Category Archives: Five Year Plan
Hi everyone. Thought I’d try to get in one more blog post before the end of the year.
It’s been a long, challenging year for us. In fact, two challenging years. (I already posted a message for Christmas on Facebook, and will probably restate a few things here so if you think you’ve read it before, you might have).
In 2009 we decided to learn to sail, and eventually to become cruisers. JoAnne and I have read literally a couple of hundred books over the course of time since that day we made the decision. While all of them were helpful, some were stories, fiction, true adventure, and books about storms. All of them helped prepare us for everything we have encountered and a few things we’ve yet to (and don’t want to) encounter.
Last Christmas we were sitting in Colorado with our kids and Grandkids after JoAnne’s back injury. We thought more than once we wouldn’t get back to the boat and would have to sell her. But, things didn’t turn out like that.
We’ve traveled back and forth across the country about five times since July 2015, for medical appointments, visiting and due to injuries.
This season we moved the boat to Cole’s Point Marina, where we worked on the boat. We added solar panels, repaired the refrigeration, I had already added a new stove, refurbished the sails, repaired many little things, added a composting toilet, removed a broken electric toilet and replaced it with a Jabsco pump toilet. I’ve added strip LED lighting to the main cabin area (and will add some to the forward cabin in time, along with some new wiring I’ll pull in when I have an opportunity). We’ve eliminated a few things (not enough). We’ve picked up an inline water filter to remove the bad tastes and to take water aboard. I’ve made a water catchment device to collect rainwater, picked up a propane heater for the cabin, as well as an electric heater. We’ve worked out how to make the wood stove work properly. I’ve rewired the nav station, radio gear (neatened it all up and added a special power strip for DC radio gear. Eventually all the radio gear will be tied there). Oh, and I varnished about 80% of the woodwork aboard Adventure. I have been testing some varnish.
I certainly am missing a few jobs we did. I’m sure I’ve forgotten something.
A few weeks ago we ran into some more alternator problems (which I documented) and had that repaired and discovered a LOT of other issues on the engine which we also had taken care of. During the work, I had the mechanic teach me a few things since I was paying and arm and a leg (I know why pirates have hooks and peg legs now…).
We paid up our bill here through 6th January and decided to stick out Christmas here. One of the folks sailing down from Canada we’re friends with (Rosemary and Joe, aboard “Winds of Change” were coming down and so JoAnne invited them to dinner. Turned out other boats were traveling with them. We thought two, then it was actually four boats total.
So the dinner turned into a pot luck. Then more cruisers and liveaboards near by joined into the dinner. All told, on Christmas Eve we had about 15-18 people (I never counted them up), and one boat’s couple left to visit relatives so they missed the dinner. Others joined in and everyone brought food, drink and stories.
Over all, a grand success. JoAnne was worried about putting something like that together. I’m not sure why. She has always fed an army (usually doing ALL the cooking herself, raising five children, usually having boarders in the house, and random neighbor children who ALWAYS were there for dinner almost every night). So, whatever trepidation she had vanished as she turned on her “Chef Skills” and made a giant pot of stew which likely would have fed everyone in the marina that day with a side of rice. Fortunately, there was plenty more food than we could ALL eat. Everyone brought something, from sloppy joes to stew, to small “sub sandwiches” to enchiladas and bottles of wine and rum. I was shocked at the amount and quantities. I tried a little bit of everything and had two full bowls of stew.
“Winds of Change” happens to have been the name of our first boat, our Macgregor Venture. So when we saw the name on the group, we had friended them on Facebook immediately. After all, we share a connection. The boat name, and now the Leaky Teaky boats, ours the Transworld 41 and them the Formosa 41. It was wonderful to get to meet them in person finally!
I have to say that I still like our center cockpit a bit better, though I think sailing from the aft of a sailboat this big might have a few advantages over the CC. I can’t tell you though, what those might be.
All in all, this year traveling from the Potomac in late October to here has been relatively uneventful compared to last year. Although, we have gone aground a few times, we’ve bumped some pilings, and I have some small damage on the port side where I caught a pole in the water, the engine conking out…. we haven’t really had major issues.
Yes, it was stressful coming down the ICW. I was at ease going outside and motorsailing at night, but I always worry about all the things that can “go wrong” out there. I worry for JoAnne’s safety much more than mine (because, quite honestly, I’d done some really dangerous things in my life and while the majority of them I wouldn’t want to repeat, I understood what I was doing, and knew I could die). Sailing in the ocean is one of those things.
You understand it. You know you can die. But you also, always, concentrate on the moment in time, staying alive, staying safe, staying on course, going there you’re going and knowing you have options to handle almost anything. Even, right down to closing down the hatches and doors after taking down sails and putting out a sea anchor, then hoping the boat will ride out whatever you hit. In almost all cases, a boat will do fine. It’s generally the crew who can’t handle it.
We have one issue on our boat. JoAnne isn’t really able to run the boat alone. I’m worried she will injure her back again and she has been prone to falling in the past so I won’t put her in danger. That means I tend to do everything on deck, though I have been letting her toss lines out, and put out fenders to get used to doing it again. So running a “shift” isn’t too easy, unless I set things up and let her stand watch, let the autopilot take care of things until the wind changes or we have to tack. Then she can wake me if I’m sleeping and I can do the work.
This basically means for us, sailing straight to Florida isn’t going to be easy. From here at five knots it would take us about 65 hours (give or take where we pull in). And just two of us doing it. Then we have to count on the engine from time to time to charge batteries if the sun isn’t out (solar, remember?)
Therefore we’ve come up with muliple plans to get south now. From here we are planning to sail straight down to Jacksonville area. And as we go we’ll make changes to our thinking based on the conditions we encounter and how tired we get. We’re going to try it in pieces as well. So, we’ve picked a half dozen distant spots to pull into if need be to anchor and rest. We’ve also planned part of the route inside as well.
We have many options from here, but the main goal, to “get south and to warm” is the priority. That and using the engine the least amount necessary, anchoring when we need to, and staying warm.
So as the year closes on us, we are shooting to be in Florida not later than about 3 weeks from now, whether we can move more quickly, or slowly will depend on a lot of factors including the weather and my ability to take us long distances on the boat.
To this day, I am not ready to lie down and sleep with the boat moving. So, I’m probably going to have to learn that skill next 🙂
I want to wish everyone a “belated Merry Christmas” as I’m posting this the day after.
And I want to give everyone something to consider for the New Year.
Many people make “resolutions” to accomplish or do something important in the New Year.
I made a resolution never to make resolutions a long time ago, so I don’t do that. But I do make plans, I do set goals, even if they are in my head and not written down.
For the cruisers, the dreamers and the wanna-be cruisers who’ve not quite gotten here yet, I’m going to give you a secret.
The secret to success is “perseverance”.
That is the secret ingredient to “success”.
If you have a dream to move aboard a boat and go cruising, you will have to work at it. You will have to plan. You will have to make decisions, some easy, some difficult. You will have to write your notes down. You have to learn to sail if you don’t know how. You have to work your ass off. You have to practice. You have to learn new skills. You have to travel a bit, you have to stay home a lot, you have to spend some money, and you have to save money.
With out laying out a map for you, I’ll tell you this:
- Make a plan (Do you want to cruise full time, or part time? Do you want to just travel the Chesapeake?)
- Get your skill set together as you go, every day work on it (Can you sail? Learn! Wood work? Plumbing?)
- Study hard, study sailing
- Save your money. Spend it wisely on learning, important books you need (Use the LIBRARY, it’s FREE!)
- Pay your bills. ALL Of them. Eliminate them. If you use a credit card, PAY it off EVERY MONTH.
- Have your goals written down and check them off as you go. Once you get one, check it off. (Then go back and pat yourself on the back!)
- PERSEVERE! Do NOT give up. Do it.
Adversity has a way of weighing people down, depressing them, making them believe they can never get up again and sometimes adversity will literally break your back, bones, make you sick and leave you in pain.
Pain is the one thing that tells us we’re still alive and we should be doing something else. Find a different route.
If you want to sail, do it. Start small if you have too (I didn’t, I am glad I didn’t. I started on a 30′ boat and went SMALLER to a 25′ boat for practice, and the 25;’ boat was like a part of my arm when I stepped aboard). Getting on to a bigger boat like this ketch at first will be daunting and probably stop one from sailing without a very good instructor.
I’ve been teaching myself how to sail this boat. She handles differently that a fin keel, from a sloop and from a dinghy. She handles much differently that my little Venture did. She has a mind of her own and I’ve had to learn to tame her, and make he go where I want her to go. It’s difficult to do with no books on the subject and only the meager knowledge I gained from an instructor and sailing my own sloop.
The point, though, is don’t give up. Continue. Persevere.
That, folks, is the secret to success. You just take that and apply it to your set of circumstances. YOU are the one to make it happen.
All our best for a Happy New Year – and I mean the whole of 2017.
