When One Adventure Ends and Another Begins

This week my thoughts flow toward the idea of transition. This week approaches the Biblical time of Shavuot, some may know as Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks. It is a very important time of the Biblical year. Shavuot is the fourth of the seven Biblical feasts. It is represented by the main candle in the menorah and it signifies the center of the year, all activity flowing from it. It separates the spring feasts from the fall feasts, and because of this it marks an important time of change. It stands solidly each year as our doorway from one season into the next.

It is in this time we also find ourselves transitioning from one incredible season into another. So much has happened since we began the journey back up the coast of Florida from the Bahamas preparing to leave s/v Gromit for the Summer. We knew we wanted to spend the Summer on land with family and friends, but as we traveled back North to Green Cove Springs, Florida, we felt it was time for even greater changes.

We had about two solid weeks of travel (it took longer because in reality we didn’t travel everyday) to make it to the marina by the middle of May to pack and return to Houston by the end of May. It was a long few weeks. As we made our way to our destination, preparing to be on land again, the joy we once felt in cruising together, exploring the coast line, and seeing new places slowly began to fade. Our fridge dying in the Bahamas, while seemed possible to do without at first, now seemed unbearable. I longed to go to the store and get produce that would last more than two days in the hot cabin, but we didn’t want to fix the fridge just yet, knowing we would soon be visiting land. Our seven fans throughout the boat began to malfunction intermittedly. Haven, our one year old, was blossoming from babyhood to toddlerhood, but we were constantly relegating her to her crib because she loved to climb. It seemed it was all too easy for her to get into everything we owned, even with babyproofing, and she didn’t have the space she needed to explore freely. We were hot and tired and not sure what was next for us.

We started discussing options for a new season for us. Liveaboard and stay stationary? Being in one place at a marina would at least give us some stability and familiarity. Would Mike go to school and change careers? Which school and where? Would we live on land somewhere else for a while? We discussed every option you could think of. Through an interesting chain of events, Mike began talking with his former boss and co-worker, and decided to accept a job at the company he previously worked for, a job that he had about five years ago and really enjoyed.

At first I (Brittany) was really hesitant when Mike was discussing taking the job. I was looking forward to visiting family in Houston, but return to a job and house? Give up cruising? Stop traveling? It took some time to process what this transition would mean, and unfortunately, a lot of my hesitation stemmed from what others would think. Would they think we’re giving up? We couldn’t handle this life? Weren’t strong enough? Would they think we didn’t like it, were secretly unhappy and just putting on a show? In my heart I knew none of these things was the truth. I felt stronger than ever. We had traveled down the coast and across the Gulf Stream to another country, and back! We had faced challenges of many kinds, and had not given up. We had experienced the highs and lows cruising brought us. Without worrying about what anyone else might think of us, I had peace about this transition, knowing that God was simply bringing us into another season, a new time that didn’t involve the boat we had come to call home.

So here we are. We’re buying a house in a neighborhood with a backyard and monthly bills. Mike has a job and we’ve got the family car. We’re transitioning back to land life, and we’re actually really excited about this new season, about starting over. In fact, it was one reason we decided to say “yes!” and take the crazy leap to cruise in the first place- we always knew we could start over. And now that we are, we’ve learned that life is much more flexible than we once thought. You can go and sell everything and come back and land life will be here waiting if and when you want to come back.

But there’s one thing I won’t be able to do back on land. I won’t be able to fully express how much cruising and our boat s/v Gromit has meant to us. I know my landlubber friends and family will never understand, try as they may. I think our family has deemed us “back from the dead” or like the prodigal son returning from a wayward, rebellious journey. I think others may believe that we’re glad to be back because cruising wasn’t worth the effort. Nothing could be farther from the truth. And I know that only those salty, adventure loving sea lovers, all those wonderful cruisers and liveaboards we met on our travels can understand what I mean when I say it was worth it. Gromit will always hold a special place in our hearts. She kept us cozy and protected. She steadied the swell of the sea and carried us to our destination. She was our home.

As we neared the marina in Green Cove Springs, Florida, Mike pulled our dinghy up on the davits for the last time. We both felt that little painful stab of sadness when something life changing and amazing is coming to a close. We’ll never pile the kids in that dinghy again, see their smiles as the waves playfully splash over the bow. We’ll never pull up to a new port ready to taste land and see what adventure awaits. At least, not for now and maybe not in that boat again. We’re not ruling out cruising forever, but we’re committed to following God wherever His Spirit leads. It may lead us back to the sea one day, it may not. But for right now, we’re looking forward to all God has for us here.

For there is always a new adventure with God.







12 thoughts on “When One Adventure Ends and Another Begins”

  1. Aww we will miss you guys! We were hoping to cross wakes again. You are such a lovely family and the brief time we spent with you was so Joyful. Wishing you all the best in your new adventures! Lots of love to you all.

    1. Thank you Nicola! We really enjoyed our time with you and have thought of you often! Who knows what the future will bring!

  2. Good for you guys!! I’m so proud of you all. You followed God. Now Britney, write deeper about your experience. Maybe a devotional with lots of godly allegories and photos. What a treat that would be to read. For school writing have the girls write a few too from their own words about their experiences.

    1. Thanks Bonnie! That is a good idea! The girls did keep a little journal and I had them write and draw about some of our experiences along the way, so I love that they will always have that!

  3. Enjoy it all! Found your blog through our friends aboard Totem and have loved reading how God has guided your adventure. We cruised from’07-’09 with our 3 kids and it was a massive Blessing. There were and are always will be those who don’t get ‘it’ but just we just smile and love ’em anyway! After all this time of being a CLOD (cruiser living on dirt), we look forward to whenever the Lord opens the door to go again, wherever He takes us. Christ’s Blessings to you all!

    Denny (formerly of s/v Salt & Light)

    1. So nice to ‘meet’ you! I love hearing about other cruisers who also follow God’s Spirit wherever he leads them! Thank you! And I love that name- CLOD! lol

  4. So glad y’all are back! I enjoyed following your sea adventure and can now follow the new adventure! Hope to see you all soon!

  5. Brittany, I am so glad I got to meet you and your family even if only for a brief ice cream visit on a beautiful May afternoon in Cocoa Village, Florida. What a wonderful adventure you have given your girls and I am sure there are many more adventures to come. Hopefully you will continue to blog; maybe amend the name from Family at Sea to Family that Sees. You see opportunity, you see adventure and most importantly you see His hand on your lives. I sometimes have to remind myself that He knows, He sees the end from the beginning, He sees that which we cannot. I am glad you are at peace with this next chapter of your lives ; enjoy, be blessed.

    1. Thank you Pam! I am so glad we got to meet too! Those are wonderfully encouraging words for me, and yes I agree, He sees the whole picture! Yes, I am planning on continuing blogging, writing is an important outlet for me 🙂

    1. Thank you! Houston, Texas! It’s where we lived before cruising. 🙂

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