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Old 05-09-2019, 08:26   #16
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Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Boat: Pearson 365 Ketch
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

Hey, that was quite the welcome. Thanks all.

First, I'm now feeling quite good about the thumbs up from Boatie (I'm trusting @LW77 that it's auspicious). I'll take it. Second, the idea of getting rid of the boat this soon is an interesting one. From an emotional standpoint, once I realized that using a boat like she has been used is not necessarily a rare thing, even though it's not the way I was thinking of using her, I'm not that heavily invested in her, and don't really feel any emotional attachment.

So I've got a fair amount I don't understand. I was initially surprised at how little things I thought would be important are actually cared about. Or rather, the difference in priorities for a boat used like this. Broken cleats, nylon cleats, and very little chain on the anchor were all things I immediately noticed that I thought should be addressed quickly. But when I was getting a bit of assistance tying off a borrowed stern anchor, the guy had mentioned just running it up to the winch, wrapping it around, tying it to the stanchions, and the like. Things I would think would be a big no-no. But then I started realizing how my priorities aren't based in what is. So I definitely need to make sure that I practice humility (I'm super good at being humble - maybe the best ) because the entire concept caught me off guard.

Now I'll take a moment and get to the responses. @Siamese, you mentioned getting criticism for peeing on my dreams. I assure you, if you do get criticism, it won't come from me. And the puns were amazing. You kind of set the tone for the comments afterwards, and I appreciate it. I can take it. That's not to say that the positive "it can only get better from here" comment that @er9 made wasn't appreciated. I said before I'm not naturally a positive person, so the reminder was nice.

@Jim, @A46, and @Sojourner, the advice to slow down, and do the next steps a bit more intelligently were extremely useful. Below, I'm going to clarify a few things in regards to where I am currently, the goals I have, and what role the boat plays in those goals, because I have kind of reevaluated. @gamayun hit a bit closer on where my thoughts currently are, but I want to make sure I clarify. And besides, by the end of this post, maybe they'll change again.

A quick tangent, based on forum logistics. I feel that this might be getting outside of the realm of Meet & Greets, but haven't found a really good place to write in this manner. Something more general than a specific question. I haven't spent much time browsing all of the available forums as of yet, but if there is a spot someone knows off the top of their head for journals or a log, I'd be happy to hear it.

And now for the clarification bit. As far as my dreams go, I actually consider this successful so far. Sounds odd, I know, especially considering the responses about the boat itself I've received so far. So let me lay out my plan, if only because actually writing out the steps will probably be pretty helpful for me too.
  1. Pick an ocean
  2. Get close to aforementioned ocean
  3. Find a place to stay
  4. Find gainful employment
  5. Move much better half out here (I refer to her as MXT on forums, FYI)
  6. Research boats
  7. Buy boat
  8. Move boat close to job
  9. Refit boat
  10. Be naked as often as possible - don't sunburn my junk
  11. Throw the lines (and then properly coil and stow them), and head to South America by way of the Bahamas
  12. Work our way North along the East coast of South America.

Those last two are subject to change, as they are a super general idea, and I haven't even looked up the correct route from Cornell's World Cruising Routes, so no need to really focus on that at all. Told ya, this is for me too.

Step 1 was completed 8/17. Success!
Step 2 was completed 8/23. Success!

It may appear that I then jumped straight to step 7. However, the purchase () of the Bayliner was Step 3. I hadn't initially considered a boat this early, and the agreement MXT and I made is that she gets veto power over our Step 7 boat, and we make the decision together. Hence why I call Sacred Wind my boat. Then I added steps 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, etc. Learn to sail, fix the boat so she can sail, figure out how to kill all of the bugs, learn fiberglass work, familiarize myself with boat components, and identify/solve challenges I hadn't thought of.

My issues right now mostly all stem from those added sub-steps under 3 that were more of trying to capitalize on the fact that I wound up with a boat as a place to stay. I will admit, I did have some ideas of doing some serious work on her, just so that I can get more familiar working in this kind of environment. However, with the recent comments here, some additional research done way too late, I'm very close to tossing those ideas completely.

There are some logistical challenges to being in this anchorage I definitely didn't think of. Which makes sense, since I didn't really think all that much about this. I was feeling the pressure of my stay in a hostel running out, getting ghosted on sublets, and then the holiday weekend. I am running this first part lean and mean, and it didn't create enough room for error for me, and made the idea of this boat more appealing than it would have been had I not been feeling the pressure.