We’ll see you in the Warm.
Rick and JoAnne
(PS I will add images into this a bit later, so check back when you have time)
House Sold; Resigning; Retirement
On the 16th of March we put our home on the market. At 1300 Mountain time on that day the house went live. By 1430, an hour and a half later, we had four showings scheduled the first day. Over the course of the week there were somewhere around 21 or 22 showings, there were five or six offers on the house and by Saturday we’d signed a contract.
On Thursday, 30 April 2015 we closed the deal at about 1400 local time. We met the new owner (JoAnne had met him a couple times previously, but it was my first time). He had some questions about the hot tub, and we eventually went over to show him how to care for it and so on. Stopped by once for mail and met him again, and the wife showed him her garden.
Anyway, the closing went relatively smoothly. Everything worked out for both sides. He got a nice, completely remodeled house, we got money in the bank to fund our travels.
Yesterday morning JoAnne and I both turned in our resignation notices. Mine to my company site program manager and her to her organization at the AFA. It wasn’t a surprise to anyone because we’ve talked about this for so long as far as some are concerned we should have just shut up, lol.
My last day here is the 22nd of May, her’s is on the 15th.
We have some work on the truck to accomplish. We need some front end work, new tires and the new topper should be here this week, probably later today or tomorrow. This weekend we’re house sitting and going to go through our trailer (we’re down to a 8X4 single axle trailer) and hoping to pare down about 30% of the junk inside. Nothing is going that we don’t need on the boat, or can’t easily replace at the other end. We’ll take the trailer to where we’re house sitting and go through it in the barn there.
The week she takes off I’ll put the truck in for work, and drive her Jeep.
We’re going to sell the Jeep to the highest bidder after that. I also need to sell my mountain bike and my telescope. If anyone needs a bike or a telescope, get in touch…. they aren’t cheap items though, so just be aware.
It has been raining now, pretty much for 3 days straight. It’s appearing like it will continue through this weekend, so we’re hoping to do all our trailer work in a barn on the property we’re watching (as well as our weekly laundry) haha.
A couple of weeks ago we were invited to a Face Book Group for the Transworld Formosa 41. The folks have been very nice, and helpful as well. Hopefully when we get to our boat we can be of more help to them than we are now, but we shall see.
With luck, the creek don’t rise and I don’t have a heart attack we should be on the road somewhere around 1-3 June.
Last note here; Yesterday a lady here at work told me one of our former co-workers was doing the same thing. Selling up and sailing out. He contacted me today. Jim M., is looking for a sailboat somewhere in the Florida area now, and his house too, is under contract. He’s hoping to head East from Colorado sometime around July if all goes well.
I am looking forward to meeting up with him eventually down in the Florida area sometime later this year. I sent him all our contact information and spoke to him on the phone for a short time, gave him some information about what we’re doing and so on. It is good to see others following the Dream.
And, we have had dozens of people contact us telling us that we have “inspired them”… whether they will follow their dreams, I can’t say. I can hope though.
Last things to do….
Somewhere along the way I got a chance to breathe and evaluate where we’re at.
Yesterday wasn’t that day though. I was finishing the kitchen counters, repainting a wall and preparing the house for going on the market. A few days ago though, I was able to, through wheezing and coughing from a horrible cold, to examine where we’ve come in six years.
Remember we had a Five Year Plan. In that plan there were certain things to accomplish and we did them all well before the five years was up. That included saving money, fixing up the house, selling things (including our sailboat, dinghy, my Jeep… I hate that I sold my Jeep so soon… but oh well, it’s just “stuff”). The plan included getting out from under debt (we did that), paid off and essentially stopped using credit cards. We moved all our accounts to a new, investment bank, and I was able to replace our hot tub (with CASH), paid off the house (ok, I still owe a few bucks, but it’s done too soon) and set up a Home Equity Line of Credit, like a revolving charge account against the house.
We used that to get some work done.
We also used it to buy our new boat.
As of a week ago, we have our Ship’s Radio License (Call sign: WDH8090), the boat is now properly registered in Delaware, the USCG paperwork was completed and we should see that soon, we have a notarized “bill of sale” until the official paperwork arrives.
So I have only one more important thing to do. Sell the house. It will be going on the market late this week or early next week. JoAnne had her 6 months check up since Chemo and she’s doing well. I’ve got a full physical scheduled for April. The boat storage is paid through the end of April at the marina.
I’ll be contacting the marina manager to arrange for a bottom paint job next week (to be accomplished when the weather is better there) and to have the name and hailing port repainted,,, then when we splash we’ll do a traditional renaming ceremony (no, I’m not superstitious, but you know, it can’t hurt right? :))
So, ladies and gentlemen, this is the home stretch for us. Or more accurately the “Selling the Home” stretch.
And before I close out, I just spoke to JoAnne. She is fine with getting the house on the market by the weekend, so I’ll shoot for next Monday to give the family members a heads up (we have a son, grand-daughterand a room-mate staying with us currently) so as not to shock them too badly, we’ll let them know tonight. I’ll contact the broker today and get him going, give him a date and see if he wants to come back by the house and look things over or not and go for it.
…Deep Breath…. JUMP IN!
Final Closing Statement
I have in my hands the final closing statement on the boat.
The Transworld Formosa 41 formerly called “Duna”, now being called Adventure (and will be officially renamed in a traditional ceremony) officially belongs to JoAnne and I as of today. We’re awaiting word that the former owner has had his money transmitted to him from the broker, but at this point it’s out of our hands and in the escrow account.
USCG Documentation is being done.
I’ll be sending the paperwork to Delaware to register as soon as the title arrives (tomorrow probably).
I have one more form to send back to the broker tonight (for Maryland tax peeps, cuz, you know everyone wants all their pennies).
Other than that…. We now own a boat.
Next stop, the doctor’s office on 29th for JoAnne to have a check up and we’ll be insisting on a CT scan. After that we’ll put the house on the market and cross our fingers. We figure March to April time frame (maybe sooner, as we have people interested, we have a broker and everyone is just waiting for us to pull the trigger).
The plan after that is to go across country, visit friends, get to the boat, do some of the maintenance we need to do, paint the bottom, splash the boat and find something a few hours travel away to get to and go. Oh, and maybe sell our truck…or something. Hell, I might give it to someone. lol
Of course, it’s a couple months’ of groceries worth I suppose.
That’s where we’re at today.
Fair Winds Friends!
2015, the Year of Adventure
On Friday, 9 January 2015 I made my way through snow, ice and fog to downtown Colorado Springs. I had some issues doing my online banking.
I worked for several hours in the morning to get everything right, correct, all the T’s crossed, I’s dotted, signatures, dates and so forth.
But, the bank, God love ’em, screwed me again. Every time I’ve tried to get the accounts right, move money and keep things in an organized fashion, something weird happens. Friday, it was the final Wire Transfer I needed to make to complete the purchase of a sailboat.
Not just any sailboat, the very boat my wife and I have dreamed about for the last six years. In fact, she’s exactly the boat that has been envisioned by us both in waking daydreams and long sails in the Caribbean in our night dreams.
The old name of the boat isn’t really important any more. She’s lived her last year sitting on the hard in a marina in New York and therefore whatever she was before has been washed away by the tides. We knew her name a few weeks ago, right after I went up for the survey. JoAnne and I had discussed many things, but the name was not one of them.
In fact, as the blog is called we knew years ago we would call the boat “Winds of Time”.
When I returned from the survey I was talking to her about something and she said something about “going on an adventure”. JoAnne loves to say that when we get in the Jeep or Truck to go across country or explore something. In fact, she usually waits until the car is in drive and rolling down the hill from our home to say, “We’re on an ADVENTURE! YAY!” — or words to that effect. It’s always cute and makes me laugh.
So the thought occurred to be after seeing the boat in person that her real name had come out and not only was it NOT going to be “Winds”.
Of course, yesterday was proving to be an adventure in and of itself. Bad weather, ice, snow, fog, cold and the bank couldn’t help me fix the problem. Thus I left work a bit early, jumped in my truck and set off to slide my way from the Air Force Base to home to grab a check book, and then slide my way south and west to downtown to find the bank. Ended up parking three blocks away from the branch office (this is a large investment bank and of course, there is only one branch here; and I’m lucky it is, otherwise I’d be driving to Denver, or Kansas City or some such place).
After arriving there, the young man that helps me with account information met me in the lobby and proceeded to help me get the wire forms together and eventually, late last night I received word from the broker in Annapolis that everything was finished. The official close date is Tuesday. Monday though, we will close as everything is in place.
USCG documentation is being worked for me by a nice lady in West Virginia. The Delaware Registration will be worked in a few days when the sale is officially complete (and the lady in WV sends me the MD title to get to MD — yeah, even the paperwork has been an ADVENTURE).
Today I awaken, a few dollars poorer, but richer for a beautiful sailing vessel.
