It never fails. No matter how hard we try to slow things down, time passes much too quickly and another year has come and gone. I have no idea where it went, but the calendar is telling me it’s over so that can only mean one thing – it’s time for another Year in Review. Here’s a quick look back on 2016:
We went camping.
We weren’t in a big hurry to get back to Cambria after spending the holidays in Wichita last year, so I decided we should camp our way home. I’m not sure what’s wrong with me, but I have a thing for late-winter camping. And my practical side (i.e. David) was distracted at the time, allowing me to run amok (which I did, dragging him from Wichita to New Mexico, through Arizona and across Southern California before heading north to Washington and back to Cambria in April).
It’s not that winter camping is a bad idea. It’s not, especially in the desert. It’s just that our last attempt didn’t go very well: It snowed, it was cold, it was windy and we encountered a drunken fool who decided it would be fun to shoot off a handgun and say things like “I’m going to light you up.” So, why on earth would I want to give it another try? The answer’s simple: My practical side usually loses out to optimism, which is a good thing because we had a great time.
We went to Mexico.
Both David and I have been putting off going to the dentist for years, using just about every excuse in the book to avoid making appointments. But we finally broke down and made a trip in March. We don’t carry dental insurance and it’s expensive in the US, so we opted to go south of the border to Los Algodones, Mexico. I’ve written a couple of posts about our experience (you can read about it here and here), so I won’t go into detail other than to say we’re both really happy with the results . . . and so is our bank account.
We spent a month tied to the dock in Ocean Falls.
Normally the last place you’d find us during the cruising season is in a marina but last winter was really wet (even by Pacific Northwest standards) and we didn’t have time to do many of the jobs we wanted to before leaving Kingston in May. Ocean Falls, in British Columbia’s Central Coast, is one of our favourite destinations and the monthly rates are very reasonable so we decided to tie up and get to work. We didn’t accomplish everything we wanted to, but Cambria left looking much better than she did when she arrived.
We saw some amazing things.
Most years, I spent the winter months pouring over cruising guides and charts, putting together a plan for the season well in advance. But that wasn’t the case this year. We actually completed the Inside Passage last season when we sailed to Alaska, so we decided to concentrate on some of our favourite anchorages instead. And even though we spent a month in Ocean Falls and another in a boatyard, we still saw some amazing things.
We spent time with friends, old and new.
One of the great things about cruising is all of the people you meet. And because we’re regional cruisers, we get to reconnect with them every season . . . we even managed to make a new friend or two along the way.
We spent a month in a boatyard.
In September, the stern gland started to leak and we had to haul-out to replace it. While we were on the hard, David decided he should completely redo the drive-line and changed the engine mounts, flexible coupling, stern gland and cutlass bearing. But what should have only taken a week quickly turned into a month as we waited for parts to arrive from Virginia. Living in a boatyard is never easy and the weather made sure it did its part to make things even more difficult by producing record rainfall for the month (along with several nights of gale-force winds). The weather didn’t improve much from there and by the time we were ready to go back in the water, we’d had enough so we made a b-line for Kingston and tied up for the winter.
What’s in store for 2017?
I wish I knew. One of the few things I can say for sure is that David will be leaving Wichita soon with a truckload of boat gear that needs to be returned to Cambria. I’ll stay with my mom and work through the boxes and boxes of things we have stored here. It’s my job to decide what we want to keep, what we want to get rid of (and either sell it off or give it away), and what we want to take with us when we eventually move back to England. Meanwhile, David will attack some of jobs around the boat that I can’t be there for (anything involving varnish, glue or epoxy fumes makes me sick and turns me into a bit of a nagging wife).
Another thing I’m sure of is that we’ll officially put Cambria on the market. We’ve been dragging our feet, hoping to get a list of “point of pride” jobs completed before we do, but we really can’t wait any longer. It’s time. We’re ready to move on and the only way we can do that is by selling the boat. If we’re lucky, it’ll happen quickly. And if that’s the case, 2017 will include a lot of big changes for us (namely moving to England and starting our search for a narrowboat). But chances are Cambria won’t sell quickly and we’ll be spending another cruising season at anchor . . . in other words, 2017 will be a year of uncertainty for us. Hopefully, that won’t be the case for you.
Happy New Year, everyone!
What are your plans for 2017? Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? Join the conversation below in the comments section or on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear from you!