Thursday, June 30, 2011

Long work day = short post

This is not how I fix computers - promise!

So this was one of those long work days, when my thoughts constantly turned to my new dream of life aboard (hope my customers didn't think I was bored with their issue - although I was :) ). It just reinforced the idea that maybe there is more to life, then the status quo.   I mean, why am I working ,what is it for?  For my house? Car? Stuff?   Is it allowing me to enjoy life, experience life?   If you've been paying attention to my little blog (please say you have), you know the answer - a resounding NO!

So I spent some time today making lists in my head of things I need to do to get away.  Since one of those things is to sell my house at some point - the list most prominently visited today was what needs fixed in the house.  And since I can barely remember my middle name some days, I'm putting it down in this blog (and you'll just have to deal with me using this space to keep track of things! ).

Things I need to get done on the house:

  1. Garage door replaced 
  2. Front walkway is wood that needs replaced
  3. Deck needs redone ( 2 levels, about 50ft long - just had to have a big deck didn't I? )
  4. Wood floor kitchen will be replaced with stone I think
  5. Painting - lots, and lots, and LOTS of painting
  6. Couple dead trees that need to come down (friendly neighbor - I need to borrow a chainsaw)
  7. Plenty of other miscellaneous things too numerous to mention.
Ok - now that I've completely bored you tonight, I have to get off here and finish some consulting work.  More work = more money = quicker departure!

Enjoy the sailing - or anchoring - or like me the dreaming!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Do It Yourself!

So we have to learn to fix things ourselves right?  The more we can fix, the less it will cost, the more cruising we can do!  Today I was presented with just such an opportunity.  My lawnmower decided it had enough of cutting grass for me.  Now a new lawnmower doesn't fit into my new budget, nor does paying to have it repaired by somebody else.  What to do - well I guess I'll try and figure this thing out myself.   So off to the one source in the world where you can have all your questions answered (yes - the wizard of Google!).  So after looking around for some troubleshooting tips, and then some videos courtesy of YouTube, I decided to try cleaning out the mower's carb.

 Popped the little sucker off, took a couple pieces off, sprayed it out, and put it back together.   Then I crossed my fingers, and hoped (is that the typical cruiser's steps before testing a repair?).  What do you know it actually started.

 Ok, ok - so it isn't a diesel engine in a boat.  But I have to take my little victories where I can.  I like to think that I am channeling the spirit of the liveaboard here, if not the actual skill!  So with that little exercise behind me, I think the idea really should be to get a boat, and just start working on it.  I'll never really get practical skills without getting my hands dirty.  The phrase so often repeated to me keeps coming to mind - smaller, simpler, sooner!   Of course that assumes that after my sailing lessons I'll still be deadset on this life path. Since I"m pretty sure I will be I keep going out to yachtworld, and dream.  So many boats out there that deserve to be mine!

Well, I'm glad we've got that decided!  Now it's off for a home-cooked meal. Remember my new budget has no room for meals out.  So off for some lovely turkey meatloaf (ok - so it's not filet mignon, but it's yummy to me).

It does taste better then it looks - I promise.     

Honestly I don't understand how I'm still single - the man fixes lawnmowers, and cooks meatloaf..   I mean seriously, that's pretty impressive :)   So now I'm off to more chores (if they were on water I'd be in bliss).

Good sailing to you and yours!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Morning at Anchorage Question - the answers result in pure jealousy

 So I posted a question out on some of the forums I frequent (I'm sure they are tired of the dirt-dweller and his questions).  The question was "what is a typical morning at anchorage like?  The answers resulted in a lot of the same kinds of responses; checking their boat, making breakfast, maybe some chores, if it's warm enough some snorkeling, go swimming, maybe head to shore for a run.  And I must say it sounded amazing!  But how come breakfast cooked by yourself sounds so much better when it's on a boat instead of on land?  Actually - everything sounds better on the boat.  I think I may be looking at this with rose-colored glasses :)  And yet all of those replies can't be wrong right? Come on you guys can tell me.  It's a pact all you sailors have to make it sound great to us poor land-based souls.  I'm onto you guys!  And yet - this poor guy has fallen for all your lies hook-line-and-sinker!

So with that said, I'm going to get a very small taste, and take my first lesson next month.  I can't wait any longer.  I keep dreaming about how wonderful all of this is, but now it's time to see for sure.  So even though it's just a small class, and on a small lake - I'm going to check this out.  Thanks to this fellow Ohioan (and congrats to him for embarking on his trip) for this tip.





