Post Navigandum

After any big event, there’s the letdown. So much energy has gone into planning and anticipating, the experience flies by in moments, and then…?

I don’t think we realized how many major life transitions we were going through in the months prior to the sailing trip. We sold our apartment and almost all the furniture, gave away books, paintings, clothing, and dishes, we both retired, and in the midst of it all, we were planning our grand sailing expedition.

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The weekend before the sale of the apartment closed, we made one more trip to the new place (about 400 km or 250 miles one way), the car jammed with boxes. Then there was one more trip to drop the car at the new marina so it would be waiting for us at the end of the trip, and a train/bus ride back to the marina where we would start our travels.

So lots to organize. Lots on our minds.

Now, the sail is history, part of our personal lore. We’ve had a few days to settle in to our home. And the question that keeps coming up is “Now what?”

The reality of being retired is starting to hit. There are no deadlines, schedules or routines  (even on the boat we had routines). We can do what we want, when we want, and while that’s a novel experience, it is going to take some getting used to.

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Friends who have already retired warned me that it’s an adjustment. I now recognize that, in spite of all the other changes we’ve gone through in the past month, retirement may be the biggest transition yet.

So far, we’ve been doing a lot of puttering, watching waves and clouds from different vantage points, and snapping photos of birds and butterflies.

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Hey, maybe it won’t be so hard after all!

 

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What Time Is It?

Being retired, and sailing, leaves us wondering what day it is and what time it is. Time seems to have a different meaning.

And then, at the Cobourg Marina, I saw this quote. It puts it all into perspective.

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Time is broken down into moments these days. Yesterday ended with this exquisite sunset.

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And today began with an early morning walk along the vast expanse of Cobourg’s beach.

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When we left the marina, there was a strong wind warning in effect…and no wind. After an hour of motoring, the wind changed direction, picked up and so did the waves. It was a rock and roll day with our boat hitting 7.7 knots (in the past, the fastest we’d ever gone was 6.3.) There were some edgy moments too, but we made it, as a team, and are now anchored in the shelter of a small cove for tonight.

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It’s never boring. Always an adventure. Even meals take on a whole new level of exploration…watermelon bruschetta!

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Life is Good

Another perfect day on the water as we continue our way up the north shore of Lake Ontario.

After waiting for the lift bridge at the mouth of the bay, we set sail in gentle but steady winds and after a couple of hours arrived at one of our favourite marinas.IMG_20180708_162850_012

We tied up at the slip and walked into town to pick up a few groceries. That’s one of the challenges on a smaller boat – we have an ice box that we have to regularly stock with ice to.keep things “refrigerated”. That does mean stocking up on fresh food every few days.

It’s Sunday night now, and quiet at the dock. All the weekend boaters have left.

Tomorrow we’ll set sail for a place we’ve never been before. Exciting!

Play Day

All adventures need some quiet time built in. Today was a play day for us. We spent some time ashore (ice cream was a big hit!) And sailed for a few hours in the bay just for fun.

There were several sailboat races going on at the time (small one-person boats) so it was an interesting challenge to get a good sail in while staying out of the way of the racers. At one point we sailed alongside a docked lake freighter and waved at the crew way, way, way, way above us.

We’re anchored in the cove again tonight. About six snowy egret did grace us with their presence just after sunset last night. So we are settled in a bit closer to their nightly perch, waiting for them to soar over the horizon in the orange glow of dusk to roost for the night.

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It Has Begun!

IMG_20180706_125535_010For months we’ve talked about taking a sailing trip when we retire. The moment has arrived and the journey began today. We said a fond farewell to Fifty Point marina and our dear friends there and … hello to adventure!

Waves over 2 metres and strong gusty winds were not how I pictured our first day on the water. But we persevered and made it to our destination — a secluded anchorage in a small cove which is a birdwatcher’s paradise.

There’s no one else here, just us, a gentle breeze, water lapping gently against the boat and heron, osprey, swans and myriad other birds all around. At sunset, if we’re lucky, we’ll see the snowy egret land in their favourite tree.

The journey into retirement has begun.

Joy Is All Around

Have you ever been surprised by joy? Picture yourself loading up a canoe with folding chairs and a picnic, and paddling off to a small island.

You arrive, unload the canoe, and set up your chairs. Lo and behold…attached to one of the folding chairs is the chrysalis of a Monarch butterfly!

Just look at the perfection, and the detail, the tiny decorations of gold on the soft green. Only in nature can you find such beauty and magic. And be moved to tears of joy at the wonder of it all.

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The perfect design of a Monarch’s chrysalis ~ photo by Julie Wise

The Meaning of Life

I used to think that I needed to do a lot of soul searching, look for the deeper meaning in my life, find the “reason” I was on this earth.

While I still believe that self-reflection and slowing down to see things from a new perspective is important, I’ve come to recognize that life’s messages surround us every day. We don’t have to look very far at all.

Recently we were checking into a hotel in a small town. A splash of vibrant colour caught my eye and I glanced over to see this card sitting in a holder on the reception desk. I picked it up, intrigued by the message. On the back, it reads “Keep or pass along to a friend as a reminder to always choose love.”

Although I have kept the card, I’m now passing along the message to you…always choose love. For me that, if anything, is the true meaning of life.

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Always choose love.

 

Embrace!

It’s Valentine’s Day. A day for sharing loving thoughts with those around you. Just wondering…how often do you treat yourself with loving kindness? When you look in the mirror, do you see beauty and joy? Or do you notice extra weight here, a few new wrinkles there, maybe some gray hairs peeking through?

I’ve been following Taryn Brumfitt on Instagram (@bodyimagemovement), an Australian who joyfully embraces all that she is. Through her documentary film “Embrace”, she encourages all of us to recognize that our bodies are “the vehicle to our dreams”.

Tonight, in honour of Valentine’s Day, she has organized a “Girls’ Night In” across North America. You can download her film on iTunes or Google Play or Amazon, watch it at 8pm EST with thousands of people across the continent, and join her for a Q & A session after on social media.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Maybe it’s a good night to snuggle up with the one you love, or host a get-together with friends and check out “Embrace”! I know I will.

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A Valentine’s Day special just for you!

Today I Choose Joy Over Fear

I’m not American. I don’t live in the United States. I didn’t vote in the election. In fact, right now I’m on the other side of the globe.

However, I did hear the collective gasp that reverberated around the world following the election results. And I continue to hear fearful comments today.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to focus on joy and possibility. Find it within yourself, your day, your world. Cherish and appreciate the moments of joy and beauty. Share your joy through images and words so that others may feel uplifted and inspired.

We are all connected. Let’s choose to make the connection a joy-filled one. And, yes, it does make a difference.

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A joyous moment under blue skies

Giving Thanks

This weekend in Canada, we celebrated Thanksgiving.

There are so many things to be thankful for…family, friends, good health, the beauty that surrounds us, walks in nature, a country at peace.

And this weekend’s weather: picture perfect!

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A Canadian Thanksgiving postcard moment!