Tomorrow, I leave the safety and comfort of our home in Ottawa to fly down to join David who has been at the boatyard for almost a month prepping and waiting for me. (bye bye lavender , eucalyptus , epsom salt brined bathtime,,sniff)


David and I left TomCat last year at St. Mary’s Boatyard in the care of Rocky and his amazingly talented staff. We then returned first to Ottawa to check in with family and then to our cottage in Cape Breton. We had an amazing summer fishing, foraging for Chanterelle mushrooms, blackberries, lambsquarters and many other native delicacies. We joined an amazingly vibrant, Jesus-centered church, Journey Church in North Sydney, who is active in their community not just in ways to meet physical needs of members in the community but also to show them the real way to attaining peace , that is learning what Jesus means and who He was. In fact, many in the congregation sail!  We knew we had ended up in the right church when we discovered this. 


David and I also volunteered at the Foodhub in North Sydney, a farm co-operative that produces food products and agricultural products and sells them directly to citizens without going through a middleman (grocery store). We loved working with them and sampling some of the goods, like Cape Breton ginger, beautiful sweet cherry tomatoes, micro-greens and many more items. We likely will volunteer again if given the opportunity when we return. 


I had some family business to tend to with my mother just placed in longterm care and helping her husband who had a serious head trauma adjust to living alone.  Also, both my babies (19 and 24 yrs.) needed their mom to help figure out some career and life planning.  For me being able to take care of family and making sure they are solid before leaving for months out in the ocean is paramount to my ability to enjoy and focus on the task of sailing TomCat. 


I’ve just checked in with Porter Airlines and actually have a window seat. I was able to purchase a direct flight out of Ottawa to Orlando and avoid the nightmare that is Toronto.  David and I travel light and we aim never to check luggage. This makes it a little more tedious carting around the cabin luggage but we have had lost luggage before in direct flights and it makes for a much quicker exit or managing delays or re-routing. 


I am excited and yet after last year’s 9 month stay on the boat, I know I face the hardship of living off-grid with no hot water and limited fridge ability.  It takes me a little while to adjust as everything just takes a little more effort , from making a cup of coffee to taking a shower to laundry. However, the feeling of being alive, challenging yourself with unforgiving and often totally unpredictable elements takes me out of the normal life of mother and retired government worker and transports me to a place where I am challenged every day, whether with comfort issues or navigating the unknown and learning new skills to facing deep fears.  The ocean is alive and can be merciless yet I never can get tired of her beauty and when you take the time to settle in and partner with her, you find a peace and confidence I can’t obtain in normal everyday life.


Tomorrow, David will pick me up at Orlando and we will embark on year two of our adventures on TomCat!  This year our goal is to do our first ocean crossing on TomCat. I’ve done some short crossings when we island-hopped in St. Vincent and the Grenadines but this time its on our baby and we do it alone.  We hope to cross over to the Bahamas this year and sail The Abacos, a cluster of islands that belong to The Bahamas and are rather remote . This means we need to provision well before crossing. 


Well, TomCat, here I come. 

1 thought on “2024 Jan 27 – Year two about to start!

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