I first dreamed of sailing the world while a prisoner in a Federal Prison Camp (1986). I was there on a marijuana possession with intent to distribute charge. That one in such a position would think of sailing away is easy to understand. It was the magazines in the library, Sail, Cruising World, Yachting. I read them all, all the back issues, every one that came in. In the process I became more and more drawn to the nature of living on the water, traveling to foreign lands. The basic self sufficiency and preparedness that living aboard requires is what attracted me. Even in prison, still the realist, I couldn't see myself doing it as a single parent with three children, which is what I faced upon release .
The dream reemerged as my two sons were reaching their teens. The school in our neighborhood was truly deficient and too much like a correctional institution for my liking. I was home schooling Latham, and I was blessed with the companionship of a woman that shared the dream of cruising. I planned to refinance the house, use the cash to at least get us started in the Caribbean on a Wharram, while we rented the house through some friends. In the process, I hadn't renewed the insurance, (wanted to go with the financiers recommendation).
Applications were filed, the plan was in, we go to the Rainbow Gathering up near Taos to spend the week camping together. Carlin and the kids left for home after the week, leaving me at the Gathering. The boys had a scheduled visit with their mother, and I figured I could hitch home when the work of cleanup was done. Somehow, a candle in Latham's room burned him and the home into death. Carlin and I lived in a bus on the land for over a year, while custody over Rigel was decided by the courts. By that time I decided that the best shot for all of us was to move back to New York, where both Carlin and I have extended family. Rigel was adamant about not wanting to live aboard at this time, he wanted to go to high school, and hang out with kids his age. We rented an apartment in Manhattan, with a view of the Hudson, the focus of my dreams .
It's been almost three years now, and Rigel is showing bold independence, and sometimes resentment of my apparent inability to move on my own dreams. Under that motivation, (as well as a growing association of apartment living with serfdom) I am trying to do what I can to at least get on the water this season (1999). I do want to live aboard for a year or two before I even decide if I can handle a circumnavigation. No matter what I ultimately do, living aboard will provide a vehicle of personal discipline, as well as opportunities to venture into more natural environments to escape the cities stresses, even if just for the weekends...