27 September 2011

A Poem by Ean Behr

It's beginning to look a lot like autumn
Everywhere we go.
The skies are turning gray,
The leaves are going away,
And so are we.

The End

26 September 2011

More Packing and Joyless Days

Now... I am watching the premiere of Terra Nova and Ean is snoring beside me..... We are working hard. Today we filled up our dumpster, took a beetle-ful to Goodwill, and loaded the car with boxes bound for Half-Price Books.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

25 September 2011

Days Without Joy

I am watching the premiere of Pan Am while Ean snores beside me. We have had a long, hard day, doing what we have now acknowledged is "packing." How crazy. Our time here is so short. Our new home waits for us in Annapolis.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

18 September 2011

...Later that Same Day

You may remember, dear reader, from a previous post that Tommy Smith of Sail Away Catamarans sold us "JOY" and if you happen to be in the market for a cat, just save yourself some time and aggravation and call him now.  You'll understand why in a minute.

We haven't yet moved our boat, so it's still docked at the marina that Sail Away uses as their showroom.  Knowing that we were around, Tommy called the day after our close to find out how we were getting on.  I didn't give him our whole list of woes, just the part about not knowing which seacocks to open so that we could use the heads.  He said he'd come by the next day (yesterday) to show us a few things.  Because it was Tommy, we didn't for a second think he wouldn't show.  Sure enough, the next morning he called to set up a time.  We were just about to go to breakfast, we replied.  Could he recommend a good place to eat?  He did.  We went.  Just as we were being led to our seats at one of the places he'd suggested, he called (while in the shower, he later revealed), to amend it with something he thought we'd like better. (Talk about being in someone's thoughts!)

He must have seen us get back to the boat after  breakfast, cause there he was walking down the dock.  He spent the next two hours with us while we pulled up most of the sole panels in the hulls, all of the sofa cushions, peered under both sinks and went out to the forward locker, the one filled with mysterious objects, to demystify them.

Fast forward two hours...

17 September 2011

Our First Days of "JOY"

We did it!  We actually did it!

Yesterday, I figured out how to make flame come out of the burners on the stove.  That is my small victory for the day.  I still don't know how to tell how much water we have in the tanks, or how to "unpickle" the watermaker, or what are all those other objects in the forward locker.  But that's ok, cause

...we have "Joy"!

What ARE all those things!?

15 September 2011

Timeline, REVISED

Our original "cast off" date was February 1, 2012. We set this date when we went to Strictly Sail Chicago. At the time, it seemed quite reasonable - and now that we have blown that plan out of the water, I am remembering, somewhat wistfully, just how reasonable it was. In the original plan, we were going to start "shopping to buy" during the Annapolis boat show, in early October. But then we got tripped up on Shiraz. Shiraz felt right. We thought about it, talked about it, envisioned ourselves on board. The reasons to wait couldn't hold up to the attractions of making the leap. Now, mid-leap, we are feeling the stress of our new, greatly compressed timeline.... Our revised cast off date is... let's say October Twenty-Something.... It is, of course our STUFF that will hold us back. Gotta get rid of our STUFF.

As I type, we are in the air, jetting towards Annapolis and Joy. We are boat owners today.

14 September 2011

A Sign from the Universe

My mom called this morning, and I picked up on the first ring.  "Why are you answering your phone?!" she asked.  When I don't answer the phone (a more frequent occurrence) she leaves me a voice mail: "Why aren't you answering your phone?"

Anyway.  I'm close to the phone, I explained, because we're buying a boat TOMORROW, and we're still coordinating last minute details with documentation agent, insurance guy, banks, etc.  Her response is to worry about hurricanes and wonder about my horoscope.  I checked Maria (one more time) - Maria is a category 1 hurricane, heading up and away from the east coast.  No problem.  I resisted the temptation to check my horoscope.  Nonsense.  I don't need any signs from the universe.  But then, apparently, the universe wanted to have its say.  We had Chinese delivered for lunch, and here is my "fortune":

A fortuitous fortune cookie message

Wire transfers: check.  Boat insurance: check.  USCG documentation application and other paperwork: check.  Boarding passes for tomorrow morning: check.  Bags packed: ...not quite...

Our Last Day as Boatless Dirt-Dwellers

Joy will be ours tomorrow, if all goes as planned.  We certainly will be split between two worlds for the next month.  We need to finish up the house, put it on the market, prepare for our estate sale, give stuff away (this afternoon: Salvation Army comes for bookshelves, file cabinets, a TV stand, and other miscellaneous stuff), fill up the dumpster that we just had delivered, pack up a few precious items (including the cats!), and say a final goodbye to MKE.  But, in our OTHER reality, we will already be boat owners, live aboards, CRUISERS.  Never mind that we haven't yet cruised.  In our hearts, and in our bank account (ouch), we will be on our way.

We are flying to Annapolis tomorrow, so we will be ON the boat for our first few days of Boat Ownership.  Wish I had some good meds for the panic attacks that are sure to closely follow completion of the sale.  Hey, how do you work this thing?

Update, 9-17: Seems pinot grigio works okay to quell the panic....

04 September 2011

DuPont Circle, Saturday Afternoon

Check out the little guy.  Maybe the next Trombone Shorty?

Another Last

Milwaukee landmark, Leon's. The inspiration for "Arnold's" in the show, happy Days. One last chocolate frozen custard milkshake. Check.

03 September 2011

02 September 2011

Put to the Test

We continually remark now upon how fast the time to our departure is whizzing by. Yet, there are standout days in this blur of time and yesterday was one such: our boat's survey and sea trial.

Rene is showing Gale the radar display.
First off, a shout out to all the boat buyers who raved about Gale Browning from Hartoft Marine Survey Ltd. She was as much of a stickler for detail as you said she'd be which was especially important to we newbies. All in all, she spent over seven hours on (soon to be) our 42 ft. catamaran.

Since the current owners were on hand, they worked with Gail, revving engines, unfurling sails, and generally exposing their boat's innermost parts to inspection. At first, I tried to peer over her shoulder to learn whatever I could, but soon gave up as I really couldn't make anything from her actions. Jane, feeling, as usual, the magnetic pull of the water, gravitated toward the bow, and Tommy, our broker, seeing that there were plenty of hands to handle whatever Gail needed hung back, always at the ready in case he was needed.

Something undignified about a boat out of water...
The good (and expected on everyone's part, I think) news was that she checked out quite well, overall. The few items on the "essential" list are all ABYC recommendations and all things an insurer will want verification of.

The final negotiations with her current owners will happen in the next few days and by midmonth she'll be our "JOY".

...As one might imagine, seeing as she is currently docked in Annapolis, we are keeping a VERY close eye, as it were, on Katia.

01 September 2011

My Engine, My Friend

Ean reviewing the fuel system for his classmates
It's gonna happen, sooner or later, probably sooner, there's no getting around it.  Our diesel engines are going to need servicing, fixing, even routine maintenance.  And then what?  Well, thanks to a very informative couple of classes offered by the Annapolis School of Seamanship, I will be ready.

Using Murphy's Law to Our Advantage 

Having just spent a pretty penny on these seminars and the various costs related to them (e.g., lodging and food), I feel I've purchased the right to expect a lengthy period of perfectly running, maintenance-free engines. How long a period? Precisely long enough to forget 92-95% of everything I learned.