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Coming home

We spent the last few days at Preveza packing up our things to bring home, setting aside the items to leave on the boat for its trip home.  We were lucky to find a yacht transport service that just happened to be picking up a disabled mega-yacht in Preveza for a Florida delivery on the 16th of June (just 4 days after our departure).  Ordinarily boats don’t get transported from Preveza.  We were only about 10 miles and about 10 days away from the pick-up date, and we got a real steal of a price for transport.  Unbelievable luck.  Otherwise, yacht transports pick up in France, Majorca(1000 miles away) and sometime in Athens and cost much more (on the order of $20,000+).  The reason we didn’t leave the boat in Athens for transport is that we were anticipating having the leave the boat in storage for several months as we still hadn’t decided how to get the boat home.  Given the steep price of transport, we thought we could leave the boat in Preveza and find someone to skipper the boat home, or do it ourselves, thus putting on as many miles west as possible.  We were pretty lucky to have gotten that far, as transporting from Preveza solved so many logistical problems.  Getting the boat home was a huge logistical glitch we hadn’t solved from the day that we left for the trip, and it is a grand stroke of luck that it we resolved so serendipitously in our last week travel.  I am astonished.

Packing was a sad drawn out affair.  We had little else to do in Preveza other than pack, reminisce, and anticipate our upcoming dramatic change in lifestyle.  No more jumping in clear blue waters for a swim to cool off (and long swims exploring the coast), no more towns to explore, beautiful landscapes to get lost in.  It felt like a breakup – when you know everything in your life will be different, and on one level you know how, and you reluctantly  soldier on because you know it is the direction your life has to go.  Code and I were absorbed in our memories, sometimes alone, sometimes together and we pointed out to the kids what the feeling of ‘confused’ emotions is like: cant wait to just get it over with an leave, cant wait to see home, cant imagine saying goodbye to our boat, which has been our home for the last year.  Wanting to leave Preveza (because we didn’t like it much) but knowing that the next place was home. It was a roller coaster of ups and downs.

We had much less stowed on the boat to bring home later than we thought.  Shipping the the boat in June (rather than an unresolved, open-endeded date) allowed us so much flexibility in terms of what we can pack and leave.  We knew what we could leave, and when we will get it.  We stripped the boat of items on deck, the bimini, dodger, fuel cans, bicycles, dinghy motor, grill, etc.  By the time we finished, she looked like a generic charter boat, not a well-stocked live-aboard.  We set aside things to donate to charity like outgrown clothes and appliances that only work on 220 volts.  Our last afternoon, we went to a local hotel to hang out by the pool.  One great thing in Greece is that hotels open their pools to the public.  It is free if you have drinks or lunch there.  It is a great idea and we took advantage of it.  Had we not gone to the pool, we would have sat and moped.  We sat and moped, but at least it was at the pool.

Leaving the boat for Athens was hard.  I cried, Aethan cried, Code had a very long face, and Graeme (being in a chatty mood) tried to cheer us up with what was going to be good about going back to America.  I just needed to be in the moment of sad, and I was successful.  We took the 9 am bus from Preveza to Athens, which made a 10 minute lunch stop just 5 miles away from Navpaktos.  Ironic.  Sad.  We waved to the town as we passed it by on the bridge separating the Gulf of Corinth from the Gulf of Patra.  The bus route paralleled the our route by sea, and we couldn’t believe how far we went.  We passed by Galaxidi, Dephi, and over the Corinth Canal, which looked unremarkable from the road.  The contrast of the experience of the 45 minute passage through the canal versus crossing it in an instant struck me.  How many other things to we bypass as we go about our busy lives?  We can always take the long way, can we, but it is direction we sometimes need to remember to take.

We arrive in NY in less than an hour.  Soon the hellos, the sharing, the excitement of being reunited with friends and family will replace the melancholy of our return.  We have lots to do right out of the gate (including buying new cars to replace the ones crushed last fall by the tree) just to reintegrate back into life.  When we moved back from California to our old neighborhood, it felt like slipping into a comfortable pair of blue jeans.  I wasn’t all that happy in California.  I wonder if we will find ourselves restless (given our consideration of moving to Ottawa, restless might be what we’re feeling).  Maybe it is a time for big changes…maybe it is not a time for big changes.  Maybe being home will feel betting than we think, and I am sure it will, but one thing for sure is that we’re already talking about our next trip. 

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    Why Knot - A Sailing Adventure - Janet's Log - Coming home

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