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2011 - Bahamas
Paradise Next Door
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Paradise Next Door
Bahamas Cruise
2011
Don at the Top of the Mast
~ Don at the Top of the Mast ~
Bahamas Bound
A Windfall of Spare Time
The blood draining from his face, Don muttered "I just got laid off."

I had just settled down in the salon to quietly work on a website project I was creating for a local business while Don had his weekly teleconference with his employer up north. He mouthed those five, bone-chilling words to me and we both sat stone statue still, listening intently to the abrupt shift in our now suspect future.

As a final thank-you for Don's 11 plus years of steadfast service, the newly streamlined business let loose their invisible network gnomes to lock down all the corporate computer hardware we had on board, and then concluded their callous conference by disconnecting the cell. Thanks for playing the game, don't let the betrayal hit you on the way out.

I initially responded with the reflex repertoire of post-resource reduction reactions; astonished shock, anxious confusion, overwhelming panic, angry perplexity, apprehensive dread, etc. After a rapid moment of blind emotional unrest, I started to rationalize on the reality of our situation.

Don and Diana on Sombrero Beach
~ Don and Diana on Sombrero Beach ~
Being Free
We owned the boat outright, the car was paid off, and renting a slip from the marina was optional. We'd spent the last several years making ourselves and our vessel quite self-sufficient. Given the level of perpetual debt in which most American's live, we were pretty much free of extraneous obligation. Without jobs, our obligation of time spent in servitude was eliminated and we were in a position to truly test our autonomy.

Picking up on my vibe, Don came to the most obvious and logical conclusion for people in our plight. He roused out of his 'Thinker' pose, looked deeply into my eyes and said "Let's go to the Bahamas!"

A Silver Lining
I've concluded that this is what defines a sailor; someone who can turn a gloomy squall into an exciting adventure; someone who knows that a break in the flow doesn't mean a dam is blocking the course, it means fresh new experiences are arriving with the changing tide. A true sailor is a person who, when one door closes, will be found on the outside looking for the wind.
Sunset Over Boot Key Harbor
~ Sunset Over Boot Key Harbor ~

Without haste, I agreed with Don's sensible solution to our windfall of spare time. We had been musing over a sail around the Bahamian islands for some time, but found it difficult to arrange ample time off, and impossible to coordinate a schedule with the good weather gods. We did not want to become like so many other cruisers – forced to return to our cyber-office on a pre-designated date and thus compelled to navigate in nasty storms.

But the call that ended Don's corporate confinement made all the necessities for cruising to our first foreign coast finally materialize. The vessel was equipped and capable, the crew was eager and leisured, and provisions could be purchased with Don's parting pay. Crystal clear cruising waters – HERE WE COME!