Christopher Bruce bought his Kadey-Krogen 44 with the idea that he’d work for one more year, retire and then go for a full-time life at sea. One hiccup: His boat arrived. He simply couldn’t stand the thought of looking at her in a slip and waiting a whole year to really use her. So he did what any hardcore, yacht-owning cruising enthusiast would do: He called it a day on the work thing, just one week after her delivery. A year. A week. Same difference, really.
He’s been full-time aboard Sweet Ride for the past two years, averaging about 1,000 engine hours every 365 days. (Some owners don’t reach that milestone during their entire ownership.) Christopher, along with his fiancée, Alexandra Boelte, and their sea cat, Mr. Anderson, have logged 12,000 nautical miles along the Eastern Seaboard and in the Bahamas.
We were standing on his vessel’s foredeck as an early summer sun chased away an overcast, chilly morning at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island. Sweet Ride and 37 other Kadey-Krogens were gathered there for the builder’s 40th anniversary rendezvous.
The yacht’s proud bow pointed at open water and toward her next adventure. Looking back at his vessel and reminiscing about past voyages, Christopher’s smile was wide. He wore it like a well-tailored suit.
But perhaps there was a twinge of guilt during those early cruising days, since Christopher took on consulting work after first singling up lines with Alexandra and Mr. Anderson. The feeling soon passed. Work began interfering with his schedule, so this adventurer fully embraced retirement, trading his business cards for boat cards that show his vessel’s name and photo, his email address and, of course, a picture of Mr. Anderson.
Sweet Ride has Kadey-Krogen’s onboard office option, but when I popped in for a look, it seemed part entertainment center and part library. When I asked where he was off to next, he flashed me a Cheshire Cat grin. Maybe he’d stay put. Maybe cruise up to Maine. He mentioned a long-term plan to venture deeper into the Bahamas. Perhaps Turks and Caicos?
Time is a commodity. Time is relative. Time is fleeting. If we play it right, like Christopher did, it becomes an infinite asset spent at our discretion.