The bank got things together. I got things together. The broker got things together. The seller got things together (in fact today he delivers a pallet load of equipment to a storage locker for me, spare parts and so forth). In fact, everything finally came together late last night.
Today, JoAnne and I proudly introduce our new boat, a Formosa 41′, full keeled, heavy displacement ketch;
The picture is from a few years back, with the previous owners I believe, sailing down the Hudson River. Yep, that’s the Empire State building in the background. With a bit of luck in a few months, we’ll add our own images as we sail past Lady Liberty further down river.
Picture of the interior, looking forward. That’s a wood pellet stove on the starboard side, a kerosene lantern in the port foreground. The wood is gorgeous. The insides need a good “clean”, dusting, wiping down and perhaps some oil for some of the wood. The companionway ladder needs a bit of varnish. Most all of the teak on the outside needs work.
The bilge needs a good pressure wash, a float switch needs replacement and the majority of the running rigging, in particular the halyards should be changed out. The sails need some work, but eventually we will replace them with a new set.
The standing rigging is in good shape – but I need to get a rigger to the top to do a close up inspection of the head (change lights, and a few minor things).
Obviously things like the zincs need to be replaced, some hose clamps changed out and a couple of lights and switches are broken.
All minor maintenance issues for me.
It was negative 10 degrees when we did the survey. The boat was on the hard. We really couldn’t run the engine up but my investigation with the marina staff says the boat ran fine when they put her on land and winterized the vessel. So, all that remains is filters, oil change, some fresh diesel to make her run.
The bottom should be painted and the boot stripe put back on properly. (The bottom has been soda blasted and was smooth, no blisters and the hull is very sound).
All in all the previous owner took decent care of her. He was ready to move on (and I guess away from sailing), and we’ll be ready to move aboard and travel as soon as we sell the house this spring.
Survey on the boat
Last night we received the soft copy for the survey of the vessel we are considering. As I mentioned before, I flew out last Wednesday and then spent Thursday with the surveyor going over the boat in detail. He’d already spent a good deal of time (I’d hired him as a consultant to act as my “eyes on site” before I decided to make an offer. He reported the boat in good shape with apparently minor issues and suggested I probably would like to pursue the purchase. He also suggested a “full survey” with me present.
As it turns out, he did almost the entire survey without me, charged me a couple of hours of his time and didn’t write the actual report. What he really did was spend more than two hours and had all his notes and showed me everything wrong he’d found. The survey reflects his work on both days and is thorough in detail. Being there in person is a highly recommended experience for any potential boat purchase – in particular larger vessels like this one. I personally can recommend being present. You can ask questions and they will explain things to you. The surveyor’s purpose is to evaluate the vessel and then place an appraisal on said boat.
So – as expected the images of the problems were in the report. A basic explanation of “adequate” or “outstanding” or “critical” by each item found is there to help the boat purchaser to make their final decision.
Needless to say, my wife and I had questions of each other mostly. None of the surveyor. All said, there is little in the boat that needs repair, and that which does is something *I* can do easily with a few hours of work. My time isn’t cheap at the moment, but will be soon enough.
We signed the acceptance agreement last night about 9pm EST and sent it on to the broker.
We go to close on 7 January 2015.
Anyone interested in a 5 bedroom, 2 bathroom home in Colorado Springs? Let me know. We’ll be going on the market in late January to early February.
Fixin’ to begin to commence to start….
My mother used to berate my Dad sometimes with the phrase “Imagonna” when she wanted to remind him of something he said he would do, and had not gotten around to doing it just yet. She’d be upset with him and would be the one to remind him that he wasn’t doing whatever it was with this caustic remark of “Imagonna”.
But Mom had a way of telling us kids she was going to do something, eventually, if we asked her. She used “I’m fixing to begin to commence to start…” meaning to us, she’d get around to it when she was damned good and ready.
On Wednesday last week I spent the better part of eight or night hours actually sitting on an aircraft to head to the location of the boat I’m looking at. On Thursday morning I sat at breakfast with the surveyor and discussed our attack plan.
By Thursday evening, I was convinced.
It was cold, negative 10 degrees below zero when I arrived and looked at the boat for the first time in person. I’d “driven around the area” using Google Street view, but couldn’t quite see the boat from the location the Google car had turned around. So, no sneak previews for me. Only the images the seller had sent to me via the broker, and those on the various ads I could find.
There was ice on the deck. The deck covered with tarps. Did I mention it was cold? Colder than Colorado, that’s for sure.
I had a “Wow!” moment when I first saw the boat. It was just as beautiful, if not more-so than the images told me. In fact, Confucius had it wrong when he said “One picture is worth a thousand words”. The images tell a lot, but when you’re in person and all you can say is “Wow” I guess that says something too. A lot.
My second “WOW” moment was on deck.
My last one was when I climbed down the ladder to the cabin. That was more of a “Triple Wow!”
Basically, the survey went well, everything we checked out was good. There was some “bad” too though, but mostly things I can deal with without having to resort to professionals.
The most important part was coming away from the survey having watched a professional examine the boat, taking notes and taking pictures and knowing his evaluation would give me the confidence to go forward.
We stand awaiting the survey report and in a short time we’ll “be fixin’ to begin to commence to start” our trip to the Islands.
More to follow….
Buying a Boat
We just were notified that the Seller of the boat we’re interest in has accepted our offer.
Ok. I’m better now. Time for a survey. Surveyor is notified, will get back to me shortly with possible dates. I’ll get back with probably flight and hotel information.
With luck weather won’t be horrible. We’ll likely waive a sea trial. Too late in the season. Speaking to both insurance companies and the surveyor, they can do the best job on the hard anyway. Short of ensuring the boat doesn’t sink, or masts don’t fall off in waves. Anyway, at this point, I’ll take it. Spoke to a mechanic at the marina who worked on the boat when the boat was hauled. Said he took care of tightening bolts, checking some hoses and clamps and then winterizing the engine and it starts and runs fine. He was not sure of the oil changes or any of that.
I’ll personally check that stuff out. No responses on any maintenance logs, and I doubt I will find any.
On the good side, I’ve spoken to several people who have been on this boat, seen it and even know the owner. He gets high marks for being picky about the boat and caring for it at this point. But thus far, I’ve seen only pictures and pictures might be worth a thousand words in the mind of Confucius, but I prefer seeing something in real life, living color.
“Somethin’ ’bout a boat”
Jimmy Buffett has an album, “Songs from St. Elsewhere”. I want to visit that place. Soon.
Today we’re putting an offer in on a 41′ Formosa. I’ve managed to get most of a survey accomplished before we made the offer. We’ll do a full survey if the sell accepts our offer.
Somewhere around Monday we should know if he accepted. If he did, then I’ll have the surveyor go in next week and finish what he started and get me a report. I’m planning to fly out to see the vessel in person. We’ve been doing this all over email so far, and it’s a bit disconcerting. I’m the sort of person that likes to stand in the store and handle the items I plan to buy before I slap down cash for it.
In this case, I’m in Colorado, the boat is on the East Coast. I’ll only have a limited amount of time (2 weeks) to arrange a flight, get there, find and look at the boat and decide if we screwed up or not. I’ll try to meet with the surveyor in person, but he can get in, do his job and present me with the report. I just want to touch the boat and say “I’ve seen it, it’s sufficient in my estimation”.
If the offer goes through, I’ll post information about the boat and pictures. Otherwise… we start over.
Headed for a Dock
Well, kind of. We’re headed down soon to Florida to look over some boats. Since I’m a little wary about putting travel data out I won’t say when or exactly where yet. But we’ve got a bunch of boats lined up, one confirmed appointment and the type of boats are all falling in line with our basic requirements.
Each of the boats will be between 34-41 feet long.
Among the top choices were:
Allied Mistress (a 39′ full keeled ketch with an aft cabin)
Morgan Out Island 41 – similar to above
Those are our absolute top, go-to boats right now. Among the second place was a Formosa (Actually it’s a CT 41, but based on the same designs as the Formosa 41), a couple of different Irwin models, another Hallberg-Rassy (33′), a couple of larger boats (a 45′ and a 44′) and too far away to look at, but would be on the top of the list if closer to our destination, would be two Gulfstar sloops.
We’ve been aboard a Westsail 42 in the past (if you watching the banner pictures, you’ll see the actual boat, the Kataboo eventually) – but not a 32. We’ve clambered all OVER a Morgan 41 in the Bahamas that was for sale at one point. The owner wanted too much money, and we didn’t want to fiddle with trying to get him to drop the price at the time. The boat was sold later, I hear, to some folks who wanted it to move Haitians off their island, most likely, illegally. He didn’t get anywhere near what he was asking originally.
I’m partial to a slightly smaller vessel – perhaps 35′ in length. She is looking for something a bit larger. We might, or might not have extra crew join us (family members) from time to time and for unknown lengths of time. There is nothing set in concrete for that and we’re honestly not sure when this might happen, for how long or if the persons in question will do this often or not very often.
