Thursday, December 31, 2020

Fresh Start: 2021—Reach Out


Photo by Ingo Joseph from Pexels

We're fast closing on what for most of us is the oddest year of our lifetimes and are happy to wish this year a "good riddance!"

For those of you who've lost someone close to you, my heart goes out to you. 

For those of the rest of us, the expectation is by mid-year or sooner we'll turn the corner on COVID. We're not out of the woods yet. Please be careful.

This is a year we all learned how much we took for granted. As we hope for some return to what each of us considers "normal" I believe we'll learn to appreciate those more innocent "before" times and treasure the return of the freedoms that were a natural part of our everyday life.

Like so many others, 2020 did not turn out the way we expected. This is a time that shut down distractions and forced us to slow down and reassess. It put us on a different path. 

We are lucky to be living in a community that normally requires a three-year waiting list to get in, but COVID travel restrictions created an opening for us. For others, as work and school shifted virtual and travel plans were canceled, their family bonds grew tighter.

I am grateful that I kept a roof over my head, food in my belly, and maintained contact with friends and family.

Beyond COVID, we are still a nation divided. I encourage each and every one of us to find ways to reach out with compassion, seeking common ground rather than focusing on our differences and disagreements. Our nation needs to heal, and it is up to us to make that happen. Don't wait. Drop a line. Pick up a phone. Knock on a door. See how you can help.

Our boat saga ramps up soon, but for now, let's keep it simple and real: 

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Naughty or Nice?

My favorite sign up now in our termporary neighborhood.

How are you celebrating the holidays this year?

Thanks to COVID, the holiday season is weird for everyone this year—we get it! I advised one friend to just take a raincheck rather than force it if the spirit didn't move her and her family to find alternate traditions that made them happy this year.

Wayne honors my Grinch tradition of no Christmas decor, given I'm Jewish and Christmas trimmings aren't a big deal to him.

I couldn't find my menorah in our RV, nor could I find Hannukah candles. I bought birthday candles, spread cream cheese on celery to hold the candles in place and blessed the holiday over their weirdest makeshit menorah I ever hope to have. 

Still, I appreciate my neighbor's decor and the sense of festivities and everyone's efforts to do their best to appreciate who were are with rather than who's not with us in real life, or, anymore.

Flamingo in a Santa cap in a neighbor's yard—more weather appropriate Christmas decor
for Florida, where are now as we are in the process of purchasing a sailboat here.

This isn't our first Christmas celebration where "dashing through the snow" is an impossibility because we're either in the tropics or someplace upside-down from a North American perspective because January is mid-summer and July is mid-winter.

Here's a few blasts from the past you might enjoy from a more innocent time:

Another neighbor's nod to the North, a fake snowman for Christmas decor neslted amon the palm trees.

Today we're enjoying weather in the 80s. I made sure to get in a swim as tomorrow's peak is forecast for the 50s, with temps that night dropping to freezing. That means tomrrow's COVID-adapted dinner like we did for Thanksgiving is more likely to be a grab-and-go than an-eat-outside at appropriately placed tables. We got lucky for Thanksgiving. Tomorrow we're not expecting a return of that luck.

Still, we can say hello to our neighbors in the chow line, and we're alive to call friends and family to wish them well. We count ourselves among the fortunate for that this year. This is a year to remind us just how much we normally take for granted.

Happy Holidays!
Enjoy—or—Take a Raincheck

Seriously, let me know how you're celebrating the holiday this year. I'd love to hear from you.

Location Location
We're in Fort Pierce, Florida. The sailboat we're buying is in Jacksonville Florida. We plan to haul our boat out later in January at Green Cove Springs, Florida—I expect to spend my 60th borthday giving our new-to-us-boat a bottom job. Then come February, we're off to the Bahamas.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Our Next Boat Is . . .

What boat should we get for the tropics? We were in a quandary.
Photo by 
Marlon Trottmann from Pexels

Not the Pearson 424 fixer we originally made our offer on. While at the price we offered, it would've made sense, even with the money we knew we'd need to invest, we just weren't up to all the work it needed. We were concerned we'd miss this winter's sailing season and instead spend it slaving away in a boatyard.

Not a Pearson 365, like the one we spent five years aboard, ultimately sailing to Australia and selling it, though that would've made Wayne happy. I wasn't up to committing to spending the next five years in 150 square feet again. I also wanted a boat that if we hosted visitors, we could close our bedroom door and they could close theirs.

Instead, we've made an offer on a boat that technically wasn't even on the market from friends who are making the switch to a trawler. The boat's a GulfStar 45, and our friends kept her in tip-top condition. I even cat-sat on their boat—twice, but never sailed her. We don't even have any pictures to show yet.

There's still a two-part insurance inspection, one in the water, the other a haul-out, when we'll also repaint the boat's bottom. With holidays, a hot boat market and prime cruising season, that pushes us into the end of January for a closing.

But, as her current owners quipped, "All you have to do is loader her up, and she's ready to go." 

That's exactly what we plan to do!

Oh, we still do need to pick a name. Not because we don't like the name on her, but because her current owners like the name so much, they're taking it with them to their next boat.

Location Location

We're in Fort Pierce, Florida. The boat's in Jacksonville, Florida. We'll likely haul out in Green Cove Springs, Florida. Then it's off to the Bahamas!

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Boat-Shopping Break: Is It Skinny-Dipping Weather in Florida?

This morning in sunny Ft. Pierce Florida.

Wayne and me, sharing a blanket over the heater in our RV (aka "The Beast")


Note the towel spilling out from under Wayne—just a few days ago it was warm enough to need it for the pool here. Hopefully, it will be again soon.

Location Location
Ft. Pierce, Florida, our home base until it's time to move aboard our next sailboat.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Our Next Boat: Still TBD

Do we take on a project boat, or not?

We had the first part of our boat inspection last week. 

There were a few pleasant surprises, a lot of confirmations that our areas of concern are areas of concern, and some are worse than we thought they'd be.

We thought we'd get a chance to have our surveyor shimmy up the mast and we also thought we'd be able to do a sea trial. High wind and lines too damaged to safely hoist our surveyor made the full mast inspection a no-go. The sea trial was a non-starter because a diver was supposed to make sure the propeller was operable beforehand and we were told there were too many alligators in the area for a diver to check the prop.

Meanwhile, we've already spent ~$500 for the first part of the survey, and the next part is much more expensive as it requires our paying for a haulout. So we're running our numbers and making sure we're fully on-board for tackling everything that would need to be done to safely sail away to the Bahamas this year.

These are not easy decisions.

Is this the boat we'll go with? We're not 100% sure yet. We're still working on our spreadsheets.

We don't want to take a whole lot longer. Every day we spend deciding is one less day we spend getting the boat ready to go, but still, it's a big decision.  
Time is of the essence!

We'll keep you posted.

Location Location

We're still on terra firma in Ft. Pierce, Florida.