Yesterday, David graduated from the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding Marine Systems program.

The pandemic-year class that David was in was full of really interesting people. Some veterans, some that were looking to start a different career, some who were retired. Most everyone was from different parts of the country and had moved to the Port Townsend area specifically to attend this school. They are all interesting people.

The 2021 Marine Systems class at the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding

Yesterday also made me think about the circle of our lives in this past year. This time last year seems like such a long time ago, because we managed to pack in a lot of life in the last 365 days. We came up here for David to change his life; it’s so important to me that he be happy and enjoy his life.

David learned a lot in these 6 months, including what he was really good at (diesel mechanics), and what he wasn’t so good at (I’ll let him tell you about that). But, he persisted, and he finished, and I’m proud of him for sticking it out despite his frustration and aggravation (mostly at himself).

Congratulations David on making a HUGE life change, and walking away from your 23 year career for a different future and realizing that…

You get out what you put into this life.

In a year, it’s easy to trace the path of how we ended up where we are now. A year ago if you’d told me that we would be gearing up to move onto a 40′ sailboat to prepare to go cruising, I would have wondered what gummies you recently ingested.

  • Rent what is probably the only rental house in Port Townsend on a road trip up here in August 2020. (There’s a serious housing shortage here… 10,000 people in the town, and 5,800 houses, many of which are owned by Bay Area people). They don’t call this place “Berkeley North” for nothing!
  • Leave Point Richmond September 29, 2020. At the time we really thought we would be settling here in the PNW, because Port Townsend was just a larger version of Point Richmond without the large metropolitan area. Neither of us realized what living in a super rural place meant at the time… or what being 2.5 hours from the airport really felt like. (It doesn’t feel good.)
  • Get on the waitlist for a 36′ slip at Port Hadlock shortly after arriving in Port Townsend. We start to learn how really difficult it is to find a slip in the PNW.
  • Within 6 months, decide to sell our 36′ boat at Richmond YC because we can’t get a slip in this area.
  • The new owner of the 36′ boat calls me one morning to talk about the cabinets in our old condo that we had built, because she has the same floor plan and wants to do the same cabinets. During the conversation, she finds out we’re selling our boat, and within a week she’s bought our boat.
  • As is typical of Murphy’s Law, the boat goes into contract the same day we get a slip at Port Hadlock.
  • We start looking for another 36′ boat in the PNW. Turns out 36′ boats are as rare to find as size 8 women’s shoes during a shoe sale.
  • I contact Port Hadlock a month later, and ask to get put on the 40-42′ slip waitlist. She tells me they just had someone leave a 42′ that very day, and asks if I want it. Is that a rhetorical question?
  • We start looking for a 40-42′ boat, and finally buy one after 5 months of searching.
  • David officially retires from a real job and decides to do part-time physical therapy and part-time working on our new boat.
  • And just like that, we take the steering wheel and turn right again, and decide now is the time to get on with the next phase of our lives.

So, here we are within a month of leaving Port Townsend and heading back to the Bay Area, but not back to who we used to be.