Right now, I'm actually contemplating a tow to a marina, and maybe dock or even put her on the hard. I got an extreme amount of culture shock here in Florida. I know some of it is that everyone was initially panicking with Dorian heading our way, and I've done my best to forgive that, and not assume that's how it always is. People were stressed, and focused on what seemed to me to be non thought out planning for a hurricane. But hey, I haven't been through one, and maybe buying a bunch of processed food in bags at a ridiculous mark up is actually the best way. After spending a fair amount of time trying to figure it out, I think I've identified the feel I get of this state. I know this part might seem unrelated, but bear with me, please. It seems that the vast majority of people I've met (>95%) are absolutely convinced that everyone else is out to get them, and the best option is to get them first. I've noticed it in stores, in restaurants, and just walking down the street. A one foot overhang on a building that would block some rain is protected like a gold watch, and I watch these people just waiting for someone to step under it, so they can shoo them away. I held the door open for someone yesterday, and the lady looked at me like I was going to bash her on the head as she walked past. Very odd, and it seems exhausting to live like that. But I'm new here, and I'm not driving around in some fancy car wearing collared shirts going from climate controlled box to climate controlled box. So maybe my perspective is warped. Regardless, it certainly seems like that is the case, especially in my anchorage. The logistics of paddling a borrowed dinghy (a really nice one, apparently - Walker Bay 8 or something like that) to get to shore, and find a place where I could keep it secure while I did stuff on shore are quite difficult to overcome. And while I understand I will probably deal with that stuff and need to solve it when we are cruising, I don't really need to do it now.

Now I've got some other options, that I didn't consider as options initially. A dock/marina, so I don't need to worry about the dinghy, or power, or maybe even move her to the hard. Those weren't options for me, because one of the reasons we are doing this is for self sufficiency, and I couldn't bring myself to move in the direction of a boat, yet still have monthly bills, rent, and other things like that. But as has been made clear here, I must keep in mind that I made a dumb decision to get this boat, and treating it like a boat has a real possibility of sapping any desire I have to do this.

Whew! That was a lot. So anyway, that's where I am. I think that once I get a job, I'll probably throw her up on Craigslist, just so that I have more time to get rid of her before we actually set sail in our boat. I do want to capitalize on the fact that I have her, but it's not completely necessary.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:45   #17
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

Hi Jordan, I'm following your story because let's face it, I'm retired, old, and bored. Just kidding, I'm not bored. I think one of the elements you may be missing is in regard to your views on marinas. Here is the way I see it based on 21 years of boat ownership in several different marinas in a past life (1978-1999), and also owning a boat shop for many years...

If you are 'stationary' meaning not cruising to different places, having a boat in a marina is not necessarily a bad thing. The most import thing I want you to consider is this... A nice boat in a crappy marina can make for a crappy experience. A crappy boat in a nice marina can make for a nice experience. Life in a marina is more about the marina than it is about the boat. Now why is that?

It's because of the people. Being around like-minded people is one of the biggest joys in life. If you find a marina where you make friends with like-minded people who share a common bond, boating or sailing in this case, life in the marina takes on a whole nother dimension that transends who has what boat, who has the most money, and who is swinging the biggest stick. The common bond doesn't care about any of that stuff.

A marina is far more than just "monthly bills, rent, and other things like that". A marina, a good marina, is a place where fellowship and camaraderie among the tenants makes life a joy to live and place you really enjoy spending time. The years I was a live aboard (1987 to 1995) were some of the best years of my life. No matter how bad a day I had at work when I got home to my boat and the marina I couldn't bring any of that stress on to the dock with me. It seemed to vanish at the gate entering the parking lot. I realize not everyone has that experience, but that was my experience.

The marina I was a live aboard in was not the fanciest marina around but it had everything one needed such as showers, a laundromat and a small chandlery. We didn't have tennis courts, a gym, a pool, a club house, or any of those fancy amenities. It was far and away the 'people' that made that marina a standout marina. We had people like the guy I mentioned in the above post and we had some very wealthy people who were as down to earth as you could get. The whole spectrum, and everyone treated each others as humans rich or poor. I was in other marinas where that wasn't the case, btw.

That marina was in Southern California where a really cold day in January would be 40 degrees and few good small heaters could keep the boat nice and toasty. And since you're mobile at this point in your life if you find the people in FL are not to your liking you could always pack your bag and try So Cal where there are others like you and marinas that will welcome you. Just buy an old boat in one of those marinas and take over the slip. (Step 1. Pick an ocean)

But for God's sake don't bring that Bayliner with you...
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Old 05-09-2019, 11:50   #18

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Re: I could have done this smarter...

Hello Jordan :-)

You'll NEVER live down having bought a Buccaneer 240. But you seem like a man who can take the razzing :-)!

So this is just to lend my voice to what S52 has just told you, and to let you know that CF is just like a good marina.

We are here to help in any way we can.