This program is designed for the first time sailor and is a safe introduction to sailing.
The classroom session and the sailing session will be scheduled on two different days. The schedule for this year will include classes in May, June, July , August and September. The classroom session will be on a Wednesday evening and the on the water class will be on Saturday or Sunday. The classroom part will be held at Strictly Sail in Blue Ash and the on the water class will be held on Brookville Lake in Indiana.  The classroom session will be all one evening lasting approximately 3 hours.  The on the water session will also last approximately 3 hours.  The classroom session will cover sailing theory, safety, terminology and rigging.  The on the water session will be hands on with the instructor on board. 
The cost is $99.00 per person plus tax for a total of $ 105.44 per person. We will send you a registration confirmation and a paid invoice upon receipt of your reservation with payment.
Each class is limited to 16.
Last year every spot available was filled.
Call today to reserve a spot , please call us at 

The 2011 schedule  


Just a short entry today - not that I want to be stingy with my amazing words of wisdom and insight :), but why just throw words out on the page with no point (no comments from those that say all my blogs are like that)!

Good sailing to you and yours!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The reality of the money situation

"To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... cruising, it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about. "I've always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life? "

The above quote is from the Wanderer, by Sterling Hayden and was shared on a forum i was reading.  I've now decided that I have to have that book!

In that same forum numerous people said they wished they'd started the sailing life sooner, and encouraged me to just go now.  Unfortunately a couple decades of living the "modern" life has left me indebted and as much as I'd like to go now, the government/banks might want me to pay a few things before I go - such sticklers they are!   So I'm going to just list here some things that need to go away (warning this will not be pretty so those with squeamish stomachs should probably look away.


401k   - cut in half by a divorce, and then wiped out entirely by an extended time of unemployment
House - I had more equity until the housing market went south and i lost 10% of the houses value over night
Car     - yep, i have one - 7 years old.
What does that leave?   A really big garage sale charging exorbitant prices for old clothes :)

Debts:     please no comments on my stupid mistakes - they have been made and must be dealt with.

IRS                 - apparently they want to tax you on that 401k distribution you took - without it i would've
                          lost the house though
State              -  yep, they wanted their piece of that pie also
Amex              - credit cards, if only i'd been smarter
Mastercard    - I wasn't smart twice

Let's just say there's about 30k of fun in that list.  I'd be specific, but I think guessing is way more fun for the reader - don't you? Then there are the expenses of one child headed to college, and another one right behind the next year.  So where does that leave me?  I think it leaves me not going tomorrow.  But it's glass half-full time right?  This gives me an opportunity to simplify (yeah - I know, I'm overusing that word this week) my life while still on land, in anticipation of the move to the boat.

Here are things I'm planning to get started on.
  1. Sell the motorcycle  - don't owe anything on it, but it'll be some cash to help pay off stuff earlier
  2. Cut the cable bill down - don't need a land line, and really only need the internet connection 
  3. Cut the energy bill down - AC - sorry kids, fans will work nicely most of the time.  Appliances and lights that don't need to be on are going to be off (just like an energy starved boat)
  4. I live in the heart of the town I'm in - bike rides for small errands and light shopping (saves gas)
  5. Home-cooked meals instead of eating out - sounds like simple boat living to me
  6. Lose some dang weight - closet full of clothes i could wear and not have to buy new if they'd fit
  7. Do some more consulting work - I know you can't tell from this website, but I'm a computer guy :)
  8. No unnecessary purchases - books on sailing and boating are necessary!
  9. And if all else fails -   Start looking for a Sugar Momma!!    
By doing the above, I hope to bring my monthly budget down so that I can pay off my debts quicker.  Hopefully letting me start saving quicker for my sailing fund!  Now I'm going to have to figure out some way to make money while cruising, and will still be a cruiser on a strict budget!   But per the above quote I think I will choose the "bankruptcy of purse", and not the "bankruptcy of life".

If I'm feeling brave, and forthcoming I may do a comparison of how my budget went down and where I'm at after those changes are complete.

So when I do find you down in warm waters, and invite you over for a potluck dinner - it's not me being cheap, I just enjoy the company of many people and different dishes - Honestly :)

As always - Good sailing to you and yours!

