Happy New Year

Reflecting back on the last year, I am amazed at how much has happened. It was a huge leap of faith and not one that we have regretted at all. Quitting our jobs, selling our house and moving aboard a sailboat was not something I thought would happen this soon in our lives. At some point, yes, but not yet. But as it turned out, thats exactly what happened. And we are more relaxed then we have been in years. That’s not saying there aren’t stressful moments. Just less.

We have spent the last several months getting the boat ready to take south.  Just before Christmas, we had her pulled out of the water and some things repaired as well as a nice sanding and buffing. Boat projects always take longer than expected, and this was no exception. What should have taken 2-3 days, took about 2 weeks. So we were left with two options, stay in a hotel and rack up a huge bill, or go north to stay with family earlier than planned. We did both. sorta. one week in a hotel and then headed north to stay with family over the holidays. It was kind of a win-win situation. To say that we didn’t enjoy a king size hotel bed would be a lie. And seeing our kids was great also.

The boat is finally back in the water, and to say we have been discombobulated at times would be an understatement. Living out of suitcases and going from one house to the next is not only tiresome but expensive since we like to contribute to groceries wherever we are.

The day after Christmas Keith had talked all the boys into taking a quick trip down to see the boat. I’m glad they had this time together. They managed to get in a little fishing and a little sailing. It sounds like they all had a good time and they now have a greater appreciation of how we live.

Our son, Daniel at the helm

Our son, Daniel at the helm

 

boys trip to the boat

boys trip

 

cold day of sailing

cold day of sailing with Brent at the helm

In a few days we will head back to the boat and get continue to get her ready to go south. Keith agreed to work a couple of days in January, otherwise we would be there sooner. I wonder now, if he is having second thoughts. I’m sure he will be glad once he gets the paycheck.
I should add that my son in law made me a nice fishing tackle box for Christmas. It is stocked with so many cool lures. I can’t wait until I can try them out.  Before Christmas, he took me fishing and showed me how to use several of them. Little did I know I was getting ones like them for Christmas.

So its been an interesting year. And let me just add that last week we celebrated 30 years of marriage. Here’s to shaking things up and a happy new year!

Taylor enjoying a cold day of sailing

Our son Taylor enjoying a cold day of sailing

Boat repairs

The day to have the boat pulled out of the water finally came. We had some leaky thru-hulls that needed repairing. 4 to be exact. Since the boat was out of the water, we decided it would be a good time to have it wet sanded and buffed, and possibly a bottom paint job. yikes. I’m scared to see the bill for all of this. But it has to be done. We usually do our own sanding and buffing, and when I say ‘we’ I mean Keith.  I do help. But he does it for hours and hours and goes easy on me. But this time, given the fact that the boat is out of the water and can be done by others much faster, we decided to let them.

haul out

haul out

We originally thought we would go south for a few days while the boat was being worked on. But decided that we really didn’t want to travel very far, so we got a room at one of the local hotels. So now, we are basking in a king size bed watching TV, taking long hot showers and eating out more than we should. As good as it seems at the moment, I know I would tire of this quickly. I am already looking forward to being back on the boat.

playing around on driftwood beach

playing around on driftwood beach

As boat repairs go, this could take longer than expected. We will take it one day at a time. Today we spent the day walking on the beach at Jekyll Island. I hope we get a chance to check out cumberland island this week as well. If we had put off having the boat pulled by a few days, we could have just gone home for christmas a little early. I could probably talk Keith into going home earlier anyway, but unfortunately we are still waiting for the mail to deliver some christmas gifts. We might still get to go a day or two earlier than expected. Til then, we will just have to be patient and keep enjoying the king size bed.

driftwood beach

driftwood beach

Random thoughts….

The plan has always been ‘to not have a plan’. We wanted to be able to move about freely with no agenda and no time restraints. well, now we have a plan. We want to move down south to the Biscayne bay area in Florida, and possibly the keys. It looks like a great place to hang out and it’s still close enough to the Bahamas incase we get antsy to go.
If all goes well, we will have the boat pulled next week and have some things repaired. Once that is done, we should be ready to move south. I am ready for some warmer temperatures and bluer waters.
So after some blood, sweat and a few ‘words’  on the engine, keith finally has it up and running. I think figuring out which parts to order took longer than actually putting it back together. Now it works great and we had the opportunity to take her out for our first sail in almost 3 months. Aside from having to pack everything away to prevent it from flying off shelves, it was a good day. I’ll just tell you now, thats not my favorite thing to do. Its necessary.  But we (ok, me) have grown accustomed to having everything sitting out at my disposal, so when I have to pack it away for a few hours only to unpack it the same day, its not my idea of fun. Its just a twerk I have. I’ll get used to it. I’m sure once the boat starts tossing, I’ll be glad I packed everything away. Once I didn’t see a bottle of wine sitting out and yes, it got tossed, spilling red wine all over the place. Thats not a mistake I will make again…..I hope.
So back to our plan of moving in January, it seems that keith and I are at an impasse. I really would like to travel via the intercoastal waterway and he wants to travel via ‘the outside’, meaning skirting the atlantic coast. I feel the intercoastal waterway would be safer for us newbie sailors.  I have been told that once you are on the Atlantic coast, you are committed. That means you have to keep going until you get to where you can pull over and stop, which could take a few days. And  there aren’t that many spots. Or so I’m told. The nice thing about the intercoastal waterway is there are lots of places to stop. There’s even a book that describes every marker, every marina and every anchorage. I’m not totally against going Keith’s way, and he’s not totally against going my way. We just need to sit down and plot our way and see who wins.
Now back to our sail yesterday. I got out my fishing pole and tackle box and one of my new lures and did a little fishing during our sail. One of the reasons I love my husband so much is  that he always has so much confidence in me. He dug out the gaff. He actually had confidence that I was going to catch the big one. Well, I didn’t. I didn’t even catch the little one. I will though. I’m not going to give up. One of these days he will have an opportunity to use the gaff. And just for the record, I prefer live bait to lures.
Another thing happened during our sail yesterday. It was quite trafficy. There is an auto plant near by that ships cars. The ships are huge. They are called ‘roll on, roll off’, we call them ‘ro-ro’s’ for short. It can be intimidating when one of those comes up from behind or in front of you. So its important to know the rules of the road. There seems to be a protocol for all instances. Boats coming from behind, boats coming in front, whether or not you are under sail or under power, and if you should pass port to port or starboard to starboard. Usually the boats will blow their horns to let you know their intentions. One toot means they are passing you on the starboard side. Two toots means they plan on passing you on the port side. Then you toot back the same to let them know its safe or 5 toots to let them know its not safe. So much to remember. As it turned out yesterday, we had one boat passing us, and one coming our way. The one coming our way tooted to let us know which way he needed to go. We got out of the channel and gave him the right a way. He gave us a ‘thank you’ toot as he passed us.

one of may ro-ro's

one of may ro-ro’s

One more thing and I’ll shut up. its very important that you put things in its place when living on a boat. I am a stickler for everything in its place. I don’t particularly like searching for stuff all the time. But there is one person on this boat, and I won’t mention any names, but his initials are KW! There are several times a day that we must stop what we are doing and search for something that he had just 5 minutes ago. Its not a large boat, so how hard can it be? Lets just say he makes it challenging. He can put some things in some odd places. Places that he claims made sense at the time. I don’t think that will ever change. but its ok. I understand his brain is busy thinking of important things. So I don’t complain… that often. I save that for more important things.
sailing between Jeykll Island and St Simons island

sailing between Jeykll Island and St Simons island