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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.


rodyoder said...

Seems very sensible. Practice living on the boat. Practice ocean sailing. Did you ever buy collapsible bikes?

Anonymous said...

I really like your idea of taking it slower. I know you can't be too cautious but you are doing the right thing. No sense in taking chances if they are not necessary. I told you earlier we are planning on being gone to the Arizona area January, February and March. The house will be vacant so you are most welcome to use it any time you want to spread out. Love, Mom & Dad

Anonymous said...

One thing that could help is to buy a old bicycle and put on baskets to carry the loads. Old bikes can be had cheaply and when you are ready to go just leave them behind. I sure someone at the marina could use it again. Panniers can carry a lot of groceries. Spray paint it bright orange so people can see you and no one would want to steal it. I think this will be a really good move as you can get the real "feel" of living on the boat. One thing I did was to go out 4 or 5 days and live on the anchor in a rolly place before leaving. I found it really helps getting the "sea-legs" faster. Also a tip from Beth (editor of Crusing World) was peanut butter. Table spoon at a time keeps you going and helped settle the stomach. I do plan on keeping up so blog on. Ken

sgilmore said...

Wow, just catching up on the blog. What a tale already. This must be very disappointing to not shove off, but I guess it is all part of the journey. We all want you to be safe and happy, and getting all the details worked out is likely the best of all alternatives. We’ll be anxious to continue to hear of the tales at sea, even if it is still from Oregon.

Journey of the Allymar said...

Steve and Lulu

I am very sad to hear that you are not leaving this year. Iy is a shame to loose not only the smallest boat in the HaHa, but also an Oregon one. If I was in Newport I would be happy to lend a hand to help you with the final fitting out. But i can't as we are sitting in Brookings abd the winds will be out of the NW in the morning and by wednesday Drakes Bay sould be our anchorage. We had a 36 hour weather window and scooted down here last thursday.
I will hopefully see you in Mexico next year and if possible come over to Newport and see finally meet you in person next summer whan I am back in the states.

I waited a year to leave and expect you to be out there in 2010.

Ken sv.Allymar

Bethany said...

Well I'd rather read about your life in Newport than about whatever disaster happens from not having a backup bilge pump when you need it. Very wise to stay put. I hope you keep blogging in the meantime! I could never live on a boat, but I love reading about it!