Thursday, April 26

Packing and Moving

Boxes in the upstairs hall
Items going on the boat
I apologize for the lack of posts lately.  It seems pretty boring to write about what we are doing especially since it's not all that exciting to us either.  It was great fun writing about the trials and tribulations of buying a boat and living aboard for a week for our shakedown cruise.  Now that we have accomplished that, it seems like somewhat of a let down.  We are still very busy gearing up for our trip as well as the end of school chaos.  I have been busy buying school books and supplies.  Thank goodness for ebay and the used book section on amazon.  We have purchased some chart books and guide/travel books, as well as a new grill and stereo for the boat.
Boxes are starting to be piled in corners of every room.  We have boxes that are going into storage and then we have boxes we are taking on the boat.   The girls have started packing up their rooms and we packed up most of the play room and third floor.  We are making progress and they are eager to help, which is great fun for me
Craig built a floor in the other half of our attic so we can store more stuff up there.  We are trying to make our storage needs as little as possible.  We have sorted out movers and found a home for our trampoline.  I purchased our airline tickets to Florida!  Eeeek,'s real, it's happening.....
As I am writing this post, our delivery captain, Dan, is sailing our boat up the coast of Florida.  He has a friend and nephew on board and called to say they caught a tuna!  They'll be eating well tonight.  They should arrive at the St. Augustine inlet at 8 am tomorrow morning.  Once they get to the marina, they will haul it out and the rudder repair can start. 
June is quickly approaching and with each passing day I am realizing that the adventure is going to happen whether I am ready or not.  As I was reading a fellow bloggers post the other day about moving aboard their new Manta, she remembered her dad telling her, as a child, that she wasn't really scared but it's just the anticipation and excitement that fools you into thinking you're scared.  I think that is a perfect way of describing how I am feeling.

Saturday, April 14

SOLD! or in our case, Leased

The last (potentially) massive roadblock has been cleared!  We have secured a family to live in our house while we are gone.  It took nearly 2 weeks of negogiating and seemed more complicated than buying a house!  It was all worth it to have peace of mind this far out from our departure date of June 10th.  They have 2 little boys and want to paint our pretty girly rooms!  Oh well, I guess it’s a small price to pay.   Kate thinks it’s great because she wants a change anyway.  What?!  Those beautiful pink stripes took 3 days for Craig and I to do.  I hate the idea of painting over our hard work or worse yet, doing it all over again.  On the other hand, it’s been 5 years, so they’ve had a good life.  I can assure you of one thing, we won’t be doing stripes again! 

Having the house leased is a big deal.  I can’t quite put my finger on the emotions that I have been experiencing.  Frankly there are too many to describe in one, single, solitary word or even a few.  Do you have an hour?  The pragmatic side of me just keeps on moving, one foot in front of the other.  I cross one thing off my list, only to add a dozen more moments later.  Some days I am paralyzed with procrastination, not knowing what to do next but mostly there are not enough hours in the day.  We have a goal, and by golly, we are going to reach that goal!  The emotional side comes alive when I lay my head on my pillow each night.  It keeps me from falling asleep sometimes, even though I am exhausted.  Or worse, I wake up at 4 or 5 am and can’t go back to sleep because my mind starts racing.  Craig says that this will be the hardest part of our trip….all the planning, purchasing, preparing and provisioning.  Once we get on that boat, it will all be done and worth it!  Sort of….I feel like there is so much to be done that I can’t get excited.  Is that normal?  I know I am excited but right now, that is not how I would describe it.
Before we bought our boat, before we rented the house, way back when we decided to make this trip a reality, our list was very vague and broad.  Go ahead, take a look back to what our list looked like.   With each step toward our departure, our list becomes more precise with minute details.  Our list has gone from “buy a boat, rent house, research school options”, to the following (in no particular order):

·      Cancel homeowners insurance (June 9th – the day we have to be out!)
·      Get new rental property home insurance
·      Secure movers and storage
·      Make a “book” of house information for tenants (where and how everything works)
·      Repair outside refrigerator (of course, the compressor decided to stop working last week!)
·      Hire chimney sweep
·      Hire carpet cleaners
·      Find a home for our trampoline
·      Have garage sale (actually, we have had 2 in the last 6 months and have made over $1000!!  Impressive right?!)
·      Research and purchase medical kit and prescription drugs
·      Get our necessary shots
·      Make copies of our passports and boat documents
·      Move our boat to St. Augustine, Florida
·      Purchase plywood for the attic (to store more stuff up there)
·      Purchase school supplies (finally!)
·      Meet with teachers and get supplies from school (finally!)
·   Get bike boxes (to store all 8 of our bikes!)
·      Review our will
·      Get life raft re-certified
·      Send EBIRB to get new battery
·      Sign up for DAN insurance (emergency life flight any where any time)
·      Cancel YMCA family membership
·      Cancel dental insurance
·      Finish ‘refinishing’ our patio furniture (why I started this, no one knows for sure.  But now I have to finish it)
·      Meet with our ‘house manager’ and go over details
·      Secure storage location for Craig’s car
·      PACK THE HOUSE!  (yikes, this is a biggie!)
·      Get the rudder repaired
·      Get the boat buffed and waxed
·      Replace the seacocks (these are valves between the inside and outside of the boat – these need to be in good working order so water doesn’t get in)
·      Buy fabric for the cushions we will have recovered while we are in Columbia
·      Buy sarongs and make “sarong blankets” for the girls (got this idea from Windtraveler – she said the tropics are too hot for regular bedding and this worked well.  I can do that!)
·      Buy charts for our cruising areas
·      Buy courtesy flags for countries we plan to visit
·      Buy cruising guides/travel guides
·      Sign up for SSCA (Seven Seas Cruising Association)
·      Get Maggie’s braces off
·      Go to final doctor and dentist appointments

That should give you a rough idea, there is actually more.  Stay tuned because there are many more nights before we leave.  Nobody said it would be easy!  

Sunday, April 8

Front Page News

We made the local newspaper and the front page to boot!  The Park Cities People placed our family photo tagged with the headline that reads “UP (stands for University Park) Family to Set Sail for a Year”.  While this is really cool and sort of makes us feel special, I must say that this was not our doing.  Let me tell you how this came to be. 
Craig and I have been long time Leukemia & Lymphoma Society supporters for obvious reasons.  After completing the Half Ironman triathlon last spring, with Team in Training, (might I mention that he placed 12th in his age group!) Craig was approached by our local Dallas chapter to be the ‘honored hero’ for this years triathlon team.  Naturally he said yes.  As the word got around the LLS office of our upcoming trip, Craig was again asked to be an honored hero, this time for the Leukemia Cup Regatta.  Which is also a fundraiser for LLS, much like Team in Training.
A honored hero is a child or adult that is undergoing treatment, in remission or a survivor of a blood related cancer.  They represent the very “individual” that the athletes are raising money for.  The honored hero symbolizes a mascot of sorts and provides inspiration to the athletes. 
The gal in charge of the regatta asked if she could pitch our story to some news organizations at the same time advertising the Leukemia Cup Regatta.  Of course, we said yes, and the rest is history…….