Thus we’ve been torn on buying the larger boat and ending up spending more money in repairs and maintenance, or going smaller, more budget-minded and have the extra crew “make do” with the space we allot them. We feel like they really should come along – they are young and could be helpful, but also at the same time this is really for me and my wife, not to accommodate others. Don’t get me wrong, we love them dearly and would welcome them. But you know… decisions, decisions. Oh their part and ours….
Anyway, truthfully, if we locate a boat that is 34-35 feet long and still has an aft cabin (we have a couple of those) to allow my wife and I privacy and a larger cabin area for the galley and an extra space or three for sleeping, it will be fine.
I really, really, like that Hallberg-Rassey we’re looking at. I also really, really, really like the Allied Mistress. Boat good boats, both of them are in our price range. Both of them have the things already on them we want. One is a bit much on asking price, the other has some work that is required before you can sail off.
But, we’ll figure it out.
The Broker we’re working with has told us several times to “sign a S&P” form… basically it’s an offer letter. I don’t want to do that until I SEE boats personally, touch them, look inside, sniff around and do my own mini-survey. Once I do that, I’ll be in a better position to determine if we’ll have a surveyor come out and do the rest of the job for us. So – not getting pushed into making an offer on a boat sight-unseen, not buying a boat JoAnne and I both don’t have 100% agreement on, and won’t buy one that isn’t really what either of us want. We each can veto the others final say on a vessel.
From a practical aspect this is about to be our new home. We don’t want to live in a camper. We don’t want to be “camping”. We want to have some comfort, a nice place to sleep, a dry boat, places to store food, a water maker (eventually), extra power (solar panels and wind generator) and a way to move the boat without an engine (sail, sculling oars, outboard) and a dinghy. HF radio is part of our lives now (we’re hams) and we’ll take our radio gear with us when we finally leave Colorado.
She has another doctor’s visit in October. We’re waiting for that appointment to make the final decision on the house. We’ll likely put it back on the market at the end of October if all works out. If not, we’ll continue on, regroup as we have in the past and continue keeping on….
The RV…. a machine that takes you from your house to a campsite, to a lake for fishing, hauls your boat or All Terrain Vehicles behind so you can tramp through the wilderness, fish or hunt.
Downsizing from a 5 bedroom home with two people to a 40′ sailboat has to have a transition, right? Or not. Some people go right to a boat. Some already have a boat and are set up in two households. Some of us have had to give up our boat(s) and jeeps and other things just to downsize and collect cash to be able to GET our sailing vessel (and don’t even have it yet!)
In our case, our plan included going across country to get to the East Coast from Colorado. We haven’t left yet. But we did some math and figured out that it was going to cost a lot to stay in hotels, eat out a lot and visit friends. Some friends will “put us up” for a day or two, but we can’t really “put them out”. We don’t want to get in the way of peoples’ lives while we’re traveling and visiting on our way across the country.
So the math worked out that we should buy an older, small RV we could load our remaining belongings (clothing, radio gear, JoAnne’s special cooking tools, tools to do repairs and a few other important-to-us things, like books) instead of staying in hotels and eating out every night. So we went on a search and found an old, 1978 Dodge Shasta with a 440 engine, some dents, dings and assorted minor hail damage, but no apparent leaks.
This week it has rained like hell, so I’ve been checking everything on the RV and sure enough… no leaks.
I’ve done some repairs like changing out one of the valve cover gaskets, repaired some damage on the house in the rear of the vehicle and have tested a few things. Last night I dropped the vehicle off at Pikes Peak Traveland, a local RV sales and service place for a “Check the House” inspection. They will check the entire house systems out for me (I don’t have time to do it right now, and I have no way to check for propane leaks etc). I told them IF the house checks good to install new lights on the rear (Brakes, taillights etc) and look for a broken window (one of the side panel windows is shattered, but still in place) as well as to examine the vehicle’s tow system to see if it is sufficient to haul JoAnne’s Wrangler behind us.
We figured it would be good to have a dinghy, you know?
Our belongings have been pared down from 36 years of stuff we’ve collected, saved and stored (in some cases without even knowing what was in the boxes!) to about 12 storage tubs, one military footlocker full of books and 4 tool bags. The next challenge after the RV is repaired and made sea—er roadworthy is to figure out how to pack all that stuff in there.
So, downsizing from a 5 bedroom house to a 22 ft RV should be quite an interesting process. Since we’ve already downsized as much as we have we think we can do it. But, if not, we will go through all of this stuff yet again, tub by tub and eliminate things we don’t need, or duplicates of some items. We decided to keep most of the Amateur Radio equipment, since it works, it has certain jobs and most of it is small (except the HF rig). The HF rig can be used on the boat, on the road, in the RV, at a camp ground or a friend’s house. We can remain in contact with our family through HF using “Airmail” and the Winlink 2000 system of radios across the country.
Dishes have been cut down. I think she has what she needs, but any replacements or items she wants we’ll get. We gave all our beautiful flatware away to our daughter. She had a few pieces. She threw them out before we could get them for the RV. Oh well, you cruise, you lose. I guess we’ll hit Walmart and pick up a small, cheap set for the RV which will do double duty for the boat later.
Tools… were a problem. I have five sets of tools. Electronic tools (I’m an electronics technician, so this is a kind of lifeline for me, and can earn me money). Mechanic’s tools. Need them to work on the RV going across country, and eventually the engine of a yacht. Metal and woodworking tools. I can “make things”, maybe things I can sell or things I can use. Power tools. They are battery operated (Li-ion batteries) and aren’t quite as bulky as A/C operated power tools, but these include a drill, a Sawzall, a skill saw (small rotary blade) and an LED light. I also have an A/C powered sander, a charger for the batteries and a dremmel tool. Lastly we have a bag of rigging tools. This bag has things like string, lines, ropes, shackles, a couple of sailors knives I made, some marlingspikes, bees wax and various other things.
Thus far I can’t figure out how to eliminate any of these. Eventually, I suppose we can pare those down when we find our boat and figure out we need three wrenches, a hammer, an axe and a pocket knife to do everything. I doubt seriously THAT day will come. haha
So in a few days when I get the RV back I’ll have the task of figuring out how badly I suck at Tetris in trying to fit all that stuff into the RV, out of the way, and in a location that keeps it over the centerline and nothing heavy over our heads….
On the bright side, we won’t have to “down size” to a 40 foot boat either.
Housing Market Worries?
I am not really worried about the housing market. Obviously with the house up for sale and things ticking up here and there we shouldn’t be worried. Apparently the housing prices in the region have increased by roughly 5% over the last month or so, homes are selling for slightly higher prices than they were back in May (when we hoped to be on the market but didn’t make it).
The sign went into the yard on the 22nd of July and today is the 8th of August. We’ve had three showings, and each one that provided feed back suggested there was “too much work to do” on the house – which I find… simply amazing. The house has been fully remodeled in every room except the upstairs bathroom. New everything, floors, windows, trim, hardware on doors, paint. We haven’t replaced the appliances as they work fine. Nothing is wrong with them. They just aren’t “stainless steel”. Too bad.
We have spent a few thousand dollars upgrading the house and people I think are just trying to get us to drop the price. Not going to do that, so if you want a “flip house” this isn’t it. Move along. lol
Seriously, if people are out looking for a house to flip, there are plenty of them out there, don’t come to my place expecting to get a rock bottom price. Sorry.
I guess the anxiety comes from the fact that JoAnne and I have only owned one home, ever. This one. For 25 years. We mostly raised our children here, there are a lot of memories and the kids all look at the house and say “This isn’t the house I grew up in”. We see the changes, but those who look at it as a property don’t see those changes. I suspect we will end up selling to a military family – and in fact, I HOPE we do. They can take this place and keep it as a rental property when they PCS out (PCS is Permanent Change of Station, for the uninitiated).
Since we have never owned any other homes, and haven’t sold any other homes this process is rather “new” to us. We bought the place back in 1989 and until this past weekend have lived there since. We moved to my daughter’s house nearby, and I have been back every day, sometimes several times a day, to do yard work, check on the hot tub, clean some more and work on the RV. Yesterday we had an email discussion with the Realtor about all this. It seemed like she wanted us to drop our price pretty quickly. In my research I found that many realtors want to shoot for lowered prices for faster sales on the homes. This gives them more chances to make money quicker.
While we want to get out of here this year, before winter, we’re NOT willing to drop the price so fast. We’d prefer to wait on an offer and then negotiate up or down as the case might be.
So… we think that Patience is the watchword of the day. We’ll try to be patient and see what happens. Then if things work out, good. If they don’t, we always have a Plan B now.
House for Sale
Friday the sign went up in the yard. The house is for sale.