All the best,

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Old 05-09-2019, 18:46   #19
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

I think this is a good time for you to pick up some second-hand Carl Hiaasen books. I know Florida very well and he very nearly captures the real nuttiness of it. Good luck with everything!! It's going to be fun hearing about your progress. Can't wait to hear when MXT gets there...
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:13   #20
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

Very cool thoughts on Marinas. Definitely wasn't on my radar like that (obviously). So I greatly appreciate the different perspective. I think it might wind up being a better choice for me, so I'm doing some research.

As far as living down the Buccaneer 240 (is that the correct way to write it instead of Bayliner 240? - makes sense since it was mentioned they are primarily a stink-pot manufacturer, just not sure), I'm okay with that. Give it a year or two in the new boat, and I can be a shining example of how one can completely mess up at first, and still wind up doing well. As a matter of fact, I think I'm going to embrace it for now:

The goal is to be a salty sailor. Right now, I'm definitely in the Low Sodium Sailor category.

I do need to write a bit more about how my thoughts of Florida are evolving, and trying to identify what it is that is giving me so much culture shock. Carl Hiassen looks like a good resource. He lives nearby, so I might just try to look him up and invite he and his wife to a BBQ or something and just pick his brain. I realized yesterday that one thing that may be related to my feelings is that I haven't actually spoken to anyone who loves this place. So I'll keep being polite, and figure it out more. Maybe I'll have to go inland a bit to speak with the airboat owners who live off the land, or something like that. I know I can't assume things from the outside looking in. And now I have an author to look up, and the idea that Marinas provide a really good opportunity for social interaction and community. Moving in the right direction, I think.

And I know I whinge and complain a bit, but it really is just the shock. A couple of weeks is nowhere near long enough to get an accurate feel for a place, and I do intend to get it figured out. I've got interviews and stuff today, plus I need to do some research on how I want to reinstall my boom (simple stuff...the right kinds of knots, how to run it, etc), and the neatest way to stow my headsails, so I don't know how much time I'll have here today, but there is some stuff about that picking an ocean step I want to write about. Cliff notes version is that I was initially thinking San Diego, because the idea of sailing the Sea of Cortez as we learn appealed to both of us. Plus that's the only place where I would get the opportunity to actually see Vaquitas before they are gone. MXT thought it would be easier and cheaper to find a cruising boat here. So we switched oceans pretty late in the game.

And I can't wait until she gets here too. I miss her a lot, which is super corny, but true.
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Old 07-09-2019, 23:16   #21
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

A bucaneer 24 can be a good boat to live on tied to the dock (good amount of interior space for the length=cheap rent).

A "good" one (clean, maintained, no damage, worth 500 for the $1000 outboard on it) could be used to learn to sail in protected waters.

Unfortunately it sounds like you got a pretty beat up one, or a marginal one in the best possible scenario and like others have mentioned, you don't want to put ANY money (or much time) into fixing it up. It has negative value, and is a big liability if it becomes a wreck. But hopefully, you can clean it up, take a few good pictures from the right angles, describe the virtues in a cleverly written craigslist free ad, and give it away to someone else.

It sounds like you're anchored out, in which case make sure to quickly study/read up on anchoring, including as much help as you can get asking any other anchor-outs about local common courtesies & practices. Don't be afraid to ask nearby sailors if your anchoring setup is up to their standards.

Even for the buccaneer, spend some money on 2-3 extra heavy anchors, each with a boat length of 3/8 chain and a couple hundred feet of 3/4 or so of nylon line. It's still hurricane season in Florida, and that's the minimum you will need to make your best efforts to secure the boat in the case of a storm.

A Sea Vagabond's World by Bernard Moitessier is one fun sailing "reference" book that you might like. But really go to the library and read any books you can get your hands on: sailing, boat maintenance, & anchoring
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Old 08-09-2019, 01:12   #22
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Re: I could have done this smarter...


"vaquitas", dugongs, common many places, but we never saw one in the water in the Golfo de California. Spent a few seasons there, and the spear fishing was super. It was like swim before lunch, spear a lunch fish, make your own fish tacos. For dinner, spear a different, dinner fish. It was idyllic, so much beautiful fresh fish to eat. I used to carry the "game bag" for Jim, who was the spearer, and once in the bag, it was my job to carry the fish (out of the water) back to the dinghy, and put it safely there, without drawing sharks. It's always nice to "talk story."

But, seriously, think deeply relative to this boat you are now involved with. Do you think your good lady wants to throw good money after bad? Mate, you might be sailing into very dangerous waters, there.

Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
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Old 09-09-2019, 17:17   #23
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

Oooof. Things have been crazy!! Starting this whole thing without actually preparing much means that it just doesn't seem to end. With the exception of money available (that's a whole other story...couple hundred dollars in cash and a non-working debit card made the first steps super challenging - like stupidly so).

I know I'm logging my journey here, and it's probably been the best decision I've made in the last few weeks, but it still seems off in the Meet & Greet. I know the sticky says don't ask specific questions here, but that's not what I'm doing. Still seems off. If it's cool, it's cool, I just don't know. Let's get to it, then!

