Let the Dreams Begin


Making it through a normal day is pretty tough for me these days. And before any conclusions are jumped to, it’s likely not what you think. Much of this feeling started a couple of years ago, but it wasn’t until this past weekend that it actually came to a head.

Let me start with how this all began. I promise I’ll be brief, or as brief as I can, which is typically long.

A couple of years ago some good friends introduced us to some other friends who eventually introduced me to a couple more friends. Now we’re all friends. Follow me so far? So these friends who we were introduced to, and the friend they eventually introduced us to, conceived this idea that they would buy a sailboat, restore it while they learned more about the sea and eventually sail this conceptual boat around the world. Everyone has thought about this exact thing at one time or another, right? I know I sure have, and often.

Most people hearing this brainstorm would have assumed that the buzz from the beers would have worn off and life would go on as normal. What is different though is that these guys cobbled together their life savings and actually bought a boat, in Mexico nonetheless. I can’t even imagine how exhilarating it must have been to hatch such a plan and actually put the cash to it!

After some needed critical repairs and lots of logistical planning, they eventually had the boat moved to San Francisco where it’s been sitting in a slip undergoing what has amounted to a complete cosmetic and mechanical overhaul for the last couple of years.

When I initially saw the boat (via the pictures on their website), it was still sitting in Mexico and it looked huge in the slip http://syzygysailing.com/. However, once it was in San Francisco and I actually stepped aboard, the 40-foot Valiant all of a sudden seemed mighty damn small, especially when I considered being aboard in the middle of the ocean for weeks on end. I think they said the longest crossing, or time at sea, would be while crossing the Pacific and that it would take them approximately four weeks. Yeah, okay, now it just got smaller again.

Okay, let me shift gears.

The friends who initially introduced us to those friends who eventually introduced us to the other friends, who eventually bought the sailboat, of which we’re all friends now, live very close to us and are undoubtedly among our closest of friends. We climb together, camp, ski, have dinner regularly, host parties, attend stuff and generally function as a proper family might. Andrew even performed the wedding ceremony for our daughter (no, he’s not a minister…but it’s okay, it’s Colorado).

For about a year or so we’ve heard rumblings from them about taking a year off to travel around, climbing, biking, fishing and just living the life of a nomad. They of course want to do all this before they have kids, settle into careers, etc. Much like the sailboat, that too has been fun and time consuming to imagine and think about, especially at those times when I should probably be focused on other stuff, like work. But I digress, again.

Well, a few of weeks ago I get an email (with picture attachments of course) from Andrew saying that he had acquired a four-door, F-350, four wheel drive pickup AND an 27-foot travel trailer. Andrew is from England.  They have Mini Coopers in England, not F-350s. So my first thought is that he may be the first Brit to ever drive a truck that I could probably put my Tacoma inside of. And furthermore, he’s assuredly the first to have a goose-neck trailer attached to the posterior of said truck. Let’s just hope those stupid “truck nuts” don’t ever make an appearance. For as much confusion to my senses as that scenario presented, it was also right on par with the unimagineable coolness of the sailboat adventure. They were definitely going for it!

So last weekend Donna and I went over to check out the travel trailer first hand. Not ironically, the very second I stepped through the door, I got the same feeling I did when I stepped on board Syzygy. I was in awe of the potential that this thing held. Not the potential functionality, but the potential for adventure. And this wasn’t some vessel that would grace the campgrounds that are squarely on the piste. This was where they’d live for the foreseeable future, living out a dream very much like that of the guys on Syzygy.  This was taking an idea and not letting the bullshit of day-to-day life or the nay-sayers stand in the way of making it happen. Click on their website in my favorites list — Green’s Travel Blog.

I was really excited for them, super excited actually. And for me to say that about an RV is huge, because I’m a “sleep in a tent” or the “back of my truck if I want luxury”, kind of guy. But seeing the unit, actually sitting inside and imagining all the stories, adventures and memories that this land-based-sailboat will hatch over the next year (give or take) really made me start thinking about planning something so grand for myself, as if I needed another catalyst.

Obviously they can’t drive that thing around the world, but they’ll be circumnavigating North America for the better part of a year, starting with a beefy drive up to Alaska to climb Denali.

As if that wasn’t enough pressure on my sense of wanderlust, Syzygy is scheduled to leave any day now. They’re actually sitting aboard there in San Francisco waiting on the weather to clear. There have been some dynamics that have changed in the last few months, but the dream still lives. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’ll be like to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge and know that for the foreseeable future, my home would be on a sailboat and there would be no boundaries to the adventures if I was willing to go after them.

And I can only assume that when Andrew and Erin pull out of their driveway and out of their neighborhood in a couple of months, they’ll probably feel much the same as the Syzygy guys as they sail under the bridge.

Oh yeah, I probably should mention that though Andrew and Erin will be gone for quite some time, I’ve already made plans to catch up to them later this year in Canada for some mountaineering in the Bugaboos, and then again down in Potrero Chico, Mexico for more vertical shenanigans down in that part of the world. Who knows what else I’ll be able to fill in the gaps with, but hopefully this will keep me satisfied until I can hatch a plan of my own.

Let the dreams begin.


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