Saturday and Sunday we held a “garage sale”. I’ll never do that again. I’ll give things away or throw them out before I will deal with the weird people that came by to buy things. I guess, as there is a cruiser culture and a further sub-culture within, or a racing culture for cars and one for bikes, there is a “Garage Sale” culture. There are the lookers, the pickers, the pokers, and the takers.
We had them all. I should have had Jimmy Buffett’s “Fruitcakes” playing in the background all day.
We had a few people who honestly looked through things and then tried to underbid one another (yes, I said UNDERBID). Weird. We had a few neighbors who offered the cost of the item we asked (like a nice desk chair for 8 bucks) and we had some who moved everything on the tables around, back and forth, put them on other tables and dropped things on the ground.
Then we had the thieves. You would never believe that you have items sitting out that are worth a couple of bucks with a .50 cent price tag get stolen, right? Or a nice, nearly new fan at $5.00 get walked off without us really understanding until later what happened.
I did sell ALL my power tools that I’m not taking with me, that was a good thing. Got a decent price too.
All in all though, we’re done. This morning I rented a small storage area to put our boat stuff in (a bunch of tubs going with us) so we don’t have to take that to my daughter’s home. With luck we will only need it three months or less. (Average on sale time is about 65 days or so, some homes going in a day or two, others months….).
The flyers should be in the box in the next day or two. We should be moved out in about the same time.
Gate is done, guard rails back in place, new fencing, deck has been refinished, and the basement mostly empty. Upstairs is mostly empty too.
I’m beat, JoAnne is exhausted. We still have to move out our bedroom stuff to the daughter’s place and give a few more things to the kids and donation.
I’m ready to stop working on this stuff and get going.
I hope we sell the house soon.
All done… now what?
We passed a rather large milestone yesterday with the house. The last room was painted yesterday. My wife painted the “Great Room”, really a family room in the basement while I was putting in the last of the trim in her old office.
Basically, all I have left of the major projects to do on the house is to put in the trim in that room this evening (and I have to do some cut in on the ceiling where she missed painting it).
Other than that, we have no major projects left. I have a few hours of work left to do on some electrical boxes, re-installation of a handrail on the stairwell, and one on the front porch. The deck needs a coat of paint ( a couple hours perhaps) and we have to empty the rest of the “crap” we’ve not gotten rid of. We missed our 1 May date to finish, and 1 June date. But we likely won’t miss the 1 July date.
Last week we purchased our “Land Yacht”, a smallish Class C Shasta RV. It’s older, kind of like us, in decent shape for it’s age and not too many miles. It should serve our purpose; that is to keep us out of hotels along the road trip Eastward, and get us to the far side of the country in a snail-like fashion. We expect it to cost some cash in gasoline, but we will be just fine.
Tonight I plan to finish the trim, the paint and start moving junk out of the house to the garage we can put in a garage sale. With luck, this weekend coming up and next we ought to be able to get together a small yard sale and get rid of stuff. We plan to get the home on the market pretty quick after that and with luck have it sold within three months. Maybe less. The market is doing well at the moment, and we will see.
Now, there is BAD news from our neck of the woods. Last Monday on the way home from work I could see a small fire on the mountain in the Air Force Academy grounds from my work. I work roughly 41 miles from the Academy. Fortunately the fire was contained and put out rather quickly, within I think a couple hours. It was only about 100X100 feet in diameter as I understand it. However, it was dry, windy and no rain was forecast for Tuesday – and conditions were optimum for a forest fire to take hold. And it did.
On Tuesday afternoon at 1435 leaving work I saw smoke to the NW, perhaps 15-20 miles away. That fire had apparently just started, and it mushroomed very quickly. By the time I arrive home, 30 minutes later, the smoke plume was up to 25,000 feet in height and stretching 35 miles to the ENE. Radar was showing it was growing quickly. I could see the smoke from my home (about 8 miles south of the actual fire) and it was being reported as “dangerous”. They were rapidly evacuating people from the area and the fire grew rapidly.
The fire is now known as “the Black Forest Fire” and has sadly claimed two lives. 483 homes, 14,200 acres have been destroyed. Numerous outbuildings are not counted in that count but for every home there was likely at least one outbuilding in that area, whether sheds, barns or garages. Thousands of people have been displaced, hundreds of domesticated animals including goats, horses, dogs and cats had to be saved. Currently the Sheriff says there is no obvious evidence of foul play, but the incident IS being investigated as a crime scene (probably because two persons were killed, over run by a fire storm it appears at this point) and they are leaving no stone unturned to find the cause. The last I heard for certain was neither the Air Force Academy fire OR the Black Forest Fire were caused by lightning (confirmed by the National Weather Service, no lightning within 72 hours of the Black Forest fire’s start, which happens to encompass the AFA fire’s time line.)
This fire came just about two weeks short of one year from the Waldo Canyon Fire on the slope to my west. This fire was north of me. Both fires were with 8 miles distance of my own house (neither moved in the direction of my house though, my family was not in danger either time and most of my children were safe at their homes as well).
The Waldo Canyon fire was started by a human. At this point it appears that so was the Black Forest Fire. No suspects or persons of interest have been found yet.
At this point though, I think it is time to get my home on the market. I need to sell it, and I’m sure someone probably needs a house to live in.
It’s a sad world we live in if those fires were started on purpose.
Finishing the house
We figured out we have somewhere around 24 doors in our house, counting closets, bedrooms, bathrooms and interior and exterior doors leading in and out of the house.
Yikes, that’s a lot of doors to paint. All white.
Trim is nearly completed.
I still have a lot of little jobs to accomplish, like finishing installing a toilet and sink in the downstairs bathroom, repainting the upstairs bathroom and a few places where I need to complete the trim. I think there are also a couple of closets that aren’t painted yet, as well as finishing the electrical part (replacing some plugs, switches and covers).
1 May has come and passed us by two days and we didn’t quite make our “deadline” but we nearly got it. Now we’re in “Days overruns” (not costing any more at least!)
I decided to give myself two more good weekends to complete all of those jobs. We should be done by mid May.
Now we’ll shoot for Market by the end of the month. Time to interview Realtors now.
We moved here in N0vember 1989 on a whim. We had five children and I left my military career to start a business in Colorado with some friends.
We bought a house and I got a “temporary” job in my normal field of electronics and radios. The business never worked out, the first job didn’t work out and we struggled to keep our home; but we did. I rejoined the military as a Reservist to finish my 20 years (I did 26 years total with the military). In the mean time I have been a teacher, electronics technician, computer systems administrator and a “security engineer” (unlike “sanitation engineer” this doesn’t mean I do “security” and I’m not a “security guard” – instead I use my electronics skills and other skills to maintain an electronic security system and keep the customers happy.
JoAnne didn’t really “work”; she was “just a mom” – a phrase which I am sure pisses off a lot of moms. Moms are some of the hardest working people on the planet. They are cooks, finance managers, taxi drivers, food provisioners and do many, many other jobs that those of us who do not stay home with the kids on a daily basis have no clue about. JoAnne has worked in fast food restaurant management and retail sales now for many years.
Both of us are tired of working for someone else, spending so much time apart and so much money taken from us in taxes to pay for those who live on the “Government dole” After thirty seven years of working for the government and having them take and take and take from us, we’re tired of giving.
In our nearly twenty five years here in Colorado we’ve lived in the same house–a record for both of us now, to have lived in one house, in one city, in one state for so long a time. We made friends and lost friends, had many jobs, climbed mountains, camped by lakes, traveled the Western United States from here. Our children were raised for the most part in this home in which we live.
Last night it suddenly hit me, even after planning and working for the past five years to accomplish our goal, that we were actually about to accomplish our goals.
We have an incredible view of the mountains and a pretty house. Over the years we let a lot of maintenance things slip simply because we were both working long hours or just too tired to do much when we got home. I suspect we’re both going to miss that view of Pikes Peak out the back windows, sitting in the hot tub as the sun sets on Friday nights having a glass of mead or a beer, chocolate covered strawberries and awaiting the stars to begin twinkling.
A lot of memories are in that house, some good, some bad, but they are our memories and the good part is we can keep those memories.
Our children are all grown up, moved away; they all still live here in Colorado and have their own children and lives to live now. We think that none of them want us to leave because they will miss us and yet they all have come to accept the fact we’re going. JoAnne and I have accepted that we’re starting a new life now one where we will count on each other even more than we ever have. A life that will, if we do things right grant us vistas that will rival the view of the mountains out the back yard. This life will have dangers and it will have it’s moments of safety.
We plan to leave this life of working constantly and just enjoy the years we have left together.
When we first came up with the idea of moving to a sailboat and cruising around the world or just to some foreign port there was a little trepidation. Though we are both world travelers now and can handle “culture shock” and not speaking the language we do get along well with people and enjoy traveling so putting the two things together was perhaps more difficult in our minds than it will be in fact.