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Part of my journey for a different life comes back to the same theme:  Simplify!  I think this is necessary for a myriad of reasons.  Obviously a big one is just simple economics.  To find a life based more on the pure enjoyment of the world around us, it seems to me that removing a lot of the extra crap (please forgive my language :) ), that goes with modern living.   I'm tempted to put the last word in the previous sentence in quotes - "living".  Am I really living?  I mean obviously I'm breathing, I'm consuming food, using energy.  But where is the real living?  What are my experiences? Where is the joy?   This is quickly turning into one of those philosophies of life blogs I warned you might be coming.  My apologies - I'll work on getting to points worth  blogging about shortly - I promise.  But honestly the big reason I, and I think quite a few cruisers, even contemplate this life is because of some dissatisfaction with how we are currently living.

As I was wandering around my house (ok - maybe sulked is a better word) looking to prepare a list of stuff I don't use, it became more then apparent that a list of what I do use would be the much shorter list.  Now, I am in some tough financial straits at the moment.  So I may not be doing as much as others. Below is a list of the things I came up with I would keep if I moved to a boat, and then things I need to get rid of.

Keep going forward                                    Stuff to sell/give away

some clothes                                                            a full closet worth of clothes I don't wear
cooking utensils (a growing boy must eat)              most of 2 dressers of clothes I don't use
laptop     (I still must work/blog)                                probably 100 books I've read already
saxophone (bet it sounds great on open water)       over 100 dvd's of movies
various tools                                                              house full of furniture
                                                                                  house (it's paying for the boat!)
                                                                                  extra plates/glasses/silverware
                                                                                  motorcycle (do love to ride - but onto new adventures)
                                                                                  car (let my son & daughter fight over it)
                                                                                  4 bicycles (don't ask) - or should I keep one
                                                                                  garage full of garden equipment
                                                                                  15 board games (maybe keep a couple)
Now I'm no fool (well the ex may disagree with that but... ) so I understand there will be plenty of things to purchase for the boat.  But the above was just stuff I had now that would need to go.

Then I thought about living in a smaller space and would that work.  I realized that I use the following spaces in my house and that's it.  

Bedroom (pretty sure the boat as a place to sleep).    
Kitchen (yep - boats got these too!)
Place to work on the computer (check!)
Yard (the boat's yard is MUCH bigger - and no mowing :) )

Will it be all warm breezes and sunny skies?  Obviously not.  But by simplifying my life, and what I have to worry about financially, I can concentrate on the act of living life!  The challenges, and hardships will be things I have to deal with, but they will be mine to deal with!  Along the way I hope that new experiences, and friendships will be found.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ask a question - get answers

I just love the cruising community.  If you have a question, they will not only answer you, but they will give you great information.  I posed the following question on a few forums the other day.

What would you have done differently?

Here are some of the responses.

From Jeffrey Siegel  on Cruiser Forum came this response

1. I would have realized earlier to never make plans or schedules and just move when the weather is perfect and you want to go. We now happily wait a week or more for better weather and never, ever push. In the beginning we were so interested in seeing everything and getting to the next place. It's a bad way to cruise.

2. I would have learned much more about weather including places online to get good predictions and experience to know when the predictions are suspect.

3. I would have gotten a bigger and better anchor. We never had issues (except once) but having the bigger anchor made sleeping better.

4. I would have installed the most powerful saltwater washdown available. It took us 6 years to do it. Having it makes anchor retrieval more enjoyable.

5. I would have realized that there is an expense to anchoring and it's often the case that a monthly slip rental isn't much more than that baseline cost. Being at a marina for a month is a nice treat although I like keeping the marina-to-anchoring ratio near 50%.

6. I would have learned and practiced much more with epoxy, gelcoat, and other finish products.

...and I would have done it all earlier.

From some other responses came these:

I would avoid like the plague getting a storage unit ashore. We got one for "just a few things" ... now the damn thing is full and we need to get rid of everything so we can finally move on. Once you have one, and sometimes they are unavoidable, the tendency is to hang on to stuff that you wouldn't otherwise.

1) Before leaving learn all you can about all your boat's systems.
2) Keep boat as simple as possible so you'll have better chance to fix those systems.
3)Carry large anchors but of different types as well (Danforth, CQR, even a Fisherman if in rocky area). Different designs work better in different bottom types. (During our 16 months cruise we spent one week at a dock)
4)Slow down; seeing "deeper" is often more rewarding than seeing more. 

