Saturday, January 23, 2010


Now that we've made it through the storms here in Southern California (living on a boat has it's advantages during storm flash floods, trees falling, or mudslides), Andy and I are ready to get serious on the preparations for leaving.  It can be quite overwhelming.  For those of you who may not be aware of what it takes, I thought I would share some of the list with you.

First there are the "projects."  You've already heard about the galley remodel (still underway).  We also need to redo our cabin, but I'm afraid we may not get to that.  At a minimum, we're going to extend our bed and get a new mattress.  The length is not a big deal for me since I'm a little vertically challenged, but Andy is having a hard time with it.  I am excited about the new mattress though!

We bought a modem the other day that's supposed to hook up to our Single Side Band Radio and enable us to get email, weatherfaxes, etc.  We have to install that and get it all working.  Initial indications are that this may take some time (evidently our radio is "fickle").

We just ordered the netting to go around our lifelines to keep kid and toys on board so that will need to be put up.

Andy ordered a new compressor for filling our scuba tanks and powering the new air tools he got for Christmas.  Evidently, it gets it's own box that needs to be installed on the deck.

Small, yet still important, is the need to make and install a metal ring in our cockpit to hang a shower curtain, since we won't be getting around to putting the shower in doors (yep, you heard me right).  While neither of us is obese or over the hill yet, I still think our cruising neighbors will appreciate a little modesty.

Install two new batteries and put in a new battery bank.

Fix the NEW Wind/Speed/Direction indicator (with a very fancy name I can't recall right now) at the top of the mast to work all of the time, instead of only when it wants to.

Install hand rails along the stairs on both hulls so we'll quit falling and Jake will have something else to hang from.

Go through hidey holes and clean out everything we don't need.

In addition to the little and not so little projects that we have less than 3 months to complete, there are numerous, tedious, administrative activities we have to do.  In no particular order:

1) Complete all checkups, shots, teeth cleanings, hair cuts, etc.  In my case, spend the next two months at the dentist trying to salvage all the work done when I had my jaw surgery.  Yes, I brush my teeth, but evidently 18 screws and metal plates in your mouth are hard on your bones.
2) Go through our first aid kit and fatten it up for long term travel.
3) Quit job or in Andy's case, finish all the crap he has to do for Uncle Sam to let me have him.
4) Set up mail forwarding service and get mail forwarded.
5) Plan and throw Retirement/Going Away party (this isn't really essential to us leaving, but I think the old guy deserves a party for 21 years in the service).
6) Establish residency in homeschool friendly state (I cannot wait to be one of the Californians that flock to Texas).  This one still has some unknowns for me.
7) Drive Truck to Oklahoma (special delivery) and Sell Car to Carmax (or highest bidder).  Must obtain car title from bank in VA before we can head on up to Carmax (we've procrastinated on this one for over a year).
8) Attempt to visit everyone in GA (you may only get to see me...we're soon to be poor, but I'm trying).
9) Make up provisioning list (i.e. grocery list) for 3 months worth of meals (For all of you that actually know me, this will involve a detailed menu with items sorted by category and whether or not they have to be refrigerated.  Then I'll have to make a map of where it's all stored for fear of losing it in one of our hidey holes) and then actually go buy the stuff and store it.  I'm sure I'll go into detail on this when it actually happens.
10) Last minute purchases....Jake is totally outgrowing his clothes, my flip flops are falling apart and Andy's shorts all have holes in them or fiberglass stains.
11) Schedule move for what little things we kept in storage to go to GA.

I'm sure there's more but my dentist told me I need to quit stressing for fear my TMJ/TMD will get worse :).  So by writing it down, I'm attempting to rid my little brain of keeping track and worrying about it.  I guess I could make a project plan.....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Chief goes out of town

So The Chief left for Key West this morning to hang out in his condo (hollywood style) while waiting to shoot his last military assignment, underwater footage of navy seals doing their thing for a hollywood movie (I'm that Man, should be coming out in the summer). My intent was to write a sarcastic little diddy about how he's left me with no refrigerator and a construction site (I actually have to fill up the cooler every two days or so with ice to keep the milk cold for Jake's cereal) while freezing with my little ceramic heater.

But plans have changed. It's sunny and in the low 70's here every day and from what I hear, The Chief is wishing he took a coat. The winds are blowing hard in Key West and who knows if they'll accomplish what they need to (it usually takes at least twice as long as they plan). Once they do get started, he has to stay on a submarine and could be in Timbuktu for all he knows. So, no, I won't get on my soap box tonight. I'm just going to enjoy having the bed all to myself and be thankful that at least he hooked up the stove before he left.

But while I'm waiting for him to come home, I'll fill you in on the progress of the galley remodel.  As you can see, he's ripped out what used to be our refrigerator, freezer and stove and started over from scratch.  He's actually made more progress than what this picture shows.  He's doubled the space and installed a brand new stove/oven.  When he's finished, we'll also have new countertops.  While doing this though, we've managed to lose a bit of storage space for our pots and pans.  I'm waiting on The Chief's imagination to manifest itself into one of his creative solutions that I've come to rely on so heavily.

We're almost at the end of month 1 on the remodel.  It only took two months to totally gut my kitchen in Virginia and rebuild from scratch, so the project manager in me is starting to kick in.  He's gotten a little bit of slack due to his broken foot, but as you can plainly read at the beginning of this story, he has been given a good bill of health allowing him to traipse off to Key West to dive on a submarine.  No more excuses Chief.

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

We came into 2010 off of Point Loma, at the mouth of San Diego Bay. We had hoped to watch the fireworks in the bay, but evidently a group of environmentalists weren't sure the fish could handle the cardboard remnants or something like that. Despite the lack of fireworks, we had a fantastic evening with our closest friend Eric and his wife Nicole. The weather was absolutely perfect (if you have to be below 80 degrees) and we couldn't have asked for a better night. In fact, after calling both of our families to wish them a Happy New Year, we found out that the beautiful moon we were looking at was in fact a Blue Moon! (According to my scientific research (i.e. google), it only happens every 2-3 years...lucky us, it was on new year's eve this year).
Well, my witty bone is exhausted so I'm going to leave everyone with a few pictures and a Happy New Year wish.