I don’t think either of us is quite ready for an offshore passage yet, but we’re ready to try it. In the coming months we have to sell our home — with luck that process will start in less than a couple of weeks when the finishing work is competed. After that the next part of the process is locating the boat that is right for us to begin our travels. Once we do that we still have a long journey to “get there”. We have to fit out the boat, use it and practice sailing some more, get used to the “Rules of the Road” again (been some time since we were on the ocean now) and we have to plan our first few months out. Many cruisers will tell you not to plan too far in advance and we do understand this, but we want at least to know where we’re starting and have an idea where we need to be in hurricane seasons and winters now.
We are going to miss Colorado but we will probably be too busy to miss it much. Our grand children are another story. We will miss them immeasurably.
Thought of the day
I’ll post a “Thought for the Day” over there——–>
Most likely it’ll be sailing related… or it won’t.
And the Winner is….
You will all note that the name of this blog is called “Winds of Time”.
The first boat we owned was “Winds of Change” and the dinghy was “Small Change”. The names Winds of Change and Time come from a Jimmy Buffett song, “Growing Older but not Up” which positively describes me to a T and JoAnne perhaps to a lesser extent. We chose the name of our first boat from that song, Winds of Time.
Now, I know that boat names in some persons’ opinions should radiate femininity, or at least a female sounding name. I also know (and to a small degree believe) the name should be short, easy to pronounce and to be able to phonetically SAY over the radio. The name should be as UNIQUE as possible. There are those who think three names or two names on a vessel is too many, and you didn’t use enough brainpower to come up with it. I disagree. But, I’ll talk about that again shortly.
We had kind of decided for ourselves many moons back that since our first boat was “Winds of Change” the second would be “Winds of Time” and we kept that idea in our heads, thus this blog’s name. However, awhile back we were discussing lists of names and the type of boat we’re getting, where we’re planning to go and our previous travels. We decided that no matter what the boat name would be, the blog’s name wouldn’t change.
So we came up with a long list of names, probably close to one hundred names, things like names of ancient gods and goddesses, animals, stars, planets and constellations. One in particular was the name of a space station which has figured prominently in a series of books that I am working on, Estrellita – Little Star in Spanish.
About 3-4 weeks ago we decided to have a vote. Family, some friends and some internet friends we have known for some years. I opened a poll on a web site I help to run and let the folks there vote, and on a private Facebook family page we held a separate vote.
I kept a running tally on the voting on a spread sheet and at the end of the final eight names we’d chosen for the poll, we were to come up with the top three names; run a secondary vote to decide the top name.
Things didn’t work out that way.
We came up with two very clear leaders out of all the names we’d chosen originally, pared down the last eight names.
There are a hand full of “Third Place” holders and therefore, today JoAnne and I have decided that the CLEAR winner will be the name of the boat when we finally pick her out and purchase her. The first runner up will become the name of our Dinghy.
Let me explain why. Many of our friends and people we’ve read state categorically that naming your dinghy after the mother-ship is a clear indication for opportunistic thieves to visit your floating home while you’re away. In other words naming a boat “Susie” and then dinghy “Susie II” or any other combination that might indicate your absence from home is an invitation. So, being that the two names are significantly removed from one another, that gave us this idea.
The final Eight Names Chosen from the original 100 were:
Winds of Time
The final tally placed “Seastar” dead last.
Next from the bottom was “Marielee” and “Maryjean”. Both names derived from our daughters’ names and our mom’s names respectively. (Sorry Ladies; but as they say it IS the thought that counts.)
The names that got the next number of votes each were, “Dreamweaver”, “Estrellita” and “Horizons”, each a good name for a vessel; but not our vessel.
As I was stating earlier the name of a vessel is important to the owners, one hopes. The boat name SHOULD say something about the owners, the vessel and her travels; or at least intended travels. JoAnne and I have no intention of sitting in a slip or hanging out on some dock all the time. We intend to travel, far and wide, visit the haunts of Pirates, islands and beaches; thus the boat must suit us to take us around the coasts as well as cross the seas. A boat name should reflect our lives, our love of life and our character as well as perhaps our hobbies. We are both science fiction readers, and travelers. We’ve traversed the US several times, as well as traveled in Europe and Asia. We’re not really “stay at home types” though we did it for our children.
So, without making you wait any longer…. the top two names were (Drum Roll please) were:
In Second Place: “Serenity”
In First Place: “Winds of Time”
Funny how that worked out. This was the name we originally chose for our cruising boat; and yet gave almost one hundred other names the chance and still, the name with three words came in first.
With ONE small caveat the new boat when purchased will be re-christened to “Winds of Time” and the dinghy will be named “Serenity”.
Here’s the caveat; if we locate a boat, probably older, bigger and already a “successful” cruiser that has “made a name for herself” – and is possibly a well-know boat, we might not change from that name and the “Winds of Time” will likely go back into the name bucket for next time.
However, if we pick up a boat with no name, or a name that is dumb, stupid or even unpronounceable (like many are to me) then we’ll do a renaming ceremony.
As to the Dinghy. When we buy the boat, if there is one, we’ll use that boat, but the first opportunity I get, I’m building our dinghy. I already have the plans for it, know what it will be like and how long she will be. She will be a wooden two piece nestable dinghy that can be sailed and row. Thus she WILL get the name “Serenity” (not the “comes with the mother ship dinghy” dinghy).
Thanks to all our kids and their spouses and our friends who chose to vote on the names. A special thanks goes to my good friend Ryan Ruck in Ohio for coming up with the name “Serenity” and congrats Ryan that your choice came in second! ( I know he’s a rabid Firefly Fan so good on him!) haha
Thanks to my dear Lady JoAnne for putting up with my incessant bothering over this for the past few weeks too.
Dad used to tell me “When you do a job, don’t do it half-assed”. My wife has accused me of “never finishing” (or rarely finishing projects) – so I suppose I didn’t listen to my dad in that case.
When we started working on the house we knew we were going to be spending a lot of money. We budgeted what we thought we would need then went through and did a quick calculation of what it was going to take (give or take a couple thousand). Since we had the funds in the bank, in cash and could spend it we considered all the ways we could either sell the house quickly or get the top dollar out of it.
Given that the house will only get us “what the market will bear” is something that has weight heavily on me since we started. I have been doing a lot of the work, but we hired contractors to do some as well, like rebuild a bathroom and add carpet. As it turns out after researching things and weighing the cost of flooring versus carpeting we decided to go with oak hardwood flooring, new carpets in the four – soon-to-be, five bedrooms (another thing we had the contractors do). Essentially we wound up having a bathroom remodeled, a closet added to JoAnne’s old office, new hardwood floor and some minor electrical.
Over the past three months I’ve personally rebuilt plumbing, installed new electrical fixtures (lights, switches, plugs, new covers, etc), hung bedroom and closet doors, laid tile, grouted tile, painted everything in sight, breathed fumes from paint, hammered my left thumb, index finger and wrist (don’t ask how I did that), dropped a door on my foot, cut open both hands–twice. I’ve climbed up and down the ladder roughly five hundred times and crawled the length of the house ripping out old carpet, tack strips and nails, then started repeating the process to re-install the floorboard trim. I’ve installed new door knobs, painted doors and missed a bunch of small spots I’m going to have to go back and touch up.
Last night I finished the kitchen – except the trim, which I will complete tonight giving me a roughly 1/10 or 10% completion of the project. hahaha
Tonight the kitchen will be completed. We only have to move the new fridge in and mount the new microwave to say “It is 100%”.
However, this weekend we accomplished putting trim in two bedrooms, JoAnne and our daughter Kristy painted the kitchen with “Kilz” because it was pink (JoAnne always wanted a pink kitchen. I’m NOT letting her paint the galley pink on the boat though so don’t worry) and I did the rest of the painting yesterday for the kitchen.
Basically, if I had to put a real and honest “percentage completed” on this we actually have all of the upstairs bedrooms “finished” except the trim. Minor repairs in the master bedroom. A full “cleaning” in the upstairs bathroom. One linen closet door to be installed, and a patch of carpet for the front room closet.
The basement needs both sets of closet doors in the bedrooms completed – I have one set left to hang and adjust and the other set to adjust so they swing correctly. The bathroom in the downstairs needs the toil installed and the sink and vanity installed.
And I have perhaps a few small jobs to repair or patch things and touch up painting, and nearly all the electrical sockets and switches upstairs and down.
But JoAnne said it best when she said, “Hey, we’re FINISHING jobs now, not starting them”
I’d give us perhaps an 89% to 92% completion score on the projects.
My son has promised to come over and work on the yard when the weather improves… (Let me see, first snow was October 2012, and we’re expecting snow tonight on 22 April 2013: That’s six months of winter so I figure we will have perhaps 3 days this summer when the weather will “improve”.)
Our “May 1st” shoot day is still in the picture – I have one full weekend and 9 total evenings to complete the following:
Trim the rest of the rooms
Install new plugs and switches
Touch up the paint
Paint the doors
—— Ok, we might get finished about 10 May(ish) – we’ll see
Either way, we are still hitting our “Month of May” shoot day to find a realtor.