Thoughts on Florida specifically, and places in general continue to evolve. I was listening to a podcast, and they mentioned studies about speed of walking and speed of talking as it relates to the size of a city. I found The Pace of Life study (behind a paywall, unfortunately), which showed a super strong correlation. I heard someone talking about how Manhattan is different than Brooklyn, just due to the intensity of life there. It made me realize that the love of a place is only a small part of things overall. Being in Colorado for a long time, I lost site of that. It was nature, natural formations, and the recognition of that which I am familiar with, and it was/is hard to realize there are other things. I've always thought loving a city was dumb, because a city could be anywhere, so why bother putting it in a place that is less than ideal? It was my own limitations, taking the form of a snake, and biting me right as I look away (look at that glorious sentence that contains no cussing!!). Not saying that I get it, but things are evolving, and I might actually understand one day.

Now, the boat. I know, this really isn't the place for talk like that, but I'm doing it anyway. It was mentioned (and I even think I mentioned it) that this boat could suck away my desire to sail. I feel like it would take a lot for that to happen to me, but probably a bit less for it to happen to MXT. That is not okay with me. I would rather earn enough just to smash the Sacred Wind into small pieces that are then turned into biodegradable chunks of biomass than risk that. So it took another shift of perspective. First, the marina. I'm doing some research on a good place I can mess with her while docked. This is a bit rough, because with Dorian and then Labor day, I haven't had a 'normal' week to make things happen. I've got some short term remote contract work, which is cool, but it's not consistent enough to get her out here. She's rocking it back in CO, and is only a couple weeks away from having all of our stuff gone, painting the place, and having it ready to rent. But once she leaves, it's all on me from a financial perspective. It's my dream, and she loves me enough to go along with it. This isn't the place to talk about what she should do instead. There is a place for that though. That place doesn't echo too much, might smell a bit funny, probably tastes like human excrement, and you can turn a handle a flush it all away. Keep it there.

Doh!! You see what I did there? I just spent a stupid amount of effort addressing a situation that doesn't actually exist. And still never got to the boat stuff. Okay. Sacred Wind is my boat. I never felt emotionally attached to her, and the nights I've spent aboard have been full of tears, sweat, and a crushing despair. However, I pulled out the replacement water tank">fresh water tank, and have spent hours today with a dremel, removing all of the jerry-rigged things attached with cement and silicone. And I'll tell you something incredible. I've got the comments here about how dumb of a decision I made, the comments about what I need to be cautious of, the suggestions of how little I should put into her, and the risks to my psyche involved. With all of that in mind, the second I pulled out the water tank, making her even more of a mess, I smiled. I looked at her with new eyes. Eyes that aren't covered by glasses with a pinkish tint. I see her for what she is, and I see her for what she isn't. I have a rough plan right now, and I thought this would be a good opportunity to discuss them, have people much saltier than I look at them.

The goal with Sacred Wind is to learn, and to have a roof. The second part is good. The hatch above the v-berth may not lock correctly, and the rest of the windows may be covered with paint (it might be gelcoat, and that's what I was told, but I don't actually know) and carpet (which grosses me out). But there is a roof. I have to figure out how to sleep. Mainly, I need to even out the v-berth so that it's even with the top of the teak container. Next step actually involves a screwdriver, which is the first tool I will have used on her. I was initially thinking of capitalizing on the fact that the guy I bought her from has done a bunch of fiberglass work, because Sailing Uma videos made me not hate it. Previously, I was just thinking it was that stupid stuff new cars are made out of that are a pain to fix. But now, I know the potential of it. The guy I bought her from says he knows about it, and definitely does a lot of it (including on this boat). I had asked him if there were hand tools to trim a few bits left over, and he said that it's so solid I'd need to borrow his grinder to trim it down. After I was able to cut it off with a pocket razor knife, I decided that I'm not going to assume anything he tells me is useful for sailing, but good enough for him. I'm not going to spend much money on her. I will treat her not as a boat that sails, but as a boat that provides shelter. We're talking the base of Maslow's hierarchy. She may have been a dumb decision, but that position on the hierarchy is nothing to sneeze at. Plus, I don't want MXT to hate it before we get our actual boat.

After the comments here, I have a few goals specifically with Sacred Wind. I'll follow that with the plans I have.
  • Get her in a shape that doesn't make MXT hate boats
  • Make sure she doesn't sink on accident
  • When the time comes, make sure I can give her away
  • Spend no time or money on anything that can't be transferred to our boat (skills included)

That's pretty much it. I'll come back with the list of pending tasks tomorrow morning (probably). The first one is messing with the water container. I've removed all the weird silicone/funnel/rusty stuff, and wound up dremeling out the threads on one of the ports. Not sure yet what I'm doing with that, but it's clean, and now I have 5 gallons of water available on the boat.

