Monday, 21 April 2014


So it has almost been a year, and well the world "back home" hasn't changed a whole lot since we left on our trip. Jennie and I have finally settled in Calgary, and love the aspect of balance between the ocean and the heat of the tropics, and the mountains and cold weather. Only those sitting in a hot sweaty boat with sunshine everyday will appreciate this, but snow and cold weather is awesome!

I must say the biggest difference we notice between our time cruising and our time in North American society is the level of apathy that exist in society. When cruising, when a problem arises, you fix it. This seems so obvious, but cruisers know that problems build up and they just get worse if not solved. However, back here in fantasy land, people are so apathetic to the world. Problems here in fantasy land, (the real world) never get solved, but boy do they get discussed.

For Jennie and I our goal is to find balance. Hopefully get stable careers, and have children. We have medical cautions with regards to having kids, so doing so on a boat is not an option. So our choice is careers and vacations to the boat. Every cruiser charts their own course.

It is amazing how little people back home help each other out. Out cruising we all would help each other where we could and everyone benefited from the community and assistance. Back here it is a very self centred world and this is a challenge. At the worst there is an attitude of if you win I lose; at the best is positive rhetoric stating "Everything is going to work out fine." The reality is, it takes a lot of hard work a determination for things to work out fine, and a lot less effort if people help each other out.

What amazed me recently was a couple who took off to cross the Pacific with their two children in the same boat as ours. They were friends of friends and active in the online cruising community. The faced very unfortunate circumstances resulting in making the decision to call for help, sink their boat, and save their child's life. People back home roasted them for incompetence. The reality is they did what they had to do to keep everyone alive. More than can be said about a Korean ferry captain. We wish them the best in building back their lives, and for those who criticise them, relax you weren't there.

It is amazing the reactions we have received coming back. Most would think, "What capable young people, such a refreshing change from the current rhetoric on millennials." The reality is, people think we're wild cards, entitled, and risky. I digress, so far finding jobs in our fields has been fruitless, and that's in a booming economy. A few people have been supportive, but for the most part we have faced a wall of apathy, and even more so in the local sailing communities, Victoria was the worst. However Jennie and I really enjoyed putting on a talk for the Calgary Bluewater Cruising Association. We enjoyed seeing jaws drop from a mass of baby boomers as we told our stories. People even stopped looking at their smart phones after about 30 minutes!

The thing we miss the most about cruising is the socialising. We have never had such a social life as when sailing. Here everyone is so guarded and standoffish. It truly is a strange social atmosphere. Plus we spend a lot of time keeping our mouths shut because the social environment is so competitive. Cruising, you could be sitting on a mega yacht one day and doing your laundry up a river the next. Here everyone is keeping up with the Jones's.

The greatest advice I can give anyone at any stage of cruising is, life is life no matter where you are located. Find the little pieces of enjoyment you can and help others. You can control your boat, but not the weather.

On an aside if anyone in Calgary knows of any leads for a finance guy or public relations gal. Contact us!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i enjoyed following your epic boating adventure from here in seattle. i discovered it via the 48ยบ North sailing blog. the cruising community sounds a little like the surfing, standup paddling, and outrigger community here in the pacific northwest (except that our vessels cost a lot less & generally have to come back to land). folks are generous of time, experience, and willing to help a fellow water person out. whether its showing them the ropes or coming to help in time of need.

the job search thing can be tough, no matter what your age/generation. hang in there and keep your head up… you'll be back on the water in no time where all is good.

aloha, jon