Sunday, May 31, 2015

Officially Homeless. And We Couldn't Be Happier!

What's left of my wardrobe
The last three days have been a mad dash of moving, sorting and tossing out more stuff. Our previously unimpressive wardrobes have been whittled down to a duffle bag and two small boxes consisting of my nine suits (that's embarrassing), 3 rash guards and some sarongs. And even a chunk of what is left is old work clothes that won't leave with us. 

A trip to the dump, smashing keepables into storage containers, returning/giving items to family and even a good bonfire have been the name of the game and, if I'm being honest, this is one game I'm glad is over. Not because it was hard to do emotionally but because it's just exhausting work for so.much.CRAP. 

Oh yeah, and during all of this commotion we realized that we needed to order supplies for projects pronto! It might make doing the projects a little easier if we actually have the supplies. So our solar power system and macerator pump/supplies have been ordered and we'll be patiently awaiting their delivery while starting the bottom job (and it's a big bottom!) this week. That is if the rain ever stops. At least we have a boat in case it gets ugly ;)

How we've been feeling these past few days
We're homeless and it feels so good!

Friday, May 29, 2015

H2O On the Go

We've been slightly busy lately, it's amazing how busy you are once you're no longer 'working'! That, and trying to keep up my normal amount of blog stalking is a little more difficult when you're not sitting at a desk all day every day. Weird right?

Speaking of staying in touch with others, I thought I'd talk a little bit about how we're doing just that- not that our way is the only way or even the best way by any means. Having the ability to talk to family and friends is not only important for keeping up morale but it's also a safety factor...and if you've got a mom like mine, you need it to help prevent an impending stroke from an imagination painting vivid pictures of daily attacks from both pirates and hurricanes.

For safety we mostly rely on the Delorme Inreach for route tracking and contacting help directly if needed but we also wanted to be able to easily contact family and have the ability to deal with issues that may come up at home while we're gone, and we need to be able to do it on a budget. So we bought an unlocked phone from Amazon that can travel with us (it just needs a SIM card from a local provider) for about $120. Any unlocked GSM phone will work as they all take SIM cards.

Ever heard of H2O Wireless???? Neither had I. But it offers a variety of prepaid phone plans at an affordable price and, best of all, H2O uses AT&T's network. Meaning; we should have very reliable service for much of our way down the coast and fairly decent coverage in the northern Great Lakes.

Then, when we're ready to cross to the Bahamas we just cancel the H2O plan and pick up one when we get to the islands. Pretty easy right? I hope so.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Don't Rain on My Porch

When we're on the boat, the cockpit really serves as the main gathering/activity space; living room, dining room, laundry room, porch, bar, dance floor etc.- at any given point it could be used for a variety of different purposes. Don't get me wrong, I like being all cozy down in the cabin at night or during inclement weather but really nothing beats being out in the fresh air with beautiful views surrounding you...even if it is a little extra humid out if you know what I mean.

In order to help make the cockpit space a little more live-able and comfortable we opted to put a layer of waterproofing/fabric guard on the bimini and dodger to help keep those annoying drips away as much as possible. Not to mention to protect the material from a tropical sun that can eat up and make very short work of even the best outdoor canvas.

The 303 needs a clean surface to adhere to and since our canvas really wasn't dirty I just hosed them off and let them dry.
The dodger really soaked up the water
Even the less than 2 year old bimini wasn't as water resistant as I thought it would be
But the connector between the dodger and bimini was in great shape!
 Just goes to show how the sun can break down materials, even up here - the bimini is up all summer, the connector is only up when we're anchored and want a little more shade in the cockpit or we need some shelter from the rain (both are the same age).
I covered the eisenglass, it tends to be pretty sensitive to contact with just about everything. Seriously, sunscreen and Pledge are some of the worst! Right after I sprayed the 303 on I removed the tape and paper, I may have gotten a little liberal with my criss-cross spraying and didn't want the paper to soak through.
I also hit the seams a little heavier so they took a little longer to dry
Ready to go!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Fast Track to Unemployment

NEXT WEEK is our last week of work (technically I'm on 'vacation' until my last day in early July but you get the idea)! What? Yeah. Shut the front door. And this, my friends, will mark the start of the real craziness.

Ron, that lucky guy, gets to quit on his birthday, which he was quite excited about. I tried playing the, "well that can be your birthday present, you're welcome" card but that just got me a serious stink-eye look.

The next day after quitting we will be Nashville bound for the wedding of some of our closest friends then finishing up some house projects for the renters, moving out of the house and moving onto the boat...all while trying to avoid major meltdowns and mini strokes. Really, I think we're both doing pretty well (I'm a little surprised at how well), but then again we aren't officially 'homeless' quite yet so maybe it's a little too early to tell.

