Friday, February 26, 2010

Project Updates

We're making good progress.  I say "we" but I think we all know I mean Andy.  One side of the galley is now completely done.  He needed a break before starting on the other side, so he ripped out everything in our cabin and put wood up like he did in Jake's room.  It looks really nice.  He also put the flooring down.  We decided against the bamboo in the hulls for a number of reasons.  One, it's pretty heavy.  Two, It's much softer than we thought.  We're getting dings right and left every time Jake drops a toy.  It's starting to look like the hail damage on my...oh nevermind, TMI.  Three, there are several hatches down there that have to be accessible (bildge, water tank, etc.).  To put down wood floors, then cut the perfect hole out would be a pain in the arse, even for Handy Andy.  So I conceded and we went with carpet.  I was totally against carpet anywhere on the boat because it holds odors and is a bit higher maintenance.  Plus you never feel like it's actually clean.  But we're a month out from leaving and we started prioritizing and budgeting (add in the fact that I don't actually install anything, it's all up to Andy). Carpet sounds pretty good now.  It looks super nice, even if it's going to smell bad in a year or so.  And it was fairly cheap so if it gets all gunked up, we'll just pull it up and put down another piece.
Now he's in the process of finishing up the storage locker.  This is a little room located off the galley in the aft part of the boat (how's my lingo?).  It houses every spare line, chain and anchor you could possibly want.  It also has our scuba gear, trash cans, rain coats, life jackets, and anything else we can't find a place for.  Andy has taken everything out and started organizing.  He's also replaced the carpet which gives it a much more pleasant odor (the old carpet reeked).  Overall, things are smelling pretty nice!

Things are coming together and it's starting to feel more like a boat rather than a construction project.  Mom and Dad are coming down this weekend, we'll see what they think.

"Working" hard...

We have a crab trap that should be renamed the stingray trap.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Jobless in San Deigo

The cat is out of the bag now. No more secrets. I officially quit my job. What a scary thing to do. That might top my list of things that make me nervous about this trip. Number two would be that I handed out the blog address to all of the people I work with so now they're seeing another side of me that I'm slightly uncomfortable with sharing. I should have thought that through. So for all of you work people reading, be kind. As you know, I'm not a writer, I'm project manager.

But woo hoo!!! I quit my job! Oh yeah, I said that already.

I've found that we've gone through several stages in our journey to "cast off the lines."  The first stage was the longest. Selling our house, setting the date, getting rid of some of our stuff, telling everyone we were ready to do it, and actually buying the boat.  This is where we started getting really excited.  People called us crazy and they doubted that we would actually do it (and at times, we did too).

I think the second stage started when we sold ALL of our stuff and moved onto the boat.  This is where we started to say "There's no turning back now."  This stage involved figuring out some logistics as well.  What curriculum will I use for homeschooling?  What mail forwarding service should we use?  Where do we want to establish "residency" (the gov't doesn't allow gypsies)?  How will we manage our finances?  We started some remodeling projects, made our big long lists of things to do and started thinking about our route.

We're now into our third stage...Andy has retired (well, almost), I've quit my job, we're down to one car, project lists are getting crossed off  both because they're complete and because we've decided they're not as important now as they were 2 months ago when it looked like we had a lot of time.  We're getting last rounds of shots.  Traveling back home to say good bye to people.  Now we're saying "There's REALLY no turning back now."

I'm anticipating one more phase.  It will be the last week or so before we leave.  We'll sell my car, go to the grocery store and buy everything we think we might need (knowing us we'll pack for a year), purchase last minute items and say goodbyes to all of our local friends and family.  Then we leave.  We've targeted April 18, assuming the weather is good to us.

In all my excitement it's  hard to be sad about leaving.  In my experience, with moving around with the Navy and dealing with Andy's deployments, I've found that it's easier to leave than to be left (I think I'm repeating myself here).  But I've also found that it hits me hard way after the fact.  So for all of my friends and family that are wondering if I'm ever going to show the proper amount of sadness, rest assured it will come.  Picture me teary eyed at the helm while on watch one night wishing I could shop with my mom, gossip with Hunter, or drink my favorite wine with Jennie.  I'll probably write some sappy blog entry that I will never publish because I won't want people to know that everything isn't blissfully wonderful.  I think that will probably happen...but until then, I'll carry on with my permanent smile and no care attitude while counting down the days until we leave (57 in case any of you were wondering).  Thanks for your understanding.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Famous in Oklahoma

Andy had his first public speaking gig last week talking about our adventure.  The Kiwanis Club in Sayre, OK!  So it's not the Naval Academy graduation, but it was a captive audience all the same.  I was first impressed by the opening of the meeting - Prayer, the National Anthem, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and a devotional.  I can't help but believe this country would be a lot better off if all gatherings started this way.   But this is not Monica's political blog, so I'll move on.  Andy is from Sayre and word had gotten out (presumably by his very proud parents) that he was retiring from the Navy and taking his family around the world on a sailboat.  That prompted an invitation to the Kiwanis Club as well as an interview with the local paper.  Honestly, we both kind of dreaded it (yep, I got to be the sidekick) because both of us would rather poke ourselves in the eyeballs than speak in public.  But it turned out to be a lot of fun.  Hanging out with these folks reminded me of why I'm so proud to be a southerner.  Not only was everyone friendly and talkative (as expected from a group like this), but they were genuinely interested and engaged.  We got all kinds of questions and good wishes.  Not one naysayer among the group.  It almost made me want to volunteer to do something similar for my parents (but not quite).

Our trip to Oklahoma checked off many boxes on our to do list.  Not only did we see our last bit of snow for what I hope is a VERY LONG time, we sold our truck, got our TX driver's license (mainly for homeschooling reasons), said many goodbyes and via the Sayre Record and The Kiwanis Club, gathered a few new followers!  Thanks to all of our friends and family for the hospitality we received during our visit.  We promise to return the favor if you ever decide to visit us on Savannah.