It's an anniversary for us and Nine of Cups. Thirteen years ago today, we arrived in Kemah, Texas and began our lives as liveaboards on Nine of Cups. We had “sold up” and now we planned to “sail off”. As we drove into the marina parking lot with our little U-Haul trailer full of everything that had survived the massive yard sales we'd had and began moving our belongings aboard, I couldn't help but wonder if this would be a grand mistake or a grand adventure.
Looking back, it was a time of excitement and angst. Talk about a major life changes. We two workaholics had just retired two weeks prior. We'd sold off virtually everything we owned except the U-Haul contents and the car we drove to Texas (that would be sold later on). No more house, furniture, closets of clothing, lawn equipment, patio chairs … stuff. We'd trimmed down to the bare bones, so we thought. Once we moved things aboard, we found we still had too much and had to pare down even more.
We spent another month in Kemah, getting used to the boat, adopting a kitten, getting used to living in a small space together, figuring out where to put this and how to operate that. We took Cups for a couple of trips out of the marina, had a couple of adrenaline moments when things didn't go quite as planned and then prepared to leave.
Before departure, we de-named and re-named Cups in a grand dockside ceremony, then got her ready for her first offshore trip … across the Gulf of Mexico. We had a fire in the engine room on that first passage. Another story for another time. Obviously, it worked out okay.
It all seems so long ago and yet, just like yesterday. It has indeed been 13 years of grand adventure … beyond our wildest dreams. As we start our 14th year aboard, we wonder how many more years we have left in us. The plan and philosophy remains the same. We'll sail till we're physically unable or until it's not fun any more. Right now, it's still fun.
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