Yes friends, the calm before the storm is pretty much over, it's go time. As of late our time has been overrun with fun stuff like updating insurance policies, ordering phones, activating phones and communication devices, dentist appointments, doctors appointments, finalizing pet documentation, boat documentation, boat insurance....oh, yeah....and this little thing called boat projects. Oy, how about we forget about all this not fun stuff and go right for the fun?!?

Actually I'm really glad to have things keeping us busy, it gives us less time to panic!

Now let's get this show on the road!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Making Rent!

Since the inception of our cruising plans and deciding that we were going to rent out our house, it became the one thing that I was truly dreading. As in, the whole thing; cleaning (which we had to do anyway), advertising, screening possible renters, the lease, the nitty gritty details...All.Of.It. Turns out, I really didn't have to be so worried about it!

Since we've never had a rental property, I started out talking to a close family friend who has owned multiple rental properties, he gave me some great advice and pointers and also saved me a ton of work trying to find examples of the documents I'd need by giving us copies of their lease agreement, rental application and even included a copy of one of their ads that I could use as a template. Sweet!

We intentionally listed our house on Craig's List early to give us plenty of time to find good renters since we couldn't leave until we had them in place. And we didn't anticipate there being much demand for a rental property near our location - a very rural area halfway between two larger cities. I mean, we love it out here but it's definitely not everyone's cup of tea.

Boy were we wrong!! We started getting calls to see the house within a couple hours of putting the ad up and the next day we had two people over to look at it. Poor Ron was getting totally steamrolled by calls and emails from interested individuals, so much so that by the second day we had to take the ad down. Not so bad for a Podunk country house. We found people that we think are going to be great renters and take care of our house and it all couldn't have worked out better for either of us!

So now we have about 3 more weeks to get the rest of our stuff out of the house and MOVE TO THE BOAT!! Doesn't quite seem real yet. Except for the fact that most of our stuff is gone and we're living out of laundry baskets of course :)

We'll try to remember.

Just one more example of how, when you consciously take that leap of faith and move forward, things...happen...and fall into place right where they're supposed to, things that initially seemed insurmountable, massive and overwhelming become "why the heck did I waste so much time worrying about it?!?". It's so liberating!! So for anyone who thinks that going for their adventure (whatever it may be) is impossible, it's only impossible until you put plans in place and take action!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Battery Upgrade

I know we put some of you in a mini panic last time we talked about batteries on the boat, but fear not, we've got four new 6 volt batteries waiting to be tucked in nice and cozy in their battery boxes on the boat, which we still need to make.
Almost everything on the boat other than the engine, which has it's own battery, will be powered by these handsome devils, everything from interior/exterior lights, the chartplotter/radar, water pump, bilge pump, water heater, fans, electrical outlets, VHF radio, stereo system, etc. Pretty much everything but my sun shower ;)

We chose these Trojan T-105s, which are actually golf cart batteries, because they're made to be charged and recharged over and over. Partnered with our solar panel set-up (still to be purchased) and generator (still to be purchased), we can use what power we need and still have plenty left over as there will be a (semi) constant stream of charge going to the batteries. With all this power I think Hullabaloo could totally rock a disco ball, no?!?

Ron shopped around online trying to find the best deal but with these suckers weighing in at a hefty 62lbs each, shipping was outrageous so instead we went to a local golf cart shop and got exactly what we needed at a "fair" price, well, as "fair" as $575 is for 4 batteries. Wish I was kidding, batteries are the bane of my existence. 

BUT, once we get these on board we can get started on the solar and refrigeration projects. Yeehaw, we're getting there!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Garage Sale Hell

What I felt like putting on our sign
This weekend we had 3 days of garage sale hell. Let's just say that I'm not a garage saler to begin with, to me there is absolutely no appeal to going through items that other people no longer want, but who am I to talk, I hate shoping for new items just as much.

You may remember that we started going through our crap stuff a while ago but, having never been part of this circus before, we procrastinated on going through the rest. We've been crazy busy lately with other events and, of course, we seriously underestimated the amount of time it would take to sort, clean, price, pack, move and set up all of our belongings that were 'good enough to sell' (the sale was at my mom's house). We were in a mad scramble for a bit but it all worked out in the end.

Being unprivied to this subculture of garage saling, I was shocked at what sold and what didn't...although maybe I really shouldn't be.

What sold that I didn't think would: VHS players, VHS tapes, old CDs, Ron's old (well used) work clothing, taxidermy animals (in big demand apparently), anything booze related.

What didn't sell that I thought would: Dress pants, dress shirts, sweaters (some with tags still on), dresses, a Coach purse, Silpada jewelry.

Lesson learned: I suck at all things garage sale related. The crappier I think something is the better/faster/more it will sell.

The good news is that we made a good chunk of change, got rid of junk and donated the rest! It feels fantastic to have it all gone and it brings us another (big) step closer to leaving!!

Done, done, done. Never.Doing.It.Again.