Sunday, June 8, 2014

Why the Great Loop?

Why do we dream about the Great Loop?!

Screenshot from Great Loop - Google Maps

When the idea of doing a longer journey by boat hit us, we always talked about circumnavigation. We discussed that for quite a while; there were ups and downs: Sometimes Wolfgang was absolutely fond of the idea and I had doubts, sometimes it was just the other way round.
He always dreamed of getting away from regular live, I searched for a project connected with the journey, like writing about it, doing some research, develop some art projects.
And of course we have many worries concerning the children. Although we are sure they would benefit a lot from a long family journey, still we have to consider education issues as well. Another big point is the financial situation.
We did a lot of reading and followed other people living their dreams and reporting about that in the internet.
I always felt that doing the "conventional" route - Canary Islands, Caribbean, South Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Suez Canal and back to the starting point - is not what I am dreaming about exactly. Although there are many many places on this route I would love to see, there are other spots I would very much prefer to visit, such as Patagonia, Japan, Kamchatka Peninsula, Alaska, Canada and USA....
Since we are not sure, whether we will be able to do a journey over a couple of years, why not start with a shorter project?
We read before about the Great loop and it seems to be the ideal journey for us. It is manageable within one year. Besides the Atlantic crossing the sailing will be close to the shore or mostly on inland waters, which fits to our "Baltic Sea skils". We more or less speak the language. Taking the children one year out of primary school and teach them aboard should be doable. Plus, for a long time I dreamed about returning to New York City, where I worked in 2001, on our own keel....
That sets it: The Great Loop would be a perfect starting point for a change of life. 
Of course there are many many issues which are ambiguous right now.
A big topic still is the financing.
Since we have compulsory schooling in Germany, we will have to get a permit to take the children out of school, which is possible, but depends on the personal approach of different people. 
Madita will definitely not be the right kind of boat, to do such a journey and we will have to sell her before the journey. That is kind of heartbreaking to any of us :-(
We have different options: We could find a new boat here, do the equipping and sail across the Atlantic. Or we could sell everything here, fly to USA and buy a boat there. Currently I prefer the first option, because I feel much more comfortable to put everything in place and get used to a new boat before we start.
And I am sure many questions will pop up while preparing...but hey, we know what we are preparing for and that is a good starting point!

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