Friday, September 12, 2014

Farewell - For Now

Paul pulls up anchor on s/v Sonic Boom

In the past year or so I have made some self discoveries about myself.  Not all of them are particularly positive.  And if you ask me, it's rather late in life give my age.  In other words, you would think I would know these things about myself  by now.  Sigh.  I blame protection of a fragile ego.
s/v Sonic Boom heading out

One painful discovery is that I do not do a very good job of hanging on to really close friends.  Don't get me wrong, I have friends and I even have close friends.  But I have also lost complete contact with several close friends as well.  Is that weird?  It didn't seem weird at all (to me) until recently....see....late in life discovery.  Now it seems sort of weird.  At the very least, it's tough.
Farewell s/v Sonic Boom

I know a woman who meets monthly with a group of girlfriends from high school.  High school!  Now I am not saying I need or even want that.  Actually I don't!  Still, complete lost of contact is....sad. The same protection of ego has not allowed me to explore any further to discover the why, how and such.  I have my suspicions (it's ME) but just like that dark closet in our childhoods, sometimes it's scary to open the door and go inside.
Sailing Farewell to s/v Terrapin Baxter, Kala, Molly

One theory I have is that subconsciously I have been prepping for this phase of my life.  As cruisers we meet lots of people.  That has been said many times before by cruisers that have gone before us, but it bares repeating here for this blog posting.  Friendships are formed very quickly while cruising, much faster than on land.  Often these friendships are very tight while together.  Nothing bonds people like sharing a good Gulf Steam thrashing or a couple of shared days in someone's bilge trying to help fix a major boat issue.  Then just as quickly as we came together, we depart, sailing in different directions on the horizon.  Some of these new cruising friends we continue to meet up with in various anchorages as we venture along driven by weather patterns and cruising locales.  It is after all, a very, very small community when sailing despite the miles. However, other new friends set off for much more distant shores - an Atlantic crossing, to the ABC's, through the Panama Canal or even back to the states and  We don't know when or even IF we will see these friends again.  The Internet, email, social media, Skype/FaceTime can help us stay in touch, however, it's just not the same.
Surprise stateside visit with s/v Amaris - Sean, Tom, Stephen

Everyone deals with it differently.  For me, as the time draws near for someone to depart or for us to depart, I start mentally preparing, gathering strength and toughening myself up emotionally.  I focus on the excitement of coming adventure whether it is theirs, ours, or both, as well as all the prep that comes with departing.  Finally, I chose to believe it is Farewell (for now) vs Good-bye.  This small difference in terminology makes a huge difference inside my head.  I tell myself that somewhere, somehow, we will see these dear friends again.  This keeps me from becoming too emotional and sad.
Farewell Mike on s/v Right Turn - we enjoyed our time together SO much 
The same is true for land friends.


  1. I am not good at good-byes so this is something I am sure to use, Farewell for now. Great post, kinda makes me both happy and sad.
    SV Kooky Dance

  2. Very interesting post, Sabrina! I have had many of the same thoughts and feelings. I've also lost touch with many friends I considered very close over the years. Most of these were before social media, so it wasn't so easy to keep in touch, and I've never liked phones. I only kept in touch with one good friend from high school and NONE from college...crazy. Other older friends I've kept in touch with were from work. Now, being on Facebook, I have reconnected with many (but not all) of the "lost" friends, and I like that. I've also seen how many of my high school friends and acquaintances have kept up with each other better and still get together, and it makes me a little sad that I didn't do that, but many of them still live in the same city we went to high school in, which does make it all simpler.

    Living in Belize (and probably on any island as an expat) is very similar to what you've found with cruising. Everyone is outside a lot, and expats tend to gravitate together since we're in a minority in another nation. So it's very easy to make friends quickly and have some really fun times. But like with cruising, people come and go with alarming rapidity (including us, as it turns out). All the goodbyes are hard enough that when we left Belize, we only told a few of our closest friends and kind of "snuck" away to avoid having to say goodbye to so many. It's hard! And we miss our island friends now. Many are on Facebook, but like you say, it's not the same.

  3. We had great times while we were sharing anchorages and traveling together, and we hope to have those again. BUT, we are still friends and will stay in touch regardless of proximity. Even if it's not the same, just think of it like you are broadening your geographic vacation possibilities :)

  4. Interesting thoughts, Sabrina. I'm sometimes also think I'm better at making friends than keeping them. But there are also some friends that I think of as out of sight, out of mind people, and others that when we meet up, even years later, we continue exactly where we left off. Facebook definitely helps, especially given our ultra-mobile cruiser lives. Interesting timing, BTW, Monkey Fist just did a collection on cruising friendships ... I'd like to add this post.