¡Muy Importante!

YodersAfloat is moving! Please come and see us at our new location. Be sure to update your bookmarks. Once you get there, sign up yo receive notifications of updates via e-mail.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Groovin' on the Greyhound: a diversion

OK. So maybe sometimes having a "steenking car" would be kind of nice.

It all started 10 years ago or so. Being a member of the class of
'69, my 30-year high school reunion was held 10 years ago. I gave
this little or no thought at the time. I'd remained successfully
incognito from the alumni committee for 30 years in spite of having a
listed phone number all that time. Not that I really had anything
against reunions. I just figured that the folks I hung out with in
high school would be very unlikely to show up at a reunion. Much too
'establishment', right? However, one sunny Saturday morning in
September of 1999, I get a phone call:

"Is this Stephen Yoder?"

"Is this the Stephen Yoder that went to Willow Glen High School and
graduated in 1969?"
"Uh...maybe." (Pretty clever answer, huh?)

"Well, this is Samantha Bryner and me and Randy Siegel have been
trying to find you."

Whoa! Sam and Randy were on my "A" list of old friends. They had met
up at the 30th reunion and decided to use the wonders of the internet
to track down the old gang. So far they had tracked down me, Bill
Allayaud, Thom Johnson, Vickie Veltman, Ned Williams and Chuck (now
'Charles') Perrone. Soon to follow were Nick Lange and Grant
Fellersen. As many as could proceeded to get together in December of
'99 and every couple of years afterwards during which time the group
was expanded beyond the original core.

Fine, but what's this got to do with a Greyhound? Well, originally,

During the course of these biennial get-togethers, it started sounding
like it might actually be fun to go to the 40th reunion in 2009. I
knew I'd be retired by then and figured that this would be a once-in-a-
lifetime chance to pull off a really cool entrance. Since the 30th
(and I think the 20th) had been held in Santa Cruz, I figured they all
were. Now Willow Glen High School is in San Jose but Santa Cruz was
our playground so it made sense to reunite there. Well, Santa Cruz is
a harbor and we had plans to be starting our retired life of living on
the boat in hot places in 2009, so I figured it would be way cool to
sail into Santa Cruz and dinghy ashore for the festivities. When the
inevitable "So, what are you doing these days?" question came up I'd
be ready. And I'm not above getting a parrot and earring for the
occasion either.

But alas, as regular readers of this blog know, it didn't quite work
out that way. First off, we didn't get away from our home port of
Newport in time to head south this season. But, even if we had, they
went and held the reunion in SAN JOSE instead of Santa Cruz. What the
heck were they thinking? It's would way be cooler to be standing in
the Coconut Grove and point out to the Santa Cruz harbor and say
"That's my boat at anchor there" than it would be to be standing in
some meeting room at a San Jose hotel telling about the boat at anchor
in Santa Cruz. Oh well, since I didn't sail the boat down anyway.....

But the second item that turned my glorious return to the fold into
"lame" instead of "cool" was how we got there. No car means we can't
drive there. It also means that it's difficult to get to the airport
or pretty much anywhere else unless we walk. Now, the bus depot is
walking distance from the boat so that's nice. And, through various
transfers it can get us all the way to Santa Cruz where we would be
staying with Scott & Sandy. Nice. No one has to drive very far to
pick us up. And, although not as cheap as it should be, bus travel
was cheap enough to let us rent a room at the hotel where the reunion
was being held and still come in a little under what airline travel
would have cost. But those were pretty much the extent of the
advantages of bus travel.

