There are so many things that need to be done and so many emotions that goes with each one. I tried/am trying to tackle the whole thing like a job. Make a list, cross them off one by one. No tears, no emotions, just get it done. Yeah, right.
The first one we tackled was finding a broker. I started the process months ago and had decided on one, then we went with another, then we changed our minds again...blah blah. The point being, making the decision to sell your boat (home) and leave it in the hands of a total stranger, trusting that they will do what you've agreed to do is a very hard thing. It's a bit different than selling a house, at least it is for us. We'll be half way around the world with no one to turn to if things go awry. It's not just the usual price, commission and marketing questions to worry about. It's location of where you leave your boat; do you trust the locals, will it be more likely to be shown in one place vs. the other, what's the cost of the marina/yard, do you haul out or leave it in the water. The answer is different for everyone of course, but the decision process and the emotions tied to it are probably pretty similar. We've finally landed in Rebak marina and feel pretty comfortable with the final decision. We'll see what happens. We may be eating crow in a few months.
The next item on our list was packing up. Where does one find packing materials? Do you ship by air or sea? Who ships it for you? What's that gonna cost us? Luckily for me, we had a friend who unfortunately had to sell their boat in Malaysia a few years ago and they were kind enough to share their information, which allowed us to skip a few research steps in the shipping department. Every person that came by would look at all of our boxes and ask us why we had so much stuff. The cruising community prides itself in being minimalists and never being tied down, owning too much, etc. In reality, about half the boats out there are just like us (probably more if I took a formal poll). They have a lot of STUFF. Not nearly what we had on land, but my goodness, how in the world we fit all those things in that little boat, I'll never know. I think it might be a new skill to put on my resume. Our water line went up well over a foot. We ended up with 20 boxes and a table top (not the tabletop we were attached to, the one we tried to replace it with but couldn't ever quite get it finished. In the end, I kind of like it too so I decided to ship it home). We had to pull up to the dock (we were in the anchorage) and offload the boxes for the shipping company to pick up. All I can say about that is yuck, yuck, yuck. What could have been a pretty emotional process though turned out to be not so bad. It was hot, a few things were comical, and all in all, it was nice to get the ball rolling finally.
Our motto that day was "There's no turning back now, it's all over but the crying." It's funny, the whole crying thing. It hits you out of nowhere. I'm not a huge crier (Andy might laugh at that, but that's because he's a man and once a year is too much), but my eyes would well up out of the blue when I thought about leaving. When I would look around the boat and it was empty, I would be relieved one minute and the next I was grabbing a tissue. I thought I had it all together until we put our suitcases in the dinghy and started pulling away. What did me in was watching Jake. He was trying so hard to suck it up and just deal with it, but he couldn't take his eyes off Savannah. "It's the last time we're going to see her," yep. He stood up in the dinghy and tried to watch her as far as he could before we got out of sight. My heart broke for him.
|Coming out from customs in Atlanta's International Airport.|
That's my dad to the left.
I think that's probably enough throwing up on everyone for now (I don't even have cute pics to make my rambling easier to handle). More to come...buying our first smart phone, finding a job (you mean I can't wear flip flops to the office?), Andy comes home (he's still with the boat), buying a car (I need a car?), etc.