Thursday, March 10, 2011


On March 1, my husband resigned his position after eight very successful years. He'd been working with a group of bright, motivated people. There were challenges, which is the point, isn't it? He'd been promoted and was being developed to move on to the next level. So why now?

Blame a funeral. In the first half of 2010, a friend of DH's died. He was our age. He was out of the golf course with friends and simply collapsed and was gone. One of those heart attacks that offers no second chances. We attended the funeral, feeling the weight of this man's bereft wife, children and friends. When it was over, DH and I got back in the car and sat there for several minutes. "I'll miss him. And if this has taught me anything, it's that I don't want my tombstone to read 'he was a good employee'," DH said.

We drove home and began planning an adventure: Sailing the Inside Passage up to Alaska and back. Our planning stage was supposed to have lasted far longer - as in a decade. DH wanted to semi-retire (you know - work part of the year and then take three months of vacation) once he hit 50-55ish. We'd put our plan into action at that point. Then, one cold Friday night in February as we sat looking at our financial numbers, our family configuration, our health and our ages, a number of factors snapped into perfect alignment all at once.

We realized. It was go time.

So we're gearing up. DH works through the month of March, then he begins hardcore work on prepping the boat. This includes putting in dedicated heat that doesn't rely on shore-side electricity. I'll abandon him to that work while I fly to Los Angeles to the Romantic Times Book Lovers Convention. When I get back, I'll have to get us moved aboard, provision within reason - it's not like Canada doesn't have grocery stores - and finish putting our shore-side lives in short term stasis.

We have no clue how far north we'll get. We're trying not to have an aggressive schedule. The point is going to be on seeing and experiencing, not on 'hurry up and get there'. People have begun asking me whether I'm excited or not. Between bouts of horror and terror at what we've done? Sure. I suppose I'm looking forward to getting out on the water in a 34'x14' boat where I'll be ensconced with my husband and our four felines 24 hours of every day for 166 days. At least. Have I mentioned I love music? Music my dearest husband does *not* love? Yeah. Haven't worked that one out yet. Headphones are only good to a point, you know?

Kidding. The Gemini has two aft cabins. We've designated those as private space. One is mine. One is his. We each have a place to go where we can shut a door behind us and pretend to disappear. I still can't blast Pendulum or the Silver Sun Pickups at will, but I can probably get a break from all the 'togetherness' if need be and so can he.

So here's the important bit. We'll be back and we'll return to contributing to the local economy via a return to work - where? Up in the air until our return. Our phone numbers don't change, neither do email addresses - though admittedly, we aren't certain we'll have internet aboard. We may be limited to internet cafes in ports on an irregular basis. This blog will suffer (more that it does already) from that neglect. But when I have connectivity, I will do my best to post photos and descriptions of where we are. I will maintain my Facebook account as much as possible and my Twitter feed @marcellaburnard (may be intermittant as cell reception varies). I will continue to post every Friday to the Word-Whores blog ( So we won't vanish for those months that we're out.  Unless the kraken gets us. Or sasquatch.


  1. Sounds like a wonderful adventure. Good luck and have fun!

  2. What an adventure! Many dream of this but you are doing it!

    Have a fun but safe journey.

  3. unless the kraken gets us


    I hope you two, er, six, experience the kind of thrills you'll love to remember and retell in the years to come!

  4. We expect a regular blog journal of the voyage!

  5. I do hope to post blog entries about the voyage - but I the only 'regular' I can guarantee is 'ir'. Yeah. Hotspot distribution will be the challenge. Especially the farther north we wander.

  6. I just discovered your blog Marcella and I'm reading my way through your posts. Wow! What an adventure! And why did you specifically choose to go on a 5 month long trip? Will it be your first time spending so long on a boat? Wow, imagine how much the Earth will keep on moving under your feet after 5 months spent on a boat! (I've only spent 10 days straight on a boat, loved it, but I'd find the restricted space a bit daunting) Good luck and I'll be reading your blog posts when you'll have the time and chance to post! :-)