After 18 years of boating, including over two years of cruising involving offshore passages and coastal cruising, we have found new owners for Saving Grace so we can take a different tack (!) on our retirement.
We said it would be two years … or more (well, Mark did) for this adventure, but we feel that after two years it is time for a change.
We are very happy to say we took quite a few things off our bucket list: First, we got to live downtown Toronto for six months a year for six years! That was actually on Marks’s bucket list but I ended up thoroughly enjoying it too. Sailing from Toronto out the St. Lawrence River, seeing Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and sailing into Mark’s grandfather’s birthplace there, and sailing to Bermuda, Bahamas, back to Cape Breton and ending up on the US coast was a dream come true. What a journey!
In numerical terms we travelled over 8,900 nautical miles, including four major offshore passages ranging from 650-900 miles each, and made over 53 blog postings and about 95 different stops!
We cannot begin to count the number of new friends we have made nor tell you how much it meant to us meeting up with family members which we had not seen or even met before! These memories will last us the rest of our lives.
As we travelled, we found we were cruising differently than most other people we met. We were doing it full time while most others were cruising south in the winter but returning home for the summer. Full time travel made it more difficult to be away from family and friends, especially when health issues etc. arose, but it also meant we were able travel without the work of laying up and relaunching the boat each season as well as having the cost of another home. We are proud of ourselves for fulfilling a dream, and especially continuing on when things got rough and didn’t go the way we had hoped. Even though at times we thought it would have been nice having a home on land as well as on water, that is not how we planned it and I am not sure we would have ended up completing everything we did if we had.
So, to those who are still dreaming, we want to encourage you to just do it! Regardless of which way you choose to do it, don’t be one of those ones sitting on the dock just talking about it, make it happen! You won’t regret it!
As to our future plans, we are retiring (for a second time) but this time in Kingston, Ontario. It is a city we loved to visit on the boat and it has a lot to offer. We hope if any of our fellow boaters find yourself in the Port of Kingston Ontario, you will look us up (same email, same contact through our blog which will stay online for a while). It will be our turn to have you for a meal or take you grocery shopping!
Our last stop was here in Gloucester Point VA, at York River Yacht Haven. We absolutely loved it here and we want to thank Lisa and the gang for everything! You all were so friendly and accommodating. Between your friendly faces, the pool, courtesy car, ice cream and support we cannot say thank you enough. We’re also going to miss all the other boaters we met here: Art & Cindy, Don & Lavonne, Bebe & Randy, Kate & Pat, Yanni, Mike & Scrappy, Hope & Steve, Nina & Ron and Molly (sorry if we missed anybody!).
To our surprise, the new owners’ daughter’s middle name is also Grace, so we understand they intend to keep the name! We wish you Fair Winds and as much enjoyment as we had aboard Saving Grace.
So, thanks to every one of you who followed our blog and for all your support. We want to wish everyone all the best for the last time from Saving Grace along with a lot of love and hugs from Mark and Liz!!