To start, there are 2 buses a day leaving Newport. One is at 5:45 AM
and one is at 3:45 PM. To minimize layovers, we opted for the morning
one. I suppose we could have arranged for a taxi to come get us at
the marina but we're made of heartier stock than that. No, we arose
about 4:30 AM, had a little juice, locked up the boat and, with
backpacks and duffels firmly strapped on to our persons, headed to the
bus depot. The trip requires that we walk over the Yaquina Bay bridge
which we have done dozens of times. But at "O-dark-thirty" in the
morning, that sucker is DARK! The only time you ca see the sidewalk
is when cars approach and there aren't that many of them out and about
at that time of day on a Wednesday. No huge problem except that the
sidewalk over most of the bridge is quite narrow and there is no
barrier on the traffic side. So, being unable to see one's feet, it
would be very easy to step off the edge which is about twice as tall
as a standard curb on a street. So, one tends to want to hug the
outboard railing which would work pretty well except that our duffels
tended to push us away from the railing and back towards the traffic
edge. Just the way one wants to start the day: terrified of falling.

Nevertheless, we managed to get to the other side unscathed and, as is
our wont, arrived at the depot about 30 minutes early. Now this isn't
a Greyhound Depot but rather a little affiliate bus line depot. Which
means it was closed. So we sat outside with a couple other hearty
folks and waited. Fortunately, it wasn't raining. Eventually the bus
driver arrived (He's a whole other story. One about a guy with
serious power and control issues) and we all piled in for the ride to
Corvallis, our first transfer point.

Now before I continue, I need to say that I had been pumping myself up
for the trip with stories in my head about how cool bus travel could
be if you just let it. Granted, I hadn't ridden the big grey dog
since the early 70s and thoroughly hated it then, but I'm older, more
mature and experienced now. I don't just automatically take the
negative view anymore. This could be fun, right? Well, let me tell
you. If you thought bus travel was bad back then, you're going to
really hate it today. The only thing that was a little better was the
fact that the bus generally tended to be less crowded than in the old
days. Other than that, it was all worse. For one thing, bus depots
always used to have snack bars if not out and out restaurants.
Remember the Post House restaurants that were in all of the larger bus
depots? No more. Remember the cool little seaside diners that the
buses stopped at in movies like "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (the
original one, not the remake)? They don't exist anymore, if indeed
they ever did. We were traveling from one coastal town to another
coastal town. We should have been driving along the coast the whole
way with stops at rustic little gas station/diners where we'd meet
colorful people. And everything would be in black and white. Yeah,

The first depot, in Corvallis, wasn't actually all that bad. The
chairs were those uncomfortable plastic ones that used to be in bus
depots everywhere. They had lockers where we could leave our stuff
while we walked to Burger King for breakfast and an internet
connection. At this point I was still thinking that this might not be
too bad after all. In a little while, the Greyhound rolled in and we
boarded. The buses are pretty much the same as they've always been:
stinky bathroom, none too clean, some of the seats lean back like
they're supposed to and some are broken, etc. But the seats were
reasonably comfortable and the bus was pretty sparsely loaded so we
found a couple seats and settled in for the ride. Except for a few
brief loading/unloading stops we wouldn't really have a chance to
disembark until out lunch stop at Medford. Tried to sleep a little
but you have to be really tired to be able to sleep on a Greyhound
unless you bring along a pillow which, since we had to schlep our
stuff across the bridge, we chose not to do. The lunch stop in
Medford was at a Pilot Travel Center: gas station, convenience store,
Taco Bell, and Subway all under one roof. I suppose it's the modern
day equivalent of the cool little gas station/diners in the old movies
but it definitely lacks their charm. Of course, they may have not
seemed all that charming to bus travelers of that era either.

Back on the road and headed for the first place we'd actually have to
transfer buses and have a layover: Sacramento. The worst thing about
the trip so far was that we both had really sore butts. There's very
few ways to change your position to relieve the pressure on various
butt parts. Consequently, the part of the butt I refer to as "the
hinge" gets really sore. The hinge, on me anyway, is a line that runs
perpendicular to your butt crack and crosses the crack just below the
top. When you slouch down, it seems to be the spot that takes the
majority of the abuse. And we abused our hinges mightily.