Oh, as far as the Vaquitas go, I'm specifically referring to a species of which there are something like 6 left.

(Forum comment: Am I doing lists wrong? It seems really dumb, and I initially thought that I would have to continue to press the button to add items until I'm done with the list, considering the cursor doesn't show back up until I press cancel. But each time I add something, it just makes a new sub-list. I'll definitely just type out the code moving forward, since it's easier, but I really am curious. I've messed with vBulletin before, but never had issues like this. I swear I'm not dumb when it comes to tech.)
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Old 23-09-2019, 07:18   #24
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

Not much movement on the boat front. After a few extremely frustrating almost discussions and searches at Lowes and Home Depot, I would up just jumping on amazon to get this bulkhead fitting. More expensive than I would have preferred, but I didn't have to deal with the lack of stocking options locally, so I'm good with it. I did also stumble across the Uniseal adapters, and while I can think of a lot of use cases in the future (on the next boat) where it would work, I don't need them right now, but I'll keep them in mind. Focusing very heavily on not spending much time or effort on the boat, and have been pulling out everything just to get a feel for how she is put together. It's been educational for sure.

The main plan right now is to get gainful employment, and then move her to a marina. The better half will come out then, and is totally fine with it being in rough shape, since we are just shopping for our boat, which accelerates the timeline. Been doing a ridiculous amount of research on the way I think I want to set up the electronics on the next boat, NMEA2000 backbone, a likely OpenPlotter raspberry pi setup (I have about 3 of those back at the house), and the like. I've already started messing around with the architecture I think I want, custom apis for other stuff (kodi and media integration for example), and the like. It's been slow going, but that's because my effort is focused elsewhere, and the stuff I am researching is kind of my cup of tea. I've been kind of lurking about here, now that I have a bit more of a frame of reference, but not really participating.

I was going to go to the Bahamas for a few days to help with the recovery efforts, but found that it was more conducive to our goals (and more effective) to help on the tech side of things from here (logistics, admin stuff, etc). It kind of felt weird to make that decision with the full knowledge that I'm in essence deciding that my own comfort and desires (specifically when it comes to the better half) trumps that of my desire to care for fellow humans that could really use what little I have to offer. But those feelings are what they are, and it wasn't a decision I made ignorant of the cost.
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Old 23-09-2019, 08:12   #25
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

One small step at a time.

Do something, then do it better, then do it well. Then do it well often enough to create a habit.

Do the easy things first. Do the hard things then, until these become easy.

If faced with a blank, ask support. Get a tutor friend onboard, join a workshop, expand and hone your skills.

Everything is doable, to decent standards, if you manage to avoid the one big mistake (sinking your boat and possibly some crew in the process).

Avoid adventures at all costs. The ones that will happen eventually will happen no matter your skill level, wisdom and preparation.

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Old 13-10-2019, 11:01   #26
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

@barnakiel, thanks for that. I should have mentioned something when I read it, but I didn't really have anything else to say at the time, and if there is one thing I've learned, it is that in humid environments, I seem to be incapable of typing things out on a phone without the overwhelming urge to toss it overboard. I swear, I've never taken/made as many phone calls as I have over the past 1 1/2 months, just because of sweat based typos. I can start the most wonderful text, and it takes about a sentence to devolve into a seething anger. Delos recently had a video about SeaHab (which was great), and they mentioned not having service. I think it might be less about the peace, and more about the typing. Yeah, a bluetooth keyboard is on the list. What a long winded way of saying that I read your post, appreciated it, and didn't reply. Sorry.

Please note, as a way of maintaining my sanity (or trying to anyway), I've been doing a lot of orating and writing. If things seem even more flowery than usual, that's why. There are very legitimate sailing comments that I would love to get feedback on at the end, so I'll mark it with a line or something.

Wow. It's been more than a month since I left the harsh majesty of the Rockies to come to Florida, with no other goal than being close to an ocean, and going from there. The title I chose here when I started, all of those days of eternity ago, was chosen to highlight a small touch of self awareness. The knowledge that I did this in a manner akin to sailing a vessel with a half mast (okay, the censorship stuff does make for some really fun opportunities for puns). And had I done this entire thing smarter, honestly, I'd have probably talked myself out of it...for just a month or two...or three. Well, maybe next year. Okay, once that one thing is done. Forever. But let's ignore the universe where that happened, because that's not the one I exist in. Had I done this smarter, and still done it, I may have come into this state, interacted with these people, had a lot less stress and sleepless nights, and cried less. Like Dorian, this first phase just blows. I probably wouldn't have slid a lot closer to the abyss of drinking myself to death (seriously Florida...legalize the better and less damaging stuff already!) than I care to admit. I probably wouldn't still harbor toxic levels of vitriol for a place that has me almost rooting for Climate Change (if only it was localized).

