Position N 27° 22.225’.
W 82° 37.075’.
View Larger Map
Leaving! The time is looming...it seems there is not enough time to accomplish everything that is necessary to enable actually casting off. It has become apparent that more ‘stuff’ has to go as we will not have enough room to store all the provisions, spare parts and, of course, the beer and wine! Our guest cabin, den, office is pivotal in the storage department; it is our pantry, computer centre and, what needs to change, our ‘junk’ room! We have both realized there is no junk room on a boat! We had been keeping all our old tax returns and ‘important’ papers which have been stacked in files occupying valuable shelf space, do we really need it? The answer is no, in most cases one only needs to hold onto tax returns for three years. While we owned a large home and had a dedicated office, storage of all this stuff was not a problem, now things are different...old tax returns, more food, old tax returns, more food, get it! So, we are busy paring; it is refreshing actually, don’t be scared of doing it when your time comes, getting rid of stuff is one of the events that Lavinia and I have enjoyed the most and have talk to others about affectionately, strange but true. What we are doing is freeing, shedding the unnecessary trappings of life enables one to focus on life the very living of it, the smaller and arguably the more important things that go on around us all day that in shore side life we all miss or choose to miss. It seems the human race is so focused on financial progress/survival that simple life is passed by. Transiting to a lesser fixed income and not having a daily job to focus on enables one to wake up to life. All of a sudden there is nothing to worry about! I say nothing to worry about; of course there are things, the engine, the generator the water maker...the necessities to our life on board. There isn’t the social station to maintain the expenses of one’s station to meet. What a change, I love it, HT and I have time to talk, time to enjoy each other, what a concept! Meals are no longer a rush we really are able to take time and smell the roses. I have spent so much of my life serving others and attending to their needs, either as a business owner, manager or employee, don’t get me wrong I have loved it. It is, however, such a pleasant change to be able to be a little selfish and focus on self and the things important to me. Life is in stages and I thank all the clients, customers and all the people who have made mine and HT’s dream possible and above all, become a reality. Retirement is a stage of life every person deserves, a time to be a little selfish, a time to fulfil all the things that, for a life time have been subordinated in favour of raising a family, maintaining a career and generally providing to others, retirement is ‘our’ time!
Although both Lavinia and I have travelled the world extensively we feel that we have barely scraped the surface. For the first time now we have the ability to take as much time as we want to explore fascinating places and really get to know the people of the countries we visit. Travelling by boat is still the safest form of transportation and travelling on one’s home makes the ‘journey’ so much more enjoyable.
Jeff, from ‘Now and Then’ two boats down the dock, helped me lay out my two anchor chains which needed re-marking. Of course, the dock police spotted the operation and issued the mandatory words: “You are not supposed to be doing that on the dock; you will end up getting paint on it”. The marina employees here are all really friendly and helpful they want to be accommodating ‘all of the time’. The dock master doesn’t venture out much from his office and rarely comes to the docks, so what he doesn’t see he doesn’t grieve. We successfully completed the job, had time to let the paint dry, and had the anchors re-stowed in no time, no paint on the docks either. Somehow or other the Chelsea Ships Strike clock chimed 8 bells for midday! What did that mean you might ask, well, getting the job done in the AM and the sun now passed the yardarm, time for a beer of course, in fact two! Jeff and I sat on the ‘back porch’ enjoying the beer and the superb weather we had that day.
The Holidays are looming and we would love to spend them in the Bahamas, whether that will be possible we don’t know yet? It seems hard to throw off the lines, there always seems to be another job that needs to be addressed. Lavinia had a good point though, “Some of these jobs can be done on the way as long as you have the parts” what a concept; of course we are taking our home with us and it is not like I have another job!
Thursday 15th The replacement horns I mentioned back in September, which did arrive, have been sitting in my pilothouse until yesterday. The reason for the procrastination in getting them installed is that they are different! I thought that I was ordering the exact same ones and it would be a simple matter of swapping them out...oh no! Yesterday was the day to once and for all end the procrastination. Not long after I had carried all the necessary tools to the boat deck and had begun to try and fathom out how to remove the old horns Jeff my knowledgeable and very helpful neighbour stopped by and asked “what are you up to”? From that point on there were two pairs of eyes and minds on the job. Between the two of us we got the job finished, not easy I might say as much modification to the mounting block and general installation was necessary. It took three hours in the end. Oh, what a great sound – I think ‘Partners’ smiled when the new horns sounded, she was a real boat again now with her voice back...more beer on the back deck! Lavinia joined us too having spent the whole day below sorting through papers etc., in the guest cabin, trying to pare down the amount of unnecessary ‘stuff’ we have in there so that the space can be used for our provisions. The cabin doubles as our pantry too. Enough work for one day so the three of us sat on our back ‘porch’ enjoying the beer, conversation and the great weather.
Saturday 17th Our new Magma grill is here! I installed another fishing rod holder on the port side of the aft deck to accommodate the installation and ‘hey presto’ we are ready to grill!
The Lexan which covers the flying bridge instruments has, over the years, clouded up to the point of where it is now difficult to see through it...so, now is the time to replace it. A trip to Sarasota Glass & Mirror quickly provided the replacement pieces. Whilst there, I am in the process of making a looky bucket, I bought a ¼’’ x 9½” circular glass which I will 5200 onto the outside of the bottom of my 5 gallon bucket. We will then be able to look at our anchor to ensure it is set properly and anything else in the clear waters of the Bahamas and the Caribbean.
Monday 27th HT continues to provision! We are taking on so much that because the majority of the available storage is on the starboard side we are developing a list! I will be trying to compensate by moving engine room supplies and spare parts over to the port side. Lavinia is constantly worried and in fear of not doing a good job...I guess this responsibility will become second nature as time goes by. (I am having the same concerns with my weather forecasting skills!)
Today I retired from real estate! I have decided to put my license in a voluntary inactivate state while we cruise. I thought about keeping it active in a referral mode but communication while we are cruising will be difficult and in reality I really won’t be able to provide a service. I visited the office to see my broker Gloria and all the support staff to say goodbye, sad but exciting. I could not have wished for a more pleasant bunch of people to work with. In fact without their patience and watchful eye I would have been in ‘trouble’ many times. Thank you to you all...I’ll miss youL.