Dinghy for sale
Alrighty then; the dingy was sold on Friday.
So, Winds of Change is gone, and so too now is “Small Change”.
Posted: 2013-04-08, 3:20PM MDT
Walker Bay 8′ dinghy / sailboat – $800 (Colorado Springs)
If you need a small lightweight fishing boat, a small sailing dinghy or just want a row boat this is the boat for you. Sorry, the sailing rig, boat and all parts go together, will not separate them. The price is firm. This boat new costs $900 and the sailing rig another $900.
If you’re interested, call to speak to me at 719-310-7576 any time after 3PM on Weekdays until 7:30 PM. All day on weekends after 0800.
Do NOT Text my phone as text messages will be ignored. Contact via voice. Serious inquiries only.
- Location: Colorado Springs
- it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
Posting ID: 3731292858
Posted: 2013-04-08, 3:20PM MDT
April Blizzard – Colorado, 2013
Ok, it was kind of a fizzle. I got to work at 0610 this morning and unsecured my area, walked across to Security to get some water for my coffee pot and they told me “They just closed the base”. I hung around another couple hours waiting for the snow and watching the radar. When it appeared it was a few miles south of me headed north I decided to leave (before the bus service quit, I was having trouble walking in the 50 knot winds).
So home I came. It ended up blowing HARD. 60 knot gusts here. Geez. But the snow that was promised never really amounted to more than a light dusting and it couldn’t stay on the ground because the wind would whip it back in the air for its further trip where ever snow ends up when blown by 60 knot winds….
I didn’t waste a snow day though. I cut and fitted a whole bunch of doors’ casements – the trim that goes around the inside and outside. I finished the three upstairs bedrooms and the bath room door. I haven’t finished the inner bathroom door because I need to do some other work on the wall in there before I can put up the trim. I did get two frames mostly painted. Need to remove the doors to finish the frame and paint the doors. I’ll do that another day.
It’s been a long day (driving 20 miles to work in 50-60 knot winds and then back home again, then to the hardware store and back and working on those doors). I’m getting closer to being done with them though. Woot!
A couple hours per night ought to get me finished this week with the trim work, then I can start on the baseboards. /sigh
The contractors haven’t contacted me in almost two weeks, and they haven’t finished the job. The basement shower isn’t completed yet, I’ve done more work than they have pulling the carpets, installing doors, painting every room in the house (with the help of JoAnne, Kristy and Carlos). They have the closet finished at least, but haven’t move the light fixture yet.
I still owe them a pretty huge chunk of money… so I figure they will call me someday, lol.
Hopefully it will be by this weekend. I’d REALLY like to have that bathroom finished so I can do the work I need to do upstairs. (Got to have a functional bathroom, I’m not going to start using a bucket in the house, that’s for boats).
I suppose I should call them, but if they are not going to finish the work, I’m not finishing paying them. Oh well…..
Every joint in my body is aching from lifting, stretching, climbing up and down, hammering, sawing (all by hand by the way), ripping out the carpets and so on. Oh yeah, so do most of my muscles ache. And I’m in pretty decent shape for an old guy.
The worst thing though about all this work is my hands. They are so bloody dry I can sand wooden boards with them… lol
They are getting cracked and sore too. I feel like I’ve been running a marathon without actually running haha. In effect we have been, both JoAnne and I. We haven’t stopped except for one evening off in about two solid months. We come home from work and kick into high gear on some project. Then I get up at 0500 and go to work, come home about 1500 and keep going usually until she gets home around 1830. She went into work today (they didn’t close the Air Force Academy, but did close Schriever) and should be getting off work in about 15 minutes.
I haven’t even thought about dinner. I stopped working about 15 or 20 minutes ago.
Think it’s time for some hot tea… or some rum. heh
I installed all the upstairs doors today (except the linen closet) – so five more doors. Two bathroom, two bedroom and the front room closet.
The last bedroom door took me all of about 10 minutes. I guess I got better at putting them in.
Now I have to paint all the trim – not today, ack, I’m sore. Tomorrow probably and install that around the doors. I’ll stop and get my trim nails and most of the baseboard material tomorrow on the way home from work and then start painting as much as I can.
Should take me about 30-60 minutes per door frame – so about 9 doors right now. I haven’t started the other closets yet so – a few more after that. Should take me about 3-5 more days to get all the doors accomplished. I have to cut some dry wall and patch the linen closet (they had a regular door on it and we’re replacing all the closet doors with the same type, bi-fold 6 panel doors).
Also installed all the new hardware on the doors, door knobs etc.
Installed some light fixtures today as well.
The trash company is sorely upset with us…. we have been putting out significantly more trash than normal and they called to complain. 🙂 I told them last week was the “last week”. I think I lied to them. I’ll give them a break and then fill up as much as I can again. I’m going to have to load the carpet in the truck though and take it to the dump. I don’t want to mess with that crap again.
If I EVER have another house (unlikely at this point) I will NEVER put carpet in it. Carpet is nasty, gross and collects every piece of dander, dirt, dust, cat and dog hair and who knows what kind of living critters are down in there. Yuk!
Left to do…
Door trim. Floor trim. Paint touchup in some of the rooms, patching in a basement bedroom, some more light fixtures, install sink, vanity and toilet in the downstairs bathroom, install all the rest of the closet doors, repair the upstairs bathroom, repair the master bedroom window drywall, replace all the plugs, switches and covers and clean the yards up.
End of April, or first week of May I ought to be mostly completely.
Last thing is get rid of all the junk we collected into one place in the basement. Garage sale I guess.
Doors, levels and wedges, oh my!
I have managed to hang one door in the house. The carpenter that was working on the basement showed me how (I’ve hung doors before, but they were heavy wooden doors and not these lighter hollow core doors, so I figured it would be immensely easier). Watching the carpenter I saw just how simple it was.
Then I tried it on my own a few days later.
Apparently I missed a step or something. What took him less than three minutes took me four hours and eighteen minutes, five splinters, two smashed thumbs and I went through something like 15 shims (little wedges you use to level the door vertically and horizontally) – the carpenter used probably 8 or 9 at most. The door is hanging straight… but the nearly 1″ thick hardwood flooring that was installed made it difficult to get the door swinging correctly with the carpet.
I had to remove the bottom 1/4″ of the door.
I’ll have to go find a wood plane in my tools to make THAT part right again.
On the bright side I only have about four more of those doors to hang. The next couple shouldn’t be as difficult and the last one ought to be perfect.
Then there’s the twelve closet doors in the house (double doors in five bed rooms, front room closet and the linen closet….) – I hope they are simpler… ack.
Why am I becoming a Cruiser?
My dear, sweet wife and I have spent the last five years getting ready. My mother had a saying that I remember from when I was a little kid. I once asked mom when she was going to make some cupcakes or cookies or other equally sweet treat while she was reading. She looked up at me and said, “Well, soon…” and I persisted. She replied, “Ok, I’m fixin’ to begin to commence to start, I’ll let you know when they are done.”
I happily went on my way thinking I’d convinced mom to get those treats done. Several hours later I wandered back into the house and didn’t smell cookies baking. I was disappointed, but I started to learn about patience. I’m still learning patience today. In fact, I’m to the point where I don’t yell and scream at the bozo in front of me on the street that’s going 20 miles under the speed limit. I might cuss him under my breath now, but I don’t yell as much out loud as I used to do. My wife however says I still have none. But I do…..
It has taken every ounce of patience to get to where we are today, five long, tough years of sticking to our written plan. Getting our bills paid off, getting “off the credit card dole” (you all know that free money the government is using day in and day out that they don’t have? We don’t have to worry about OUR credit cards now, only the government’s credit!) We have been putting away money, close to 20% of our monthly income. That money is being used to update and upgrade our home so we can sell the old place. We have nearly a new house from the “keel up”. New windows, new flooring, new paint inside and out, new gutters, new bathroom, new carpet, new doors and frames, new trim and new tile in the basement family area. We even have newer appliances in the kitchen. Last year a new hot tub went in, and I replaced most of the deck boards. We added a closet to JoAnne’s office (we called it a Library) in the basement so we now have five bedrooms in the house.
The “Plan” has come almost to completion. The next step is to put the house on the market which seems to be picking up in our area, cross out fingers and hope we can get the best price given the market. The step after that…. we’re a little unclear about. We have been flexible about everything and we will be flexible about all our future plans. We might move in temporally with our daughter, or we might pick up a small camper trailer and put that at the daughter’s place to keep us out of their hair, then we might keep it at our own home while it’s on the market and just move in there for during the selling process (it is, after all nearly spring, except for the cold winds here in Colorado in mid March….sigh) or we might get the home sold fast!
