Read Jim’s journals and Nancy’s logs as they travel from New England to the Bahamas; learning one lesson after another and getting ready to venture into more remote areas of the world
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Jim and Nancy had a different dream for their retirement. They imagined themselves traveling to remote settlements on tropical Islands in their sailboat – meeting the people, learning the history, enjoying the environment, and giving a little back along the way. Their biggest challenge was how to accomplish that without the means of the “rich and famous.” They were a late-in-life couple; starting over in their forties. They didn’t have trust funds and stock portfolios – just government jobs with modest pensions, 401K’s and social security. They didn’t even have a boat yet. What they did have was a plan. Sail with Jim and Nancy on their 41 foot sailboat, Solitaire, during their first year as cruisers.
My husband, Jim, and I consider ourselves to be a pretty normal middle-class retired couple; with one small exception – we sold our dream home in suburbia and moved aboard a 41’ sailboat, along with our two cats. Our new living space is roughly the size of the family room in our former home.
Why? Neither of us is sure that we have a definitive answer to that question. Throughout our lives, we seem to have gravitated toward the unconventional and sometimes adventurous choices. We both had careers in aviation – airline transport pilots, flight instructors, and – in Jim’s case – crop duster, as well. Between the two of us, we’ve flown just about everything from gliders to helicopters; and from hot air balloons to jets. We spent the last 20 years of our careers working as aviation safety inspectors for the Federal Government.
For recreation, we soared in sailplanes; motored along lakes and rivers in a little cabin cruiser; sailed inland and coastal waters in a succession of increasing larger sailboats; learned to scuba dive; and traveled to destinations all over the globe. Together, we have hiked the Great Wall of China, white-water rafted in Fiji, celebrated St. Paddy’s Day at an Irish Pub in London; and explored some of the most pristine coral reefs in the world.
We had a different dream for our retirement. We imagined ourselves traveling to remote settlements on tropical Islands in our sailboat – meeting the people, learning the history, enjoying the environment, and giving a little back along the way.
Our biggest challenge was how to accomplish that without the means of the “rich and famous.” We were a late-in-life couple; starting over in our forties. We didn’t have trust funds and stock portfolios – just government jobs with modest pensions, our 401K’s and social security.
What we did have was a plan.