Onboard Again

We’re back on Orion after 17 months. She has been sitting in the Port Charlotte Boat Storage yard waiting patiently in the scorching heat and pounding rains while various hurricanes blow by

I came back first by myself. Back to 2 weeks of solid prep. Of 85 humid Florida degrees, sweat stinking shirts, crawling, bending, breathing toxic fumes of paint and varnish. Multiple trips to West Marine, to Home Depot, to visit mom in Sarasota. To finally ride the travel lift and splash her back home. Sails on and ready to roll. Only to find that the alternator was not putting out. Another day of laying on a burning hot engine rewiring and crossing fingers. And then with great joy the engine started and showed 13.2 volts. Yes, charging! Buddy Scott in for this maiden voyage. Out the canal, sails up and headed down Charlotte Harbor. And finally to rest at Pelican Bay. Beautiful old time Florida.

Under the bridge
Headed under the Tampa Bay Skyway bridge

Now the actual boat life can begin. Was wondering a little why I do this as I was sweating and spending in the boatyard. But it’s coming back. The beautiful sunset on the water. The adventures in the dinghy. The ease of movement through the water when the sails are full and the wind is right. The books. The naps. The music. The time. The peace.

It’s been a full and kind of crazy year and a half. The biggest part dictated by Rebecca the ex slowly dying of stomach cancer. Even though I only talked to her a few times in the entire course of events, she occupied my mind and affected the people that I love continually.

kids jumping
Claire (now doctor) in Med school. Ethan (now Marshall) Italy. Maxo (now Malcolm) in Canada

Then there has been the whole focus on the politics of our world right now. What a fucked up mess. And  I was completely pulled back into the daily Trump. The outrage. The horror. The addiction of the morning news.

Much time was also spent driving Ethan up and down the hill. At some point he moved in with me full time, and was without a car. Fairview High School at 7 was a common occurrence.  But honestly I consider the year driving him a rare treat. When do you get to hang out with your 17 year old son for an hour or more a day and have great conversations about music, philosophy, life. Not sad to stop the driving. But the connecting I will miss.

View out the bathroom window. 

Music, tons of music. Deeper into the bass I go. Playing with Egg Puppy, Shrimp Burrito, Leela Kirtan, All Together Now, Reverend Freakchild, Dave’s Slaves. 

Elia and I wonderfully silly and loving. Somehow keeps getting better.

Fixing and selling houses and dealing with an insane partner.

Researching and buying a mobile home park in Detroit.

Pine Grove MHP. Inkster MI.

Built a greenhouse and grew a ton of tomatoes.

Epic camping trips in Scotty the trailer.


Sold my snow removal business.

Started a handyman business.

Yoga every morning.

Life has been full.

And helpful to look at time in chunks. What just happened starting here, ending there. And then noticing the different speeds at which time moves by. And balanced by the different things that happened in that space of time. After trips I tend to check in with brother Ben, and part of the conversation inevitably goes to, “Nothing much happened here at home. Another week or two of work, or basically the same old same old”. Compared to the days going traveling, hiking, camping, with a new adventure around every corner

As I hit 60 this year I want to be able to do more of the adventure and less of the mundane. These days when another year passes I feel older, more tired, and I’m starting to feel the big slow down coming. It didn’t used to be that way. I remember when my mom was my age. She was 60 and starting a new life with Laurie. I see her slowing way down now at 91 and it doesn’t seem all that far away. I feel like I’ve got a window that won’t be open for too long. Kids are up and out. And it won’t be that many years before the energy ebbs.

So what I want to do now is live as fully as possible. Travel, explore, love, play. I’ve never been one for a regular lifestyle at any rate. But there is an urgency to push the envelope and get out there. My way has mostly been just to do it, and somehow the money will find it’s way. Sometimes that works. It’s the way I know for sure.

So for now the vehicle is Orion. The path is to explore together with my sweet Elia. Have adventures while we can. And as we get a little more ready to slow down embrace that energy as well. I’m psyched.. Let’s go sailing…

Elia and meo sarasota
Capt’n and the mate! Sarasota



6 thoughts on “Onboard Again

  1. Good for you both. Fair winds and following seas on your voyage. Know what you mean about the window getting smaller as time speeds by. Would love to join you guys for for a few days of southern sailing after the holidays. Am growing tired of Maine witers starting in the fall. Be well. Tom


    1. Hi Tom,
      Nice to hear from you. Things seeming a little tight on Orion for a bit. Various family and friend joining for legs. Let me see if there is a window and I’ll be in touch. Take care.


  2. Hey Malcolm… nice to hear about your adventures and your life. Believe it or not, I have a new baby… named Orion. – Danny


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