I wouldn't have an extremely challenging boat, either. I wouldn't have realized that my reaction to being away from MXT was what it was. January will be 11 years we've been exclusively together, and I didn't expect to get so many numbers from hot women, a couple of hot men, and one ugly one. I honestly thought I'd be fighting the desire to call them up. But I found myself missing her. A lot. We talked on the phone almost every night. I would wax poetic to strangers about her, in the corniest way. So yesterday, when the worst case situational scenario wound up matching the minimum requirements for her to join me, my hands were shaking as I texted her.
Turn it in, Love
(referring to her 2 week notice...she's responsible like that).

Shortly afterwards, she called. She couldn't find a conference room, so grabbed one of her people, stationed them outside, and stole the nursing mother room to call me. She's not a monster, and would have left if needed, but was quite surprised at the comfort of the chair. Makes sense though. If one is going to try to shuttle an amazing function of motherhood out of sight, they better make sure that shuffled away mother is comfortable. Anyway, that's neither here nor there. She said that her heart dropped upon receipt of that message. My dear readers, did you notice the important part? She turned in her notice, and will be here soon. The next step IS STARTING!!!! Within 6 weeks from right now, we're going to be shopping for our boat. OUR boat. The one that will allow us to harness the wind, and take us to wherever we decide to go.

And now the logistics get kicked into high gear. Until the first paycheck comes, I'm still at anchor, with a borrowed dinghy, no power, no water, no light (I'll get more into that below) and no certainty as to where I can store my dinghy as I ride this bike I got off of a crack head at a hostel. My actual bike is coming with MXT, and 12 miles without hills and an abundance of oxygen isn't even a thing worth talking about. Hold on a moment, please.


I won't promise that's the last time that will happen. Nor will I apologize. If you don't get it, cool. Ignore it. If you do, I hope you are grinning as hard as I am writing this. My face actually hurts from the smile. Anyway, where was I?

Before I get into the next part, I need to tell you all something about my psychology. I don't do well with expectations. At all. Something inside of my brain is broken; if I expect something, and it doesn't happen, I go to a very dark place. You've all been spared that, but I assure you, there is plenty of evidence on other forums I was more involved with that shows it isn't a pretty sight. And it's hard to get out of. I mean, when I jumped on the bus to here, my only goal was to get to an ocean. I broke out my steps earlier. I know it was a bit ago, but you will notice that when I broke out our steps, there were very little details when it comes to specifics. The more specific things get, the bigger the opportunity for me to foul those lines of plans (okay, I'm actually really proud of that one). I know that about me. Back in Colorado, my saving grace was marijuana. Without weed, my brain has a tendency to spiral downward, bad. And I've spent almost every day here fighting that tendency. I've felt like what I imagine one feels being off of their meds. The stabilizing factor that I've found works for me is not allowed here. I'm sure I'll get over it, but I still hate sending money to the violent cartels with a non-regulated product. I've meditated more here than any other time in my life (besides that vipassana retreat I went on once). I even have special meditation pants (because I'm that kind of weirdo). It takes a lot more work than taking a few hits for my particular use-case, and isn't nearly as consistent. Better than nothing, and much better than drinking.

Okay, now that I've explained that, hopefully it will be more clear when I am more vague than seems necessary when it comes to plans. Anyway, she's coming here, and soon. We're going to spend Halloween together. It was something I realized last week. We've never spent a Halloween apart in the past 9 years, and it's always been fun. She has tried to train me to talk to kids as I give them candy, compliment them on their costumes, and move on. I was always the one who asked who they were, and why. I went from being less than friendly, to interrogating these kids, to being somewhat more pleasant. It's been an evolution. We also gave out 2 kilos of cavity inducing candy (I hoard the Haribo gummy bears). So it's fun! And she is going to be here for it! Wait just another moment.


Okay, let's revisit, because things got weird for a minute. I'm here. I didn't plan it this way. I didn't plan at all. I was selfish and cruel to do so. I have a boat. I have a very well-paying job I'll start on Monday, and the love of my life will be here on the 25th. Of this month. This month!


Seriously, that's probably getting annoying to you all. I fancy myself a bit of a wordsmith (like Jessup from Castle), but the excitement I'm feeling leaves me at a loss for words. This hasn't been easy or pleasant, but things are looking up. I just needed a single thing to go right, and it seems to have happened. So what are the next challenges to be overcome?

