It’s been almost a week since we cast off the lines from our longest dockside stay in many years.  We took possession of Brilliant in late September and finished outfitting her in Jacksonville while accomplishing several much needed medical and dental checkups.

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We planned on several occasions to get away from the dock and motor/sail out for an overnight anchorage, just to try things out away from the warm blanket of security that 110 volt shore power and a stable dock can provide.  Each time though it seemed that the weather picked up in these final months of hurricane season that would have made the trip impossible, or at least extremely difficult.  That’s our story and we’re sticking to it!

It’s still holds true in my view that the longer you stay at a dock the harder it is to leave it behind. But as we tell everyone we know who is planning on beginning or continuing the cruising lifestyle, “SET A DATE AND GO”.  If you stay on the dock until you accomplish every one of those things you think you’ll need or add that one more improvement to your boat that you have to have before you leave, you’ll never leave.  Just set a date and get done all you can beforehand, tell everybody when you’re leaving, then cast off the lines, get out there and deal with the inevitable hiccups, breakdowns, and new projects that are now or soon will be on your list.

Over the years several people have told us NEVER to set a date for leaving. They still haven’t left yet.

Cruising is making repairs in exotic places.  We can’t take credit for that phrase, but we remind ourselves very often how true it is.  It’s no fun to realize that your engine won’t crank in the morning, or that you can’t go snorkeling this afternoon because the (fill in the blank) isn’t working, but then there are all of those beautiful sunrises, meeting at a friend’s boat for cocktails, or any of the multitude of other activities that we have enjoyed over our 9+ years of cruising together that remind us why we’re back.

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Whatever your dream is, please don’t wait until the “right time” to start working towards realizing it. The right time will never come and you’ll be second guessing yourself forever.  Set a date, work to it, and go!  You may not hit the date exactly, but you’ll get there. We have never looked back and regretted our decision to leave the dock the day after we got married; and here we are.

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