We pulled in to Sacramento about 8:45 PM. This is where we get our
first glimpse of the kind of torture that Greyhound has developed over
the years. We were facing a 3-hour layover. In Sacramento, the depot
no longer has the little plastic chairs. Instead they have these
horrible things made out of heavy wire. They are very rigid and
godawful uncomfortable. They have permanent armrests between the
seats so that, even if you could find the room, there is no way you
could lay down on them and take a snooze. The general consensus is
that they're uncomfortable on purpose so that bums won't come in and
sleep on them. But that argument is completely bogus. Every big city
bus depot we saw had security guards. And the homeless people we saw
sleeping directly on the sidewalk would probably consider the floor at
the Greyhound a step up if the guards would let them in to sleep. So,
if the argument about why the benches are so uncomfortable was ever
true, it no longer is. If Greyhound really wants to increase
ridership they should go to an airport surplus sale or something. Get
some freakin' padded chairs for gawdsakes!

The restaurant at the Sacramento depot was closed. Might be out of
business for all I know. In its place were vending machines. You
could get your choice of 16 oz. soda or water for $2.25 or a small bag
of chips for about the same price. Whoo-hoo! After suffering with
the chairs for an hour or so, we decided to put our bags in a locker
and take a stroll to pass the time. Fortunately, the Sacto depot is
downtown near the capitol in an area that wasn't too scary to walk
in. We strolled many many blocks. Saw lots of little chi-chi shops
that we couldn't imagine anyone buying anything in, tiny little mini-
marts, a few nightspots, hotels, and lots of restaurants and such that
looked oh so cosmopolitan. Pretty much everything was closed. The
logical thing to do would have been to find a bar and have a couple
beers to pass the time. But Greyhound has this very strict no-
tolerance policy. Not only can't you bring alcohol aboard, but you're
not supposed to be drinking between buses either. "So what?" you
say. "Screw the Man!" you say. Well, the bus driver is within his
rights to kick you off the bus or just not let you back on if he
decides he smells alcohol on you. And since our tickets were non-
refundable, I didn't relish the idea of being stranded in Sacramento
in the middle of the night with no bus ticket to anywhere just because
it's easier to pass the time on a comfortable bar stool with a cold
brew in hand. So we passed. But the night was balmy and the stroll
managed to eat up the remaining 2 hours pretty well. Of course, when
we returned, we found out that our bus had been delayed another hour
due to a flat tire near Reno. Crappage! On the plus side, since our
next layover was to be 4 hours in San Francisco, this just meant the
layover would be an hour shorter.

Finally the bus did arrive (12:45 AM) and we piled on for the trip to

Now the SF bus Depot makes the Sacramento depot look like Grand
Central Station or something. The SF depot waiting room was tiny and
had a guard at the door. You couldn't get in without a bus ticket.
But who would want to. It consisted of a big screen TV tuned to CNN
with the volume safety-wired in the LOUD position, more of the
ubiquitous wire torture chairs, some vending machines that were $0.25
cheaper than the ones in Sacramento, and bathrooms that were so
disgustingly dirty that this one woman we met who was seriously motion
sick didn't even want to puke in the toilets, they were so filthy. Now
THAT'S dirty. By this time I was so tired all I could do was try to
find some kind of way to get comfortable enough to sleep. I finally
found that if I sat on the bench with my duffel on my knees, I could
lean forward enough so the duffel was sort of like a pillow. In this
position I managed to sleep (sort of) enough to pass the time until
6:45 AM or whenever it was that we finally were able to board the last
bus for our final leg to Santa Cruz via San Jose. This part of the
trip is largely a blur as I managed to sleep off and on through the

When we arrived at Scott and Sandy's our only request was to let us
take showers and then hit the hay for a few hours, which we did.

Since this little narrative isn't really about the reunion, I'll skip
over it except to say that it all went very well. It was good to see
lots of people I hadn't seen in 40 years and it was also somewhat
surprising to realize how many people were in my class that I never
did know. Of course with a graduating class of over 600 people, that
shouldn't have been surprising.

