Fighting Feelings of Defeat as Our Plans Take a Hit

We’ve finally come to a conclusion on the big decision that’s been looming over our heads for the past few weeks: Should we move our boat and our family north to the Puget Sound rather than staying in the Portland area for another winter?

Family Dinghy Adventures in Portland Oregon

We WANT to be in the Puget Sound. We want the freedom to get out and sail this boat so much more than we’re able to here on the Columbia River. We want to start transitioning into being a legitimate cruising family, moving from place to place in a more nomadic fashion, finding new anchorages and spending our time exploring.

But, we’ve had some serious setbacks and, after ruminating on the situation for weeks, and now for a couple days since getting some bad news from Brenden’s boss, we’ve finally come to a decision.

We will be staying in Portland until next Spring.

Family Dinghy Adventure Portland Harbor OregonYes, I absolutely feel defeated. For the past couple months, we’ve been telling everybody that we want to try to get up to the Puget Sound. And now we’re not going to be doing it… at least not right now.

The hardest part is that it ISN’T even that we COULDN’T do it. We absolutely could …. but we really need to weigh all the factors and make the responsible choice.

Factors in Considering the Jump from Portland to the Puget Sound

We haven’t been able to get a liveaboard slip lined up anywhere in the south sound.

This doesn’t mean that we’d have nowhere to go – after all, we would be taking our home with us.

But without a home slip, we would potentially be looking at needing to either bounce from marina to marina, utilizing guest docks and at absolutely unknown expense (could be less than we’re paying for our slip in Portland, could be a lot more), OR needing to actually anchor out which we’ve still never done with Mosaic even for one night, let alone an extended period.

Anchoring out during the winter would require some more modifications to the boat (read: MORE money) in order to facilitate being able to keep warm away from shore power and also introduces logistical complications.

Brenden’s boss informed him on Friday that they will not be allowing him to transition to working remotely at this time.

8/6/18 Portland Harbor Dinghy Adventure

There’s still good potential that they’ll be able to “get something figured out for next season” … but no indication of what that will be or how waiting another 8 months will change the situation.

So, of course, Brenden could start looking for a new remote position but would need to commute to Portland for work until he could get that sorted. This would either require that he sacrifice 3-4 hours PER DAY to commuting OR leaving us for the entire work week and only seeing his family on the weekends.

Again, this is something we could do… but would it be worth it? What if something came up and we needed him mid-week? The kids and I would likely be somewhat unsettled bouncing from marina to marina without Brenden there staying with us and I don’t want their first experiences with the cruising lifestyle to be concerning or negative in any fashion.

Benefits to Staying Here Until Spring

On the plus side, if we remain here in Portland, we will likely be able to have the vast majority, if not all, of our debts paid off by May.

Family's Portland Harbor Dinghy AdventureDeciding to stay here over the winter, we will be drawing a line in the sand, as Brenden says, and will absolutely be leaving in May 2019. We will give up our slip at Tomahawk Bay on May 1st and will cast off for the Puget Sound at that point.

Ultimately, we would love to be leaving for our larger cruising excursion next year, but financially we just don’t think it will be feasible after how much we’ve had to put into the refit on the boat. Besides, I really do want to spend some time cruising the PNW and Salish Sea and if we can do that while still earning a regular income then all the better for actually putting money into filling the cruising kitty in order to get ready to really go.

So it’s time to go sailing!

Having made the decision to stay a bit longer, we’re consciously going to ease up on the extreme dedication we’ve had to boat projects lately and are going to shift gears and start actually using and enjoying the boat for the rest of the summer and fall.

We’ll still spend some time on boat projects here and there, of course, but we’ve got the boat pretty much ready to go so now is the time to get in some more sailing lessons, get to the point where we’re comfortable taking her out to sail ourselves and start having some fun before the weather turns cold and wet.

Family Portland Harbor Dinghy AdventureWe’ll do any remaining bigger projects over the winter and will have the boat ready to go by April next year and then we can cast off for the trip north.

Maybe we can even consider being a bit more transient here on the river- maybe move up to Saint Helens as we thought about earlier in the year, or spend some time in Astoria if we can get a slip there…? We’ll see.

I do still plan to start homeschooling both the children and start getting into a groove with that. The ‘how’ of that might change a little since we’ll be pretty stationary still, but I do want to move forward with that aspect of our lives.

So that’s where we’re at folks. Not exactly happy but we do think this is the best decision for us with all things considered. Thanks for reading – this helped me organize my thoughts and come to terms with the decision. Now, it’s time to clean and organize for SAILING.  ~Rachel

Family Portland Harbor Dinghy Adventure

Sunset 8/6/18 Portland Harbor Dinghy Adventure

6 thoughts on “Fighting Feelings of Defeat as Our Plans Take a Hit

  1. We’ve been in your position, delaying and delaying our plans to cut the lines. It can be so frustrating, especially when people are asking “aren’t you leaving?” Best wishes on your plans and dreams!

    Keep up the lovely blog!


  2. Often, there are unexpected gifts that come when making the right long-term decision that brings short-term disappointment. I recently put off a long-held retirement date for a good reason. I am constantly reminded of the personal impact of that decision. So, I just put up a flip chart page in my bedroom and I have started making a list of all the unexpected gifts that will happen or are happening by waiting til June of 2020. Not sure where you would post something like that on the Mosaic, Maybe you can find another way to celebrate those gifts. i feel like we are in this together in some way. Stay strong, Rachel. What you are doing is amazing right now, and you are giving your children and yourselves an adventure that will influence your family for generations. I have a feeling the next few months will be filled with many adventures as well! S


    • Thank you so much, Stacey. That means a lot to me and I definitely agree. It helps that we’ve been making a concentrated effort to really use the boat since deciding to stay. We’ve been sailing and taken her up to Government Island already a couple times for multi-day mini-vacations, with more planned. We’ve toned down the stress over constant bot projects but are still making progress so not feeling totally stalled out. All in all, I know this was the right decision and am happy that we’re now actually getting to enjoy the lifestyle, enjoy the boat, before winter sets in. Yesterday really felt like the beginning of fall but here today we’re going to be pretty warm again. I hope we have a nice long fall to have plenty of time to continue taking the boat out before it becomes too cold to want to do so. And, hopefully, we’ll have another mild winter and to keep from getting too stir-crazy.

      I’m sorry you’ve had to put off retirement but I think your way of managing the decision and the resulting emotions is spot on. Look for the good in life, the gifts. Thank you again and be well. ❤ ~Rachel


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