My husband David retired after a long and satisfying career this year. Everyone – family, friends and work colleagues – knew what his plan was.
On his last day at work he even wore the t-shirt that bore the message “I have a retirement plan. I plan on sailing”, with the same message on his retirement cake.
He has always been a keen sailor since building a dingy with his father during his school holidays when he was about 14. He sailed mainly catamarans for years, then family life took over. As our children grew older he purchased an old trailer sailer which gave him a few more years of sailing. Again family life took over, with elderly parents needing to be visited regularly in Canada, and there were a number of years when sailing was still his passion but there was no boat and no time to enjoy one.
A few years ago our offspring left to pursue their own lives, elderly parents had departed this world and it was time to indulge the passion. He bought a Catalina 309, a lovely yacht in great condition, and had great joy sailing it around the large bay close to home. The sail cruising group, part of the yacht club that we joined, were fantastic people and shared his passion, so friendships were forged and many hours spent talking about …. yes, you guessed it …sailing. During that time he heard of everyone’s nautical adventures and gradually his plans expanded from local sailing in Moreton Bay to adventures further afield. And finally they are on their way.
And finally they are on their way….three newly retired men undertaking a true adventure. All have had extensive sailing experience. Initially they are sailing “in company” as part of a group from the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, so there will be many shared dinners, drinks and camaraderie along the way.
They have been gone nearly three days as I write this, have seen many whales and seem to have settled into their shared life on board the yacht. They sailed from Manly to Mooloolaba, moored for the night, then had a very early start to sail to the Wide Bay Bar entrance which can be extremely dangerous. Fortunately the seas were very quiet as they crossed the bar.
Now they moored behind beautiful Fraser Island, and undoubtedly the crews from all the boats will meet up on the beach around 4pm for ‘Sundowners’ before dinner.
I’ll keep you updated as they travel by adding photos and snippets of their adventures to this blog.
The three amigos had a fabulous sail north to Airlie Beach and saw many whales on their annual migration. One of them flew home while the other two spent about 10 more days enjoying the beautiful water, tropical weather, snorkelling on the reef, and tropical islands. They will all return soon to sail the boat home again, this time spending more time in different islands and inlets. It truly has been, and will continue to be, an example of living the retirement dream.