The return trip on the bus was better, partly because it was 3 hours
shorter due to shorter layovers (YAY!). But it was still plenty
long. It started at the depot in Santa Cruz. The bus was about 35
minutes late to begin with but that really didn't matter much to us.
But we were joining a bus that was on its way north from LA. When we
climbed aboard, it was pretty evident that there were not going to be
2 seats side-by-side anywhere on the bus. There were lots of places
where one person was taking up 2 seats. In these, the person seated
either pretended to be asleep (yeah, right, like anyone could sleep
through the bus driver's amplified announcements) or gave off a surly
vibe to discourage anyone from asking to share the seat. So, playing
right in to their game, we look for the least threatening people and
sit with them. When we got to San Jose, enough people got off that we
could sit together.

By now we were pretty well-versed in reading on the bus and so the
time passed fairly quickly until our first layover (2 hours) in
Oakland. Again with the security guards (which I'm actually just fine
with), again with the vending machines, and again with those hideous
torture chairs. Oh yeah, and again with the blaring TV, but this time
ESPN replaced CNN. We were entertained off and on by this woman who
had been on our bus from San Jose. She could definitely be defined as
'colorful' but I think 'whacko' is actually closer. I don't even know
what all she did to earn that description, but I do know she was a
whack job. The time passed agonizingly slowly but it did pass.
Eventually we were on the road to Sacramento, site of our next (2 hour
or so) layover. Veterans of Sacto layovers that we were, we promptly
lockered our stuff and went for a walk. This made the layover much
less agonizing and pretty soon we were back on the bus where we would
stay until our breakfast stop in Medford. The return trip wasn't
nearly as bad as the trip down. However, by the time we got home we
had seriously sore butts.

It was so good to see our little floating home and to have a normal
evening again. Lulu made pizza and we watched "Arrested Development",
"What About Brian", and "Nip/Tuck". We also lucked out and didn't get
rained on during out return trip across the bridge.

You know what the worst thing was about the bus trip? I got on line
and found that we could have taken the train for about the same
price. Maybe a little less. Oh well.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The view from aloft

I tried to upload some photos via e-mail. It sort of worked and sort
of didn't. But I thought you might be interested to see what Siempre
Sabado looks like from aloft. If you click on the photo you'll get to
see a larger image where you can pick out more detail. Let me know if
you have any questions about what you're looking at.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The arts of the sailor

One of the things I like best about owning a sailboat is having a good excuse to do lots of "sailor" stuff.  I'm not talking about reefing the main or hardening up the jib or any of that kind of stuff (although I like all that, too).  I'm talking about splicing rope and doing fancy ropework and tying knots and all THAT kind of stuff.  This isn't to say that powerboaters can't do all that nautical stuff, too, it's just probably not going to look as cool on their boats as it does on a more or less "traditional" looking sailboat.

One of my favorite sources for all things nautical is Hervey Garrett Smith:

Pictured here are one of his books as well as some of the cool stuff you get to use when performing sailorly arts.  Starting with the canvas bag located in the upper left corner and working clockwise: ditty bag, waxed sailmaker's thread, rigging knife, one of He
rvey's books,
a glass vial (protected by a Lulu-made cover) containing sailmaker's needles, a sewing awl, a sailmaker's palm, and a roll of tarred marline.  Now c'mon, just saying those things makes you sound downright nautical doesn't it?  Yarrrr!

One of our projects on our old boat, a J.R. Benford designed 23' ferrocement gaff-rigged double-ended yawl built by Dan Taylor of Bellingham (here's to ya', Dan!) was to build some fenders (too often called "bumpers") out of old manila rope.  Fenders hang off the side of the boat when alongside a dock or an
other boat to protect her topsides from scratches, scrapes, etc. They are usually hollow air-filled plastic sausages but could just as easily be made of old tires. However, one of the sailor's arts was making these out of old rope that was too worn to use but too good to throw away.  Fortunately for me, a 1992 copy of WoodenBoat magazine carried an article on how to make these devices.   Having left the full complement of rope fenders with the old boat when we sold her, Lulu thought we should really make a set for Siempre Sabado.  So, for Christmas a couple years ago she bought me a 250' roll of 3/4" manila line for the job. Since that time, I managed to find the time to build two of them.   So, a week or so ago, I showed her how to make them and she built 2 more.  We'll keep this up until we have 8 or so altogether.

