Cruising is not just the act of taking long trips on your yacht, it is an entire mindset that becomes you as you cruise.
Maddie and I have cut the dock lines to society and set off as full time cruisers. We have no schedule, no itinerary, no nothing! We simply pick a place and start heading there. We get there when we get there is a good way to sum it all up.
When we had taken "extended vacations" before that we called cruising, we had a set amount of time available to us. We had a destination in mind and a return date already set. Everyday that we weren't heading towards our destination was a day lost, because we did have to turn around at some point to return to work.
While the trips were relaxing, they were still speckled with stress. If the winds were not right, or we didn't get far enough on a day, we felt like we might not actually get to our destination and we would be forced to turn around by our jobs.
Now, we don't worry about these sorts of things. We wake up when we wake up, raise anchor when we feel like it, and sail until we decide to stop for the day!
We were anchored in Harness Creek in South River when we decided to visit a little town called Easton. This town is located far up a river and was rather far for us by sail. We didn't care and we set off towards this new destination.
After three days of sailing, we were nearing this town on the river and were only 0.3 nautical miles from the place we want to anchor for a while when we ran aground.
Running aground is never a fun time, but the truth is it isn't that bad for us. Wisdom, our sailboat, has a full keel. Running aground simply means that we are sitting on the bottom of the river with no worry about damage to our undersides.
We checked the tide table and found that it was nearly low tide, and the tide was going out. We tried to heel over with the sails, kedge off, even be pulled off by the assistance of a passing powerboat. Alas, the tide had gone out too fast and our waterline was about 6 inches higher than normal. Our keel was stuck in the mud and our only hope was to wait for high tide to lift us off.
The tide would take a few hours to come back up, and instead of stressing our situation, we simply got out some cheese and a game to eat and play in the cockpit while we waited.
That is the true sense of cruising. Time no longer matters, as you simply take each day as it comes and each moment as it presents itself. There is no worry about deadlines nor schedules, as we are merely sailing along as best we can in the direction of our next destination.