Keep it SIMPLE. Any electronics are for fun, not necessity. Go NOW. You will learn on the way. Be observant and (silently) critical on other people's boats. Try not to have ANYTHING on your boat that you cannot fix yourself,- in mid ocean, you're the only repairperson. If you're going cruising, the fun is sailing and travelling, not repairing and trying to have spares shipped to exotic destinations. For me; no inflatables, they're all rubbish, and no windgenerators,- too noisy, use solar. Navigate celestially,- you'll get a far greater sense of achievement from your landfalls. Use the engine as little as possible, it will improve your sailing skills so that one day when you HAVE to sail out of a situation you are competant to do so. Read OLD books of cruisers,- they will illustrate just how simple a boat can be. GO. And have fun.!

Good luck to you and yours!


Friday, June 24, 2011

I Have to Learn What?!?

In the infancy that is my research, I've come to the conclusion that all of you sailors are crazy!! :)
And I dig that about you (that might be a movie line reference I think - Wedding Crashers perhaps?) The basic skills required to truly set off on your own safely, and as inexpensively as possible are impressive.  I'm going to list some of the skills I think are helpful if not necessary.

Sailing - If I can't do this then I might as well just sit in a houseboat somewhere
Small Engine Repair - dinghy motor not working, and my poor arms are too soar to paddle!
Diesel Engine Repair - I know I wanna sail, but sometimes you just have to have the motor right?
Fiberglass/wood repair/upkeep - Have to keep your house clean and safe right?
Small appliance repair - Not a must, but if you have a fridge or other appliances, you want them working
Electrical systems work - Want those solar panels, wind generator, boat electronics doing their job
Navigation - Sure the GPS will get you there, or will it.. What if you have to figure it out on your own?
Sail/Canvas Repair - You need sails to move or so I'm told :)  If they are ripped they need fixed!
VHF Radio - Need to be able to use one properly
Anchoring - I want to sleep relatively soundly if I'm on the hook!
Open Water Swimming - might need to get out there and check your boat at some point.

And lastly - A desire for adventure, and exploration!

I'm sure the people on the water now are looking at this list and laughing at everything that is missing!  I'm on dirt - give me a break :)  But honestly, it's incredible how little the modern American - or anybody else - knows how to do on their own. 

So over the next couple of years I hope to add quite a few of these skills to my knowledge base, and show my journey to learn them through this blog.  Feel free at any point to add to this most-definitely incomplete list!

Good Sailing to You and Yours!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

These people inspire me

It's always a good thing when you see people out there in the world that are doing what you only dream to do.  They show the way, make you think that maybe you aren't so foolish, and that yes - it really can be done.

2 of my favorite blogs up to this point (I'm sure there will be more as I go along - so don't feel slighted out there undiscovered bloggers living the life I want!  I'll find you).

One woman living a simple life on board (although she does tandem sail)  Teresa Carey

A couple from Canada (leave it to the Canucks! :) ) Mike and Rebecca

Although from reading the blogs it does seem that having somebody to enjoy the cruising life with is the best way to do it.  Anybody have the link to  Live-Aboard-Wives  Wanted? :)  May have to do some more research for that one!

Short one today.  Tomorrow I plan on listing the various skills I need to improve/learn to have a chance at making this all work.  It is becomming quite the list.  I'm really impressed with the resourcefulness of the sailing community.  There's no Home Depot around the corner, you just have to make do with what you can!

Good sailing to those already out there - Good dreaming to the rest of us!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Ok - every dream should start with a plan right?    Ok well maybe every dream should start with a dream - but soon after that comes the plan.   Here is mine!  Are there things missing - most definitely! Will I find them - I'm sure they will show up and smack me in the face sooner or later. I will cover each of the sections of the plan in more detail in upcoming posts.  Ok - enough of the chit-chat.  You clicked on THE PLAN post to see the darn plan, not hear me ramble on.

Without further ado - THE PLAN

I probably should know what I'm getting into first don't you think.  Some of the tools I will use
  Forums:  SailnetLiving Aboard, Cruisers Forums  Who knows more then the community?
  Books:     The Essentials of Living Aboard  The one book I've heard of so far - more to come

Sailing Lessons: 
Lake Erie is a few hours north and I think that would be as good a place as any to start. I've always enjoyed my vacations on Lake Erie.