************************************************** ***
Challenge #1: Getting to shore, with the ability to leave for 10 hours a day.
Details: For now, I'll be working a standard workday, and it will take just over an hour each way to get to work using a bike or transit options. So when I leave, I won't have the ability to return quickly.
Idea #1: Locate a dinghy dock close enough to row to where it can be secured. I've got a lock and everything, but haven't really found any decent information on my options. I'm still looking, though.
Idea #2: Locate someone to ferry me from the boat to shore twice a day. This might be an option, but it's definitely my least favorite. Putting my ability to get to work in the hands of someone else rubs me the wrong way.
Idea #3: Kedge or tow the boat to the Marina located in the same anchorage I'm currently at. This would actually be the best option I think, since the Hollywood Marina seems to be cheap ($.90/ft/day for liveaboards), while also having electricity, water, showers, and wifi. This means getting the boat wired up and figuring out the plumbing isn't such an impending issue that has to be addressed. There is only one problem here. I would need to figure out a way to get an advance on my paycheck. It's not difficult to afford, but I don't have the funds to do it until that first paycheck.
Challenge #2: Ensure that MXT has the ability to comfortably decompress after her drive out here.
Details: She'll be driving about 4 days to get out here. She's probably going to be hurting. A hot shower and a comfy bed for at least the first night is a must. It will also create the opportunity for some more...energetic greetings.
Idea #1: I really only have the one idea to address this challenge, and that is to get a hotel room for the first night. Again, the money situation makes it kind of difficult, since she'll be out here before I get my first paycheck. I'll make this happen somehow, but I have a bit of time to figure it out.
Challenge #3: Ensure that the boat is good enough for MXT to live on comfortably while we shop for our boat.
Details: In its current form, I am pretty certain it would be a risk for MXT to get fed up and throw away the entire idea of sailing. This particular challenge, along with the next one, are related to actual work on the boat, so I'm going to mention the details, and then post the prioritized list that I'm thinking of after this.
Challenge #4: Make sure that we don't wind up with this boat becoming a liability.
Details: It was made very clear by you all that this boat may be difficult to get rid of. I really don't want it sitting around once we get our boat. So the boat work list below is taking this into account as well.

Let's get on with it!

Boat Work - Ideas, priorities, and thoughts so far.
Priority Item 1: Water.
I have the 5 gallon tank all cleaned out, all of the garbage that was on there before pulled off. Cleaned out the moldy port, and during the course of it, I stripped the threads. Or I cleaned them so well that they are no longer existing. That was what the aforementioned bulkhead fitting was for, but it's way too big. I must have screwed up the Inner Diameter vs. Outer Diameter. However, during my procrastination, and with the way time has seemed to go (nothing is happening, and BOOM!, everything is happening at once), I've changed my mind on that, especially on this boat. Right now, I can just stand it up, and it will work out just fine. It's not like we're going to be sailing. On a fun note, I was staying in Boynton Beach for a bit, as I hunted for jobs, and recently, a Boil Water notice came through. It made me angry initially, but then my perspective shifted. This is what it will be like on the boat if I got a head injury or lost a bet, and wound up with nothing but a lot of 20oz bottles of overpriced water to bathe, drink, brush my teeth, and cook with. I received the all clear, but am half tempted not to say anything, and just keep on with boiling water. Too much is changing, but it is a fun idea. For now, I'm good with the vertical 5 gallon tank (it's really weird, tall and skinny), and using that to fill up my two gallon water jugs, since they are easier to work with. Once MXT gets out here, I need to figure out a pump system. I'm sure she'll be fine with it, since we do a lot of camping, but not for long. I do have a pumpable kitchen faucet, and I'm thinking a good stop gap would be to install that faucet at the top of the tank. This would set up a potable water setup akin to those big soap dispensers (I could use one of those too, it's not like they are dirty). I do want to figure out a way to cap it, but a bungee cord to prevent it from tipping (or just jamming it in somewhere) and a rubber band around a sandwich bag would probably be perfectly adequate for now. I do want a foot pump, but I'll do what I can with what I've got.
Priority Item 2: Sleeping surface.
This one is a touch trickier. I think I mentioned before that I have a self-inflating backpacking pad. That one, to be exact. And MXT has another one. I have worked a bit on the corresponding plans, just to make them a touch cleaner, but haven't gotten to it yet. Until then, I have posted a living document on our Flomads site (which is regretfully short on content, but I'm working on it). On the plans there, I think it says table (folds down for berth), and it's higher than the surrounding area. With that small pad, it still won't fit without the corner jabbing into me. The 'quarter berth' just to the left of the sink is bigger, and it might be there that we sleep. However, that's not where I've slept. Initially it was because I was unaware of how wet it would be. I'm still not used to the sounds on a boat, so I was pretty sure there was a leak somewhere. I've put some towels down, just to see where the dripping noise came from. Surprisingly enough, it seems quite dry (all of you folks have me super paranoid now). I'm still not sure if we'll wind up sleeping there, though. The idea of a settee while sailing and alternating watches seem fine, but that's a challenge for another day, another boat, and/or different circumstances. And for the immediate future, I have no clue. Even with a flashlight (in an altogether surprising moment of foresight, I brought 3 of these lights with me, along with a taillight), I can't see exactly what else is going on down there. There has just been too much to do where there is at least a bit of light (more on that below).
My initial thought was to just go to a fabric store, pick up some high density (closed-cell...I do know that much) foam, cutting it to size, and going from there. That still might be what we do. But with a bit of research here, I saw some comments that made me do some research. Ventilation underneath. I haven't been onboard long enough to really understand the mold and soggy issue, but I know it will be one. Gone With The Wynns recently did an interview with Jason's brother. One thing that was mentioned suggested that the dehumidifying function of an Air Conditioning unit changed everything. Salt gets everywhere, nothing dries, and mold is a constant battle. Couple that with what I've read here about airflow underneath a sleeping surface, I dug in deeper. While my cheap nature made me think of an air mattress with some 1X1 pieces of wood (which also sent me down an amazing rabbit hole about marine plywood) underneath, I also looked at the Froli STAR system. Modular? Oh yes. I could totally do that! And it can be moved to our boat, so not even wasted money! And then I remembered something. I don't know yet. Should I really jump to what seems to be the best, when something else is probably more than adequate? Let's figure out what I need, and then figure out what she needs. And let's figure out why! That's where I'm at, right now.
Priority Item 3: Electricity & tech.
There is no power on Sacred Wind. None. I know that ventilation is important, even on something as small as SW is. A single hatch aforedeck (I don't even know if that's the correct terminology, but I like it and the etymology seems correct...makes me feel a bit less 'low-sodium' even if those feelings may be proven wrong) in the florida heat doesn't seem to be enough. I did pick up a tiny tornado fan. Of course, I purchased it just before Dorian, so there were no D batteries available. I have since got them. I haven't found a great place to mount it, but it does help. Now, the previous owner put gelcoat over the portholes, so even in the sunshine, it's very dark. I don't really like it. I can't understand why someone would do that, when a small piece of fabric rigged up as a curtain would work, and be less permanent. So I think I'm going to wind up replacing those, or try to clean them off.

