For those of you just joining or need a refresher on what’s going on, here we go. Around the August 2021 time frame, we had an epiphany of sorts. Linda asked everyone around the dinner table “what the one thing you want the most right now” or something like that. My mom wanted to move back to Pittsburgh, Linda wanted to move the Pacific northwest and I wanted to cruise on a boat up and down the east coast.
Linda put her project management skills to work and came up with plans to get this accomplished. We found Mom a nice place in Pittsburgh and got her moved in. Linda started looking for housing in Washington and I found a boat broker to help me find a boat. If we didn’t live in Florida, I could have said “as the leaves came off the trees and the snow began to fall” things started falling into place. Linda found a house in Washington and we settled in February 2022. Finding a boat can take a long time and I was proving the point.
I am very picky about what I want. It was difficult relying on boat pictures and feedback from my broker about how the boat looked. I finally picked 4 candidates and around May/June 2022 booked a flight to Florida to see the boats in person. On the way down, I had made up my mind that I was buying one of these boats. Unless, of course, they were all garbage.
At the end of July, I became a boat owner. The current plan is to get the boat ready to use, then start moving the boat from Pensacola, FL to the east coast of Florida, probably the St. Augustine area. At that point I can cruise from place to place for 3-4 months at a time with trips back to Washington. Linda has also expressed interest in spending some time on the boat as well.
Since we sold our large RV spring of 2021, we no longer had camping options. Linda, particularly, did not like this as we moved everything in our new home. She was aching to get a solution that allowed her to travel with a small pack of dogs and camping is the best way to go. She did not want to sleep in a tent. She wanted something more comfortable. We set out to look for a camping option that was comfortable for Linda to drive by herself and accommodate 2 collies and a sheltie. We found a solution and traded our Tesla in for the new to us motorhome. Soon after the purchase, we realized the motorhome could not tow the Jeep Cherokee we own. We looked for a solution and found an older Kia Soul, manual transmission, that was light enough to tow. We had to get it set up for towing and we were set to go.
I purchased a boat located on the Navy base in Pensacola and had to move it off the base. see first boat ride. There are few options in that area, primarily because recent hurricanes have negatively impacted many marinas. I found a working marina to place the boat, but I cannot live on the boat while it is there. Linda and I decided the best move was to take the motorhome towing the Kia to Pensacola to get the boat ready to go. I would have a place to stay where I could cook my own meals. When the boat is ready to move based on boat work and hurricane season, Linda will fly to Pensacola and take the motorhome and Kia back home and I will head to St. Augustine.
On with the story!
After 7 days of driving, I woke early and headed to the boat. I got semi lucky in that the RV park is about 10 miles away from the boat. Unfortunately, it is also 15 miles away from the gulf beaches. I was able to get 5 nights but come the weekend there is no space for me. Just take it one day at a time.
Once on the boat I felt just as overwhelmed as when I left. Stuff everywhere and the only clean space was the galley (kitchen) which is so small ANYONE could stretch their arms out and touch each end of the counter. But I was focused and had a plan, of sorts.
I wanted to do a thorough deep clean of every nook and cranny, however the previous owner had left so much stuff it was not going to be possible. My plan was to wipe out and vacuum drawer by drawer, section by section till I was done. All the while sort through the stuff to keep, donate or trash.
Once a drawer was cleaned and dried, I then could refill it with my stuff. Repeat on the next drawer, and the next, etc. Three days later and I have done all but 4 drawers and sorted all the “spare parts”.
It is eye opening to move in like this behind someone. I understand the previous owners thinking, “I’m getting out of boating I don’t need any of the stuff on the boat”. However, I found he was much more of a pack rat than I am. As I’m cleaning the bathrooms and the kitchen, I found 3-4 bottles of cleaning solution in each. I discarded 18-20 bottles of spray this or that as well as the Lysol disinfectant wipes, 5-6 bottles.
I also found antiques. There were 2 fire extinguishers installed (2006), 4 “new” in the box (2016), and I found another 4 buried in a locker. Two of those were dated 1989. The boat was built in 1984.
Up next: I need a bigger boat…