it was my first anniversary as a full time live aboard. The first of many, I hope. I can honestly say that I have not missed ‘normal’ life a single day. I know I say that I have stopped working rather than that I am retired, but that is an age thing rather than an intent to keep any doors open. After a year, I can confirm that this is what I want to do. To sail, write a little, meet people, broaden my mind and see places most people can’t get to. And to learn how to dive, kite surf and catch/kill/gut/cook fish.

So what’s it like to live on a boat? Well, Saoirse is not that small. Not for a solo sailor. Short of three nights that I have spent on somebody’s couch, I have slept a whole year on her. Often with guests onboard. It is compact living of course, but there are very few things that I miss from the house I used to live in. A washing machine is the only thing that comes to mind but I hope to remedy that shortly. There are of course times when you wish that electricity and water were infinite resources (as I understand it though, they are not to anyone), that you could have the same sim-card in the phone all the time and that you could just take the car and pop down to the local supermarket and get what you are missing in a heartbeat. But the rest of the lifestyle makes up for the inconvenience of having to generate your own power and water and having to plan your grocery shopping. I can’t believe that I am saying this, but solar power actually works and I don’t need a car!

A lot of people probably think that solo sailing makes for a lonely existence. Granted, I haven’t done that much of it yet as I have had a lot of guests onboard. But whenever I have been on my own, it has not stayed that way for a long time. The cruising community is a funny bunch. We actually help each other all the time. We seem to take pride in having the spare part that the boat next to you urgently needs and whenever someone appears to be in trouble, helping hands turn up in dinghies. Ultimately, I guess we all share some sort of gene that made us actually do this. To take a real risk and realise a dream. The term ‘all in the same boat’ springs to mind.

So if I look back at the past year, I have to say that it has been almost exactly as I expected it to be. And that is not a bad or a boring thing. To me this was never a dream. I always knew I was going to do this and I told everyone about it. Family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Any poor person that I forced to listen. To me it was a plan. And that is a lot more than a dream.

‘Our’ beach on Green Island, Antigua
Kite surfing
Beach party on Green Island
Margaritaville
Olof on Happy Pancake
Rikki’s morning yoga on Nari Nari

7 thoughts on “49. First Anniversary

  1. Hi Tom! Here your colleague from The Netherlands. You made it to the Caribbean! Good for you! Check out Dominica! Good memories there. Beautiful! You should check it out. Cheers – Bas

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    1. Hi Bas. Great to hear from you. I certainly plan to go to Dominica. As soon as they relax their COVID restrictions for entry. At the moment they are among the hardest countries to enter at the moment. We sailed passed the island on our way from Martinique to Les Saintes. I hope all is well in sales and that you are still kicking ass. Best Tomas

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  2. Hello, Tomas ~ My apologies, I’m late to the party, here — what a lovely summary of your first year as a liveaboard on Saoirse and the cruising lifestyle! I so enjoyed reading your perspective as a solo sailor and learning more about the sailing/cruising community! It sounds like a very close-knit community, which I love — the idea of people being ready to offer/lend a hand is something I wish that I experienced where I lived. That’s tough to come by, though, around here. I also learned from your comparison of how it is to live onboard vs on land — a different set of challenges and rewards in each I suppose, but as you mention, you don’t miss life on land (I don’t think that I would, either) and that the joys of living onboard outweigh certain conveniences of living on land. How wonderful for you to be doing what you always knew that you wanted to do! In closing, I had sent an email re: the interview idea that I had; not sure if it had arrived your way. If you are still interested, please let me know. I’ve been compiling some questions in the interim. All the best and fair winds, ~ Chelle

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    1. Thanks Chelle. Sorry, I must have missed answering your email regarding the interview. I would love to contribute. Please send me the questions and I will be more than happy to answer them. All the best. Tomas

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      1. Thanks so much, Tomas, for letting me know — I am grateful! I will work on compiling the questions and forward them to you. Also, one of the things I’d mentioned in my email is if you’d be willing to send a pic of you and of Saoirse that I could use for the interview — if easier for you (as I know data can be limited), I can always take screen shots of pics from your Saoirse website (you could let me know which entry/post where the pics are and I could take it from there). Thanks, again! Fair winds, ~ Chelle

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    1. Sounds good, Tomas! I will be sending the questions to you via email; I’ll also send a notification, here, to let you know the questions have been sent as well. I am so honored for your participation — thank you!

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