So that's kind of where I am at right now. Things are changing, and moving. I'm quite excited. So there is an update for you all.
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Old 13-10-2019, 12:03   #27
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Boat: Pearson 365 Ketch
Posts: 24
Re: I could have done this smarter...

Oops. Totally forgot one of the future ideas. As we shop for our boat, I'm going to put the boat up for sale. Maybe I'll get my money back, but I'm not really expecting it. And with the comments here, I may not even be able to give it away. MXT and I have decided that if that does happen, we're going to sail it to Grand Bahama, and either sell or give it away there. I haven't been able to help with the recovery efforts as much as I've wanted. So this could be a way to help out, and it would be a fun sail. We'll then just fly back.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:45   #28
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

And she's here, and we have decided to try to get some more knowledge as we shop for our boat. To that end, we are shortly heading to the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. Feel free to send a PM if you around that area and want to meet or hang out or whatever.
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Old 11-11-2019, 17:28   #29
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Re: We're doing this smarter...

Ah, the next step begins. It went in a slightly different direction than it appeared at first, but we're on track, and this next step has wound up having a pretty good opportunity to do this smarter. To that end, I'll wrap this thread up, providing a touch of background specific to knowledge of these intermediary moments involving a potentially dream-killing decision that I successfully avoided.
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Old 02-05-2020, 18:41   #30
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Boat: Pearson 365 Ketch
Posts: 24
Re: I could have done this smarter...

I did do it smarter! She came out, we rented an apartment, searched for a boat that meet our needs instead of just mine, and about 3 weeks ago, moved onboard.

A Pearson 365. Beautiful boat, and considering that Hull #1 is still out there cruising, I feel good about it. Learned a bunch in the process (including the fact that a good chunk of people who are out there doing it think that CF is not a good resource... Honestly, between the censorship and the ridiculous amount of ads here that would take precious bandwidth, I'm leaning that way too, but I'm not going to give up yet on being a valuable participant here just yet).

Wait. Is buying another boat and moving aboard in the midst of a pandemic doing things smarter? No idea, but I had a meeting the other day, and the VP tried to give me crap for being in "the kitchen" (chart table backs to the galley). I just laughed, and walked the laptop on deck (webcam going). So. Much. Jealousy.

I've actually mentioned multiple times that I'm self isolating on yacht. It makes me laugh.

How are you folks holding up? I'll browse about a bit later from my computer (seriously, the ads are bs... Which is short for what comes out of the butt/anus/lower intestines of a very specific animal), for the knowledge that certainly exists around here.

I am going cruising, and I'm missing things. I will never sail into a country that hasn't had a pandemic. I will never look at a sky that doesn't have star link satellites shooting across it. And I'm still doing it.
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