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Our First Week Aboard

Posted on May 11, 2014 | 2 comments

Our two cars and trailer in the driveway

Ready to head out on Saturday morning.

Dan, Carter, and I have now officially survived our first week as liveaboards. After 20 grueling hours in the car (plus a nice day-long pit stop in LaGrange, Georgia with Dan’s brother Kyle), we were ready to get onto the boat and start making it our home. Easier said than done we soon realized. In Peoria, we loaded a 5×8 cargo trailer plus our two vehicles with all of our stuff and once we started unpacking quickly figured out that not everything was going to fit on the boat. (This is the point where Dan can say I told you so!) About 60% of what we brought is currently on the boat with us, 20% is still in our cars and trailer, and 20% is now in the Indiantown dump.

Carter standing in front of Horizon

In the heat, we are in a constant struggle with Carter to keep his clothes on!

Indiantown Marina is a great place to store a boat over hurricane season and we met quite a few people preparing their boats for summer storage. It is not, however, a place where we would want to live on any extended basis, as there are almost no amenities in town and the nearest area of interest is a significant drive. Not to mention the friendly neighborhood alligator that liked to hang around our boat waiting for our dogs, cat, or toddler to fall in the water. As you might imagine, we were ready to move on as soon as possible since Dan’s job officially starts on Monday.

Loggerhead Marina

This is where we will be staying once we get our boat moved

To help break up the monotony of unpacking, each day we made sure to get off the boat and enjoy ourselves. Carter had been asking to go to the beach since he first found out we were moving to Florida, so we spent one evening touring our future marina home and heading over to the beach and dinner. The marina is part of the Loggerhead family of marinas that are up and down the east coast of Florida and we have been very impressed with their friendliness and beautiful facilities. Because the same group owns multiple marinas we will be able to stay at the Stuart marina for free on our way to our home base. Here are our top impressions of living aboard after our first week:

  • Organization will be very important for our sanity. We have a lot of storage on this boat compared to others we’ve seen, but it’s still a major adjustment for us.
  • Even after only a few days, going on land makes us all sway a little. After the first night on-board, as we got off the boat Carter stopped and started turning his head in a circle saying “Whoa! Everything is moving Mommy!”
  • Little boys skin their knees a lot more when they don’t have the protection of long pants.
  • Systems on a boat are more different than house systems than we had anticipated. Dan is very handy, but we’re feeling at this point that the learning curve is steeper than we’d hoped. We’re seriously considering hiring an instructor to help us learn our boat better.

We’ve been running pretty much in high stress mode over the last few days but we know that everything will normalize soon once we get settled into our new marina and Dan starts working. Thanks to everyone for your help and encouragement through this stressful process. Let us know what questions you have or share your first week stories in the comments below.

Ready for Liftoff

Posted on Apr 29, 2014 | 2 comments

Mangrove hedges on the beach

We’re heading into unknown territory.

5…4…3…2…1…   We are now in the final week before moving to Florida. The stress and excitement are mingled into a crazy jumble of emotions as we prepare to leave our friends and family and also embark on the next stage of our adventure. I think the mix is the most evident in Carter, who asks every morning “are we going to the beach today Mommy?” but then has been in a rotten mood the last few days, overly concerned that we’ll forget his toys. We’ll be glad to have everything settle down again in a few weeks (hopefully!)

To be completely honest, I think all the hustle has obscured the reality of what’s happening. Knowing how hard and long we’ve worked towards this goal means that I logically see how great it’s going to be for our family, so I just keep telling myself that as I’m sorting through huge piles of junk that have accumulated after being together for 10 years.

We have tried to make a conscious effort to be present in the last few days we’re here, not just stressed, grateful for the path that has brought us this far. We know that everything will work itself out in time, but once these days are gone we can’t get them back. Because our families will be far away, this is most likely our true “sending off” even though we won’t be casting the dock lines for a few more months. We are blessed that our families are so supportive of our dream, even though we know they aren’t happy to see us leave.

Thanks to everyone for the well wishes as we get ready to head South. We hope some of you will look us up the next time you are in Palm Beach!

Moving to Florida

Posted on Apr 17, 2014 | 2 comments

Sailboat under a Blue Sky

This doesn’t seem so far fetched anymore.

As of today, Dan has officially accepted an offer as an IT Director in Southeast Florida. We are extremely excited and more than a little stressed, because his start date is only 3 1/2 weeks from now! In the next 2 weeks, we will be attempting to pack (again) all of the contents in our small house and drive the 18 hours to get to Indiantown Marina, where Horizon (our Irwin 37) currently sits. We officially closed on her yesterday and it’s not a minute too soon, since we plan on moving directly onto her when we get to Florida.

In the meantime, our heads are spinning from the amount of work to do here in such a short time. First on the list is putting in our 2 weeks notice and finally telling our coworkers about our plans. Welcome to any of you reading this! It’s hard to keep a secret this big for so long and I know some people knew about the general plan, but Dan and I decided at the beginning that we would try to avoid talking about our plans at work. Frankly, we weren’t sure how long it would take to get to this point and we wanted to have the potential for raises and promotions if we chose to stay longer or the dream never became a reality.

Our second major task is getting all of our houses rented and hiring a property management company. Luckily, we had already started the footwork on finding a good company, but we have yet to meet with them in person and go over specifics of how our relationship will work. When we first started in the World of Rent, we had no idea how much work goes into placing new tenants. We’re hoping to make a choice by the end of this weekend and get leases signed quickly so we have time to do all of our packing.

Oh the packing… in my opinion this is the most daunting task of all. In just two weeks, I’m hoping to sort through everything in our house to determine what is staying and what is going. Let’s just say, most of it is staying. Since we are planning to move directly onto our boat, we will be trying to sell as much of our furniture and other large items as possible. If its not sold by the end of next weekend, come pick it up! We aren’t intending to rent a large moving truck, only a 5×8 U-haul trailer to hitch onto our Jeep, so there isn’t a lot of room for junk.

I have a feeling that we’ll be in shock for the next month or two as we fly around in a whirlwind, but hopefully we’ll find ourselves in the right place in the end. Check out our new What’s Next page for our basic plans until cast-off.