We have several options though. Patience is proving to be virtue. But, the following story explains why I’m becoming a cruiser. In the “real world” where we live day in and day out you take things as they come. In the cruising world (which I have barely sampled thus far) I have already noticed you can simply ignore people when they are really getting on your nerves. You don’t feed the animals, as they say, or the trolls (on the internet) because if you do, they get bigger, stronger and more powerful. I totally forgot that lesson somewhere along the way. The guy below is why I am becoming a cruiser. Just to prove him wrong.
In the middle of all this a few weeks ago a colleague asked me about our plans. He thought that perhaps I was clueless and couldn’t answer his questions I think. Throughout the last five years my wife and I have gladly answered questions about what we’re planning. We even went against some very good advice to “keep quiet, don’t tell anyone, they will try to ruin it for you!” due to, we assume jealousy, or just wanting to be party poopers. I’ve never been one to let people poop on my party though, so we’ve continued to say “We will do this and that, we have a plan, and things are coming together”. I guess no one warned me about the Perpetual Party Pooping Pessimist though. Usually when someone asks what can be perceived as a “dumb question” one continues on and answers the question because for many years I was told “There’s no such thing as a dumb question.” Unfortunately, this isn’t true, and I just didn’t know that it wasn’t true, I believed the rhetoric!
The following individual spent the ten minutes we were talking not asking me questions, but telling me all the ways I would fail. His initial question was, “Hey, I heard you plan to retire to a boat! How’s that going?”
When I started to tell him, I couldn’t even finish a sentence before he would tell me how it wasn’t going to work. For instance, I said, “Well, things are going good. We got rid of all our bills!”
He responded with, “Well, you can’t really do that, there’s always going to be bills. You have to pay for internet, cable, telephones, electricity, water, gas and there’s your mortgage!”
“I’m selling the house; I won’t have a mortgage, electric or cable bills or water or gas bills. I won’t even have to pay property taxes then…,” he interrupts me before I can finish the thought or statement.
“Of course you’ll pay property taxes; you are buying a YACHT after all! Those are expensive and you have either saved a lot of money which I doubt with YOUR job or you’re embezzling it,” he says.
“Embezzling? What?” the whole idea of paying property taxes on an “expensive yacht” was missed by me completely with the accusation.
“You have to have a house someplace, where you going to live????”
“On a boat,” I calmly tell him.
“You can’t live on a boat in the United States; you have to have an address! You have to pay your taxes! You have to have a domicile! That’s a law or something… isn’t it?”
“I’m not really sure it’s a law,” I say working desperately to maintain my ‘patience’. Before I could say anything else, he interrupted again.
“So you’re going to just jump on a boat and sail to some Caribbean Islands? You’re going to LIVE on a boat? Does your wife go along with this? I mean, what about Pirates!” he tries a new tack. He’s on my starboard side, I’ve got the right-of-way I think so I stand on.
“It was my wife’s idea. There’s no pirates in the Caribbean save the occasional thief…”
“Your wife’s idea, I can’t believe that. And you’re going to go along with this? What about sharks?”
“Sharks?” I question.
“Sure, are you sure she’s not just trying to do you in? Feed you to the sharks for the insurance money?”
“What insurance money?” I ask.
“NO INSURANCE?! How can you not have life insurance? That’s like a sin or something, and I think there’s a law that covers that too!”
“I think you’re thinking of Obamacare. I won’t have that either,” I stamp my foot, clench my fists now.
“Well, there’s another thing? How are you going to pay for the new healthcare laws, you have to pay your fair share!?”
Finally, defeated, my patience gone and my forearm muscles cramping because of the fist-clench I smile at him in a psychotic sort of wild eyed grin and say, “I’m not. I’m taking all my guns with me, collecting the worst dregs of humans I can and we’ll be raiding the whole coast of Florida, writing Spanish graffiti all over every dock to make them think Spanish pirates are alive and well. I’ll just murder those old people and take their EBT cards, their welfare checks, and I’ll steal the fuel from hapless vessels I will hull with my cannons and machine guns. I’ll take all the women and put them to work in the galley so my wife and do her job of cutting the balls off of every man that asks a stupid question of me again! YARRRRR!” I yell into his face.
He just grinned and said, “You can’t carry guns on a boat! There’s an international law against it! Those old ladies don’t have EBT cards. They live on their pensions…. And I don’t think anyone will believe there are Spanish pirates in the Caribbean… and where did YOU get a machine gun anyway?”
I finally rolled by eyes and walked away. I guess even a cynic can’t remember when he contradicts himself.
Yeah, patience is a virtue. He’s still alive… for now. Until I get the cannons…. YARRRR!
The truth is I want to get away from the rat race and people like that, I want to spend the rest of my life at a slower pace. Driving at 60 or sailing at 6 knots is an option I can ill afford to pass up. Considering all of the problems and learning curve that went with learning to sail (and of course I’ve only just learned it a few years ago – you continue learning for the rest of your life I’ve found out) it is still going to be less difficult on my blood pressure dealing with mechanical issues, weather windows and lumpy seas than it will dealing with the guy from the foregoing conversation. The conversation happened almost exactly as related above. The problem is this person does exist in various maturation stages. He exists about individual rights. He exists where it comes to controlling other people.
This particular person I’ve found over time is a very vehement anti-gun person. He apparently is hateful of those he perceives as “wealthy”. Knowing that he makes more money than me (and he knows this simply because of our job types, I’m a maintenance-worker-electronics type and he’s a thinking-scientist-type who got his degree in some big school while I spent thirty years in college never actually finished a degree; especially not a liberal arts degree) makes him “better than me”. He can neither afford to retire early, nor would he ever consider doing it on a “boat”. He has this belief that I’ll be on some house boat hanging my laundry on the clothes line and out putting my (hard earned I’ll add) savings in some “offshore bank” avoiding paying “my fair share”.
The truth is a person like this knows nothing at all about guns. He knows less about yachts. He knows even less about the Constitution. He certainly knows nothing of freedoms and individual liberties and believes that the individual exists to SERVE his government, to pay his ‘fair share’ so the rest can live instead of understanding that it was people like me, serving in the military that gave him the right to be a complete moron.
Dad used to tell me that you can be the most well-read (Book-learned he called them) person in the world but without “horse sense” (the phrase Dad used to indicate “common sense”) you were dumber than a rock. If you couldn’t put that Horse Sense to work and think out a problem with or without book-learnin’ then you were worthless as a person. Dad used to put us to the test all the time. Without teaching us something, he’d ask us to try. When we didn’t get it right, he’d walk us through it simply and carefully explaining how to come to a solution, all without teaching us the nuts and bolts of the problem.
Years later when I became a teacher (and still believed in “No such thing as a dumb question”) I used that same technique to train people to troubleshoot. They had a minimal knowledge of a radio for instance and I’d work on them, getting them to think through what they knew and what was happening, even to guess (accurately usually) what might be happening to a signal. Once they got the hang of a very simple circuit or a problem, the solution came easily.
My “friend” was a guy who could not, or would not for some reason even listen to a response before moving to the next question and impressing upon me just what a problem I’m going to have counting on myself “out there”. I’ve had similar conversations with him about the same subject and it occurred to me that these Perpetual Party Pooping Pessimists don’t really CARE if you explain the answer, help them figure out the solution, or just give them answer. They want it their way, they want to be right all the time and they don’t give a crap what YOU want or if you have figured out the solution.
I suppose they are even in the cruising community (I know they are, I’m not kidding myself, I’ve met them on bulletin board systems, forums, in chat rooms and email. They are the same folks I know I’m trying to get away from. Here at work, daily, driving around me, in the grocery store, I have to put up with them with a smile, or make them leave me alone with the “crazy look”. Out there, they are dangerous people.
When my patience wears thin, I have to remember I rely on no one but myself and my wife, and she relies on herself and me. We’re a team and we’ve been one for over thirty-five years now. We get along and see eye-to-eye on almost everything (except politics, which we aren’t taking with us). We will both smile and move along when we run into those people.
So… why am I becoming a cruiser? I’m doing it to get away from the Rat Race, to live life on MY terms, to count on ME, to do or die. That’s why.
The Five Year Plan
It’s already February 2013. This is Year Five of the “Five Year Plan”. We had one goal this year, to sell the house.
We’ve spent the last few weeks emptying it, selling things, throwing things out. I’m trying to clean stuff, but have a cold today. We’ve had two realtors in to look things over. Not sure about that yet.
We have been talking to contractors – we need one bathroom rebuilt from scratch, another refurbished, and the kitchen floor tiles redone, painting, doors, trim, etc.
As soon as that crap.. I mean as soon as we accomplish that, we can put the house on the market haha.
Once we sell… we are gone.
Jeep sold. If anyone knows someone that wants a smaller sailboat, she’s for sale too. We need to get rid of that boat soon. I don’t want to have to GIVE it away – and I won’t drop the price much under what it is, I’ll donate it before I will do that.