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THE PARTY’S OVER… February 20, 2017

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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In about 3 week we would have been on board for either 19 or 20 years. Which ever, it has been the best time of my life. Live my dream, pretty much so. No dreams are ever perfect, but this was close. The work involved and the expense was more then expected. The places we have been and the people we have met have been beyond expectations. The people we met in the Turks and Caicos and traveled to the Windward with were among my favorite acquaintances. The time we were in Gulf Breeze after Hurricane Ivan were a perfect location with perfect people to get ready for a cruise.

Beside the people and the places, the learning experiences of getting a boat ready for such and adventure and then caring it out was a challenge. The mate says that the skipper must be not only a sailor and navigator, but a mechanic, electrician, rigger, and every other type of trade ever invented. That is where the learning comes in. I have come back and know more then I would have dreamed. One thing, I have not learned to sail my boat as well as she could be sailed. I must admit that we motor sailed a lot more then I would have ever thought. A lot of this was for our own comfort and convenience. We should have gone slower and sailed more. The problem was to get to an anchorage by late afternoon and not leaving before the sun came up.

While still working, working on the boat was a distraction. I easily could be drug away from work to work on the boat. That was not good. But it was fun and the boat was ready. The time we got the boat was about the time my career started on a downward trend. The recruiting business was making major changes, which did I did not adjust to. I got into the Yacht restoration business. I was to limited in my capabilities which limited my income. The last was as a financial advisor. As I was trying to learn the business we had 3 major setbacks in the economy. That did not help. I never got to where I could develop new clients with sufficient wealth. God looked out for this dumb one. And he blessed me with a dream life. A great mate Mary and a great boat and home Nightwatch

Like I mentioned last week, this blog was based on getting a boat and going cruising. I guess we have been there and done that. Unless I get another boat, and I do not think that will happen, this blog is finished. On to the next chapter of our life.


LIVING A LONG TIME IN A HOME February 14, 2017

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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Even a boat, yes, even a boat. We have lived on board for 19 years, less 3 weeks. Do you have any idea how much junk you can accumulate, even on a boat. OK, we have no basement. No family room. No big dinning room…, but we have a lot of places to stuff stuff. Every little nick and corner is a storage place. There are places to store thing in areas you have to crawl into. There is only one place you can get to that has not been filled up at least once in 19 years. We used to store our engine oil in a place only the mate could crawl into to retrieve them. We are not talking quarts, but gallon containers. Diesels do not do quarts.

The boat is a disaster. I am a neat freak when it comes to the saloon. We can still sit at the bar, the chart table and one spot on the settees. We can almost get to the forward head. The bunks are full of stuff to the overhead. But, drawers and storage spaces are regurgitating there contents. It is now on the deck, settees, shelves, just not where it belongs.   And I have taken countless garbage bags of stuff to the garbage cans. Those of you that know us, know we do not even have stuff. The boat is pretty sterile.

We have already moved 3 large dock carts of stuff to the apartment. Next week we are renting a full size car Wednesday and take two loads to the apartment. Hopefully we will then be able to take one last load to the apartment Thursday when we move to the son’s house and dog sit for 2 weeks. That is the plan. Then we will be gone from Nightwatch.

I am going to try to get some pictures of the mess and post on Facebook. Oh, remember I said I was going to post pictures of the F-2 race boats. I can not get them to download. So, if you ever see F-2 race boat pictures on my Facebook, something happened. Probably not by me.

One more instalment to follow. Remember this was. “A blog dedicated to learning and exchanging info on cruising and living on a sailing vessel”. That was what this has been in my feeble way. Without a boat it would be difficult to continue.

I THINK I RAN OUT OF HOPE February 6, 2017

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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Friday came and went. The new OWNER ok’ed the fixes. We then spent 4 fast hours going through places and systems. That was probably half of the time we needed. But, the new lady of the boat had an appointment and they had to be moving on.

I was carried on my first boat before I could walk. My dad was a base fisherman, and after dinner he would go fishing and a couple times a week my mother would put me in the bottom of the boat and row my dad around. I sometimes felt that I would end being carried off a boat. Well the good Lord has been good to me and I have a lot of steps left. We have a week left before we go babysit my son’s dogs while he and his wife go on a business trip to Australia. The boat will close while we are doing the sitting.

Got to have some place to go. We have not looked at a place to live, other then on the internet. We have also been tossing around buying a condo or renting. So it is time. We had a couple rentals to look at and 3 condos. Number one son took his morning off to take us to the rentals. I wanted to be by the water. The mate wanted someplace that was updated and she only had to furnish. This afternoon we were to meet a realtor to look at the condos. The first place we looked at was nice looking, on the water, had places in our price range and had been updated. Second floor corner 2 bedroom overlooking a narrow parking lot and a bay out to the ICW and into a large bay that opens to the Gulf. From the rooms that is the view. It hit all the boxes.

Yea, we signed the lease. Hole Cow, my life is going in ways I never dreamed about. At least not seriously, or only in nightmares. The unit is empty and the company is getting the place ready for new renters. That is us. We get it Thursday. We will rent a car and take a load off the boat and head over to Pasadena and get the key and start moving off the boat. After unloading the car, we will start looking for furniture.

We will have about 2 weeks to get off the boat and start furnishing the place. Furnishing may take some time. The mate did a great job on our last house with the help of a decorator. She is going to do the same thing this time. If it turns out as well, all will be good.

I guess that is going to be the first steps of my new life. I have some other ideas, but have to explore some ramifications.

Oh, we called the realtor to cancel our afternoon look into condos. She said she was going to call because 2 of the 3 went under contract this weekend. The third one we could not afford and were going to look at to see what the next level looked like. God still looking out for us dumb ones.

This Saturday there was a Formula 2 power boat race between the bridges beside our marina. These are small single engine outboards that are totally enclosed. The driver sits in a small compartment to drive. They do in the low 100’s MPH. If you ever heard a racing motorcycle get its engine wound up all the way, that is what these V-6 Mercury’s do but louder and at higher RPM. Nice. See my Facebook page.