Besides making the fenders themselves, I also got to make lanyards to hang them from.  This allowed me to make eye splices in some 3-strand line as well as do some whipping of the end of the line.  As Hervey says, an unwhipped line is an "abomination".

Although it's not as much fun, it's also necessary to splice double-braided line once in awhile.  This stuff can be a nightmare to work with and there's no way I can remember how to do an eyesplice without written instructions.  But, I'm replacing all of my running rigging and consequently making eyesplices is a must.  So, here's the result.  Not much chance that Brion Toss is going to hire me anytime soon, but I think this splice is at least acceptable.

On the horizon: baggywrinkle.  If you don't know what that is, here's a picture:

It's used to guard the sails from chafing against the shrouds, and the spreaders.  Happily, baggywrinkle is made from old pieces of manila line which we just happen to have plenty of as a result of making the fenders.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Where we're at

Just in case you have Google Earth and would like to see exactly where
we are, here is a link. You can then zoom out and see where all the
places are that we walk to. Walmart (44 deg.39'23.40"N x 124 deg.
03'15.39"W) is our furthest venture north so far and the industrial
park at 44 deg.36'11.07"N x 124 deg.03'19.48"W is our furthest venture

I'm not sure if the attachment will come through when I post this
update via e-mail so, just in case, ground zero is at 44 deg.
37'20.29"N x 124 deg.03'05.67"W. Thanks to the Brown Dog for
reminding me about Google Earth.

Monday, September 14, 2009

We don't need no steenking car!

Now I realize that's it's early in our time without a car and I may
end up eating my words one of these days. But if I do, I'm not going
to tell you about it. Anyway, right now we are really enjoying not
owning a car. It really hit home last weekend. Cody was visiting and
decided that she really, REALLY needed new tires. So, we dropped her
little Toyota pickup off at Les Schwab while we took a walk to check
out a couple of 2nd hand stores. The familiar smell of rubber at Les
Schwab reminded me that I don't have to spend money there anymore.
And I must have spent millions of dollars there over the last 35 years
or so. Since we usually owned at least 3 vehicles at a time, there
were a lot of tires to buy. Living two and a half miles up a tire-
eating gravel road just compounded the problem. Then we had to have
two sets of mounted tires for each vehicle, one for snow and ice and
one for all the rest of the year. I'm absolutely NOT going to miss
the smell of Les Schwab Tire Stores. The smell of rubber is the smell
of burning money.

Then there's insurance. I absolutely hate the whole concept of
insurance anyway so you can imagine how I felt about being forced by
law to have to purchase this ridiculously over-priced product year
after year. A product that I got almost nothing out of. In fact, the
few times that I had a claim that the insurance paid, I could have
paid it myself easily with the money I could have had saved up if I
didn't have to buy insurance. And had plenty left over to buy tires.

I never really begrudged the price of gas. Matter of fact,
considering the damage to the environment that burning fossil fuels
causes, I always felt like gas didn't cost enough. But I don't mind
not having to buy it either.

Lulu and I love to go on long walks. When we first came to Newport a
couple years ago, we remarked that someday we'd have to walk over the
bridge just to do it. Little did we know that walking over the
bridge a half a dozen times a week would become de riguer. We both
have little backpacks to make bringing the groceries and other
purchases home a bit easier. We've walked from the marina to WalMart
and back. This is roughly the entire length of Newport proper. True,
the city extends south of the marina but it's pretty much all
industrial down there. And it extends north of WalMart but about the
only thing up there of note is the movie theater. On one of our "full-
length" walks we took a detour on the way back through the Nye Beach
neighborhood so we could stop for a cold one at the Sandbar Sports
Bar. They have free peanuts, too (throw the shells on the floor). If
you're on a long walk you can justify this kind of rest stop. If we
were driving, I suspect we just wouldn't do it.

