The Toll of Emotional Uncertainty
It is early morning here in Cascais, Portugal and I am planning on leaving today in the general direction of Cadiz. I have those last minute things to do, top off the water tanks, purchase fuel, check with the officials, and then I will be ready to go. Hopefully I will be able to leave in the calm and then get the benefit of the afternoon winds to carry me down to Cabo de Sao Vicente (the end of the world.) Cabo de Sao Vicente is the southwest corner of Portugal. At that point the Portuguese explorers waved goodbye to Portugal on their way to the new worlds.
As I have been planning my next steps, in specific how far into the Med I want to go, and wintering over. I have even considered leaving Reboot for the winter and flying back to the United States. That would be quite an economic hit for me.
I realized this morning that what is driving my thinking is emotional uncertainty, another unexpected consequence of the cruising life. Even in Canada,Mexico, Belize and Guatemala I was quite secure in knowledge of where I was going. While in the United States I had excellent weather reports, extensive support from web sites and fellow cruisers about marinas, routes, etc., and the familiarly of knowing the stores, language and laws. The cruising guides can be a bit off putting (they make the transit from Florida to the Bahamas across the Gulf Stream sound as difficult as a moon shot) but in general the big question is which 5 star restaurant should the power cruisers chose for dinner in the next port. You learn to take it with a grain of salt. Here the cruising guides share similar concerns - winds, storms, fishing nets, expensive and full marinas, etc. The problem is that after noting such concerns I have no way to gauge their significance. Am I going to get hit by 30 knots at anchor every afternoon? Is it really difficult to find visitor's space in a marina (I have never been turned away in the US.) (The RCC cruising guides published by Imray are excellent by all accounts. There is much more focus on places to anchor than in the US guides.)
All of this leads to the desire to stay put. I have only been in Caicais Marina for 10 days and I was already looking at the monthly rate. and the low season costs (that are about 50% of the high season costs.) This morning I realized these thoughts are just a security blanket to avoid having to put myself into a new situation in a new port. I also realized that this is a much stronger negative emotion than the concerns about actually sailing. Perhaps I have done enough miles to be secure with Reboot and fatalistic enough to know that "stuff happens." One just hopes it doesn't happen to them!
So with that said, if the winds cooperate so I can leave I will be on my way later today.
Fair winds and following seas.