Back in May, I wrote about my aspiration to be unencumbered. What I didn’t write about is that at the beginning of the summer, my husband and I wondered, now that we have paddle boards, how much will we care about taking the sailboat out? We pledged to sail when we wanted to, but not to feel obligated to sail just because we had a sailboat we’d invested time and energy into.
Weekend after weekend, my husband threw the paddle boards on the top of the car while I packed a bag with sunscreen, towels and snacks. We drove to lakes and reservoirs, and even drove over to Chesapeake Bay for a three-day paddling weekend. True to my aspirations to minimize stuff, I did not even take my laptop on that trip.
Weekend after weekend, we did not hitch up the sail boat, did not drive it to the lake, did not spend half an hour stepping the mast in the parking lot, did not jockey for position at the boat ramp.
Some days as we paddled, we talked about how it would be a nice day to sail. And yet, we were paddling instead. We’d remember how good it felt to sail, and then we’d remember all the work that went into trailering the boat, the stress of the squirrelly wind and powerboat wakes on the lake, and then we’d dip our paddles into the water and glide in the silence. It was just as nice to paddle, and it was a lot less hassle.
When the end of August rolled around, and our sailboat sat next to the house, unmoved since the end of last summer, we decided it was time to find it a new home. We sold it to someone who was excited about it, an experienced sailor who will love it and sail it.
And we, now, are that much freer. The sale of the boat means no more trailer, no more boat maintenance, no more sail bags and cables and lines. No more mast repairs and hardware replacements, no more stress about whether the wind is exactly right for a good day on the lake, no more 30-60 minutes of prep and breakdown at the beginning and end of a sail, no more restrictions of needing to find an Airbnb with a dock. Without a boat to trailer, we can have the side of our house back for a wood pile (the wood is currently a steep walk up a hill to retrieve), and we’re no longer locked into the kind of car we have, if we wanted to get something smaller.
I feel lighter and nimbler. One step closer to being unencumbered.