If the walk is just too long for the load we need to carry, or the
weather sucks or we just don't feel like walking, Newport has a
shuttle bus that runs every day of the year except Thanksgiving and
Christmas. It picks us up right at the marina office and goes
everywhere we could possibly need to go including the industrial south
end and the movie theater north end. And, since were are paying
guests of the marina, we ride for free. How cool is that? The only
fly in the ointment is that the trip north and the return trip south
are hard to coordinate. You either have a very short time to shop or
a very long one. Consequently, we seldom ride both directions, opting
to walk one way or the other.

Lots of the folks here at the marina have offered us rides and we have
occasionally taken them up on it. But generally we prefer to walk.
And of course we now have the beater bike should we choose to use it.
I think not having a car has generated more disbelief among our fellow
E-dockers than the fact that we live full-time on a 28' boat. They
just can't imagine being "stuck" here without a car. I guess it's
just in how you look at it and what you like to do. We don't feel
stuck and we're loving not having to spend money on a car or put up
with the idiot drivers out there. Saw a lady yesterday while I was
waiting for the bus. She's driving down Highway 101 through the heart
of Newport on a sunny Sunday READING A BOOK!!!. And I though cell
phones were a hazard. As long as one of these idiots doesn't run us
over in the crosswalk, our exposure to them is pretty minimal.

I will admit that there are a couple times when a car would be nice.
One is when we run low on beer and Rite-Aid has 30-packs on sale for
$13.99. Those babies are heavy and I'm not sure they'd be welcome on
the shuttle. The other time is when a propane tank needs refilling.
I bought lightweight composite propane tanks but they're still fairly
heavy to schlep around and I'm sure they wouldn't be welcome on the
shuttle. So, for those times, we look forward to visits from the kids
or friends who don't mind taking us to the store. Or we can ask our
dockmates for a ride. Or we can buy beer (not as cheaply of course)
from the store here at the marina. And we do have a spare propane
tank so we can wait quite awhile before we have to get it filled.
And, if worse came to worse, I can throw the propane bottle on the
back of the bike and pedal down to the RV store in the industrial
south and get it filled.

So, do we miss having a car? Not yet.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Digging in

Well, it's not exactly what we thought we'd be doing right now but it's not bad at all.  I'll have to take back all the bad things I've said about Newport weather.  Not because I was wrong but because I fear retribution from the Newport weather gods now that they have me right where they want me: securely tied to the dock right here in Newport. 
 Truthfully, though, the past few days have been absolutely gorgeous.  They might start a little overcast but it doesn't take long for that to burn off and the sun to come beaming through.  Haven't even had any wind to speak of the last couple days.  It's been t-shirt weather.  But we're not fooled.  We know that if we fiddle like grasshoppers, the next thing we know it'll be cold, windy and rainy and we won't be prepared.  Now, we're not working like ants anymore but we're still taking all reasonable steps to get dug in for winter.

Day before yesterday, or was it the day before that(?), we installed the weather cloths that Lulu made for the sides of the cockpit.  These help keep the wind off us and, when at sea, the spray as well.   We assembled the dinghy (Porta-Bote) and turned it upside dow on the foredeck to protect our liferaft, forward hatch, jerry jugs, etc.  We know that the prevailing winds here in the winter are out of the north, so as soon as it's convenient, we're going to turn the boat around so that the bow points into the wind.  This will keep the cold north winds from blowing right down through the companionway.  The only problem is that it sort of cuts into one's privacy as our "back" (and only) door is now facing the "sidewalk" (dock).  So, Lulu is making more weather cloths and also a curtain that we can hang down from the boom gallows to close up the cockpit for privacy.  We took the measurements for that yesterday and today she's gong to get her first taste of sewing on the boat.

Yesterday we went to town to get some groceries.  Took the free shuttle for half the trip.  
Found a used beater bike at a second hand store for $25 so we snapped it up.  Both tires had air in
 them and both gear shifters work.  Needs new brake pads badly but we'll get those today.  Now we need one more beater bike that we can just leave behind when we take off next summer and we'll be good.  We passed up 2 bikes a week or so ago at Salvation Army.  We were being too picky and assumed that cheap-o rusty beater bikes were a dime a dozen and we could have our pick.  Not so.

