We have not said much about our plans to take a year off to go sailing. We have talked a bit about it in some of our previous blogs when we were down on our sailboat, Blue Tale. Well, we have an update….we are planning on taking the year off and meeting up with our sailboat late-April or early-May…..this year!
Rob is on a program with his organization where he only gets paid 80% of his salary for four years and then can take the fifth year off and still be paid for a year. Well, that fifth year is finally here.
I’m a bit less fortunate than Rob as my employer does not have this program; however, I’ve been working for them for over seven years now, my supervisors knew about our plans for awhile and earlier this January I was officially approved for my request for a one-year leave of absence. I won’t be paid of course but at least I won’t have to stress about finding another job while away sailing.
Our plan is to sell as much of our stuff as possible (Rob is even selling the big screen TV) and place the rest within a seacan storage container until our return. We plan to leave at the beginning of April to Toronto to take care of some personal stuff and then fly over to England to visit some friends and spend a few days in Venice, Italy. Yes, we know it is in the opposite direction of where our boat is located!! When we return, we will head straight to our boat and start sailing! Actually, we both agree that we will start slow (we need to build up our confidence in sailing) and go out for daysails, overnighters until we build up our confidence in sailing. Also, there are still a few repairs that need to be done to the boat before we both would feel comfortable with going on long overnight trips. Once comfortable and weather dependent, we plan to sail either in and around Vancouver Island exploring all the islands and the area, go north to Alaska or go south to Mexico and even to Hawaii; we would like to do this all within a year!! We also plan to update and hone our skills with a navigation course that we started about a year ago – work and travel got in the way and we never finished it.
Again this is not our escape plan as we are returning to Nunavut after this year off. But as mentioned before, this year might determine how long we want to stay up in the Arctic and whether we start a new adventure and go sailing full-time.
The only problem is that we need to find a home for our dogs. We can’t take them with us on the boat (our boat is too small, a mere 32 feet) and most importantly they get seasick and don’t like boats! We have not had many takers as no one wants to take care of full grown, medium sized dogs for a year. But we would love to find them a loving home with enough space for them to run around and be free. ~ Sophia and Rob