Today we're off to get more groceries, some brake pads, a travel iron (for sewing, not for all my fine dress shirts and slacks), and probably a couple other things.  I'm going to make a second attempt at putting an eye-splice in some Sta-Set braided line for changing out the running rigging.  Looking forward to a visit from Cody tomorrow night.  Saturday we're walking over to South Beach State Park to watch the longboard surfing competition.  

Here's a nice photo of Lulu composing an e-mail in our snug little home while cooking dinner:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Change of plans

Well, folks, our blog may become a little less interesting to some of
you. After giving it a lot of thought we've decided that we just
aren't ready to shove off this season. There are a number of issues
involved. The first is that, in our quest to be gone this summer, we
have had to rush or postpone many of the jobs that need doing. Some
can wait, some can't. For instance, yesterday I pulled our manual
bilge pump apart to find out why it wasn't working (a manual back-up
pump, preferably several, is one of those pretty gosh-darn important
items to have on an offshore passage). What I found was that it needs
a rebuild kit. No big problem except that I won't be able to find one
in Newport which means Englund Marine will have to order it. The only
way we could leave this weekend is if a miracle happened and the kit
arrived tomorrow. That's not likely. We could most likely sail all
the way to San Francisco and never need the manual bilge pump. But if
we did and it didn't work, well..... On the other hand, the rush to
be gone has meant that we got a LOT done on the boat in a relatively
short time span. In general, shoving off before you're ready usually
does not turn out good.

The other big issue is that fixing up the boat has taken a major toll
on our savings. Since we sold our house to our daughter without a
down payment, we didn't have that stash to fall back on. So, all the
boat stuff had to come directly from our previous savings. Boat stuff
costing what it does (B.O.A.T. = Bring Out Another Thousand), it
didn't take long to burn through the money we had saved that was
supposed to be our safety net while cruising. I know there are
cruisers out there with no savings and no steady income (at least we
have the latter), but they also tend to be under 40 and less concerned
about security then we older folks are.

So after much discussion of the pros and cons, we've decided to spend
the fall/winter/spring right here in Newport, on the boat. Last week,
I paid for an extra week of moorage. The cost for that week was equal
to almost a month of moorage when paying a year in advance. At that
rate, if we paid a week at a time with the idea that we would head out
as soon as the projects are done and the weather is right, we'd burn
through 4 month's worth of moorage by the end of September. And,
since the logical departure time is dwindling down, weather-wise, we
could easily be stuck here for another 9 months anyway. This way,
it's our choice so we don't feel "stuck".

Our plan now is to try to live on just the monthly house payments and
bank my entire retirement check every month. Shouldn't be too hard
since most (hopefully "all", but what are the chances?) of the big
dollar boat stuff is bought. I'll pay a year's moorage today, so our
only recurring expenses should be boat insurance, food, and the
occasional bus trip to Silverton. We can take a little longer on
projects, save a bunch of dough, maybe take the boat out on the ocean
occasionally, get more experience actually living on the boat and
without a car and generally get our stuff a little more together for a
summer 2010 departure.

There are many good reasons to stay put this year and very few not
to. The worst thing about staying is the flack we'll have to take for
awhile from some of the folks we know. But, having taken flack
before, we both know that it's like Capt. Ron's description of a
storm; "They come on fast and they leave ya fast." This blog helps in
that it should minimize the number of times we have to tell our tale.

I'll still keep adding to the blog just so you'll know what we're up
to but there won't be any entries from Margaritaville until this time
next year. In the meantime, we'll be liveaboards at South Beach
Marina in Newport, Oregon. At least we're living on a boat and the
boat is on the water. And though it may rain and blow this winter, we
won't be shoveling snow or hauling firewood. It's all good.

-Steve & Lulu

PS: coincidentally, the prediction for winds this Saturday is from the
SW. Couldn't pick a worse direction as that's exactly the direction
we wanted to be going. Oh well, doesn't mater now.