Here are the classes listed at Fair Wind Sailing School
Learn to Sail Lessons $595
Not sure if you really want to learn to sail? Want to give it a try? These are the sailing courses for you. This is 2 day introductory sailing instruction for those interested in giving sailing a first try. Successful completion of this course enables the graduate to responsibly skipper or crew a day sailor  in familiar waters in light to moderate wind and sea conditions.  There is no written exam and no certification at this level and meals are not included with this course.
Instant Cruiser® Sailing Lessons $795 (Chesapeake and Erie), $895 (Caribbean)
These are three day sailing lessons combining Basic Keelboat Lessons and Basic Cruising Sailing Lessons. These sailing lessons are for those who want to learn to sail, are preparing to day charter, or are thinking about buying a sail boat. The curriculum includes more detailed boat handling, safety procedures and rules of the road. Completion of this course enables the student to safely captain an auxiliary powered sailboat 20-32 feet in length in moderate seas and winds. No prior sailing experience is necessary for this course. Successful completion of this class enables students to charter sail boats under 35 feel long.  ICSO Day-Charter certification is included in this class.  Meals are not included with this course
Instant Bareboater® Sailing Lessons $1895 
Fair Wind Sailing School’s most popular sailing lessons! These are week long, live-aboard sailing lessons designed to for students who want to learn to sail for extended cruising and bareboat charters. When you complete this sailing instruction, you are ready to bareboat charter on your own! The course covers certification in Basic Keelboat, Basic Cruising, and Bareboat Chartering levels. This course prepares student to skipper boats as large as 50 feet. In addition it covers key boat systems required to live aboard a sail boat, like: engine maintenance, cooking and provisioning procedures and basic marine electrical and plumbing systems. The sailing instruction also introduces the student to basic coastal navigation techniques. No prior sailing experience is necessary for these sailing lessons. Successful completion of this class enables students to charter any of our monohull sail boats.
Cruising Catamaran Sailing Lessons $895*
This class covers the cruising catamaran curriculum for those already Bareboat Charter certified. These 3 day sailing lessons are advanced lessons designed to teach students to learn to sail on a 30-50 foot multihull by day in coastal waters. It is the ideal sailing instruction for those with sailing experience who are ready to learn to sail cruising catamarans or chartering multihulls.  The class may also be taken in combination with our Instant Bareboater® sailing class. Successful completion of this class enables students to charter any of our sail boats. Meals are not included in these sailing lessons. * Pricing for this class is per person double-occupancy. There is an extra $300 charge for singles
Instant Bareboater® Sailing Lessons plus Catamaran Sailing Lessons $1995*
These sailing lesson combine Fair Wind Sailing School’s most popular sailing instruction -- the Instant Bareboater® Instruction -- with the Catamaran Sailing Instruction certification and are taught on our Leopard cats. These are week long, live-aboard sailing lessons designed to prepare students to learn to sail or bareboat charter cruising catamarans. When you complete this sailing instruction, you are ready to bareboat charter a cat on your own! The course covers ICSO ertification in Basic Keelboat, Basic Cruising , Bareboat Charteing, and Catamaran Sailing. This sailing instruction prepares student to skipper boats as large as 50 feet. In addition it covers key boat systems required to live aboard a sail boat, like: engine maintenance, cooking and provisioning procedures and basic marine electrical and plumbing systems. The course also introduces the student to basic coastal navigation techniques. No prior sailing experience is necessary for these sailing lessons. Successful completion of this class enables students to charter any of our sail boats. * Pricing for this class is per person double-occupancy. There is an extra $400 charge for singles
Navigation and Advanced Sailing Lessons $1995
This is a weeklong course designed to train experienced sailors in coastal navigation techniques and boat handling in any condition, day or night, in coastal waters. This course teaches the student to learn to sail at nighttime, perform man over board and emergency procedures at night. Our curriculum covers Coastal Navigation and Coastal Passagemaking. Bareboat Certification is prerequisite for this course.  The course can be taught on either a catamaran or monohull.
Our newest course! Caribbean Race Preparation teaches the difference between racing and cruising.  The 6 day class, has three days of race training, drilling and preparation learning and practicing the start, upwind sailing and mark turning, downwind sailing and the gybe mark, spinnaker sailing and the application or racing rules.  Finally, we'll put the experience together by competing in either the St Thomas Rolex Regatta or BVI Race Week!
Ocean Passagemaking Experience $2695
(includes Celestial Navigation) The highest level of sailing – Fair Wind Sailing School’s Ocean Passage experience. This is the trip for those wishing offshore experience and applications of true blue water sailing. This experience covers certification in Celestial Navigation. The trip begins with a 2-day Celestial Navigation class and then procedes with yacht preparation, weather planning and routing, offshore procedures, watch standing and emergency preparations. Please see our Ocean Passage page for more details and pictures Price includes boat fee, Captain, provisions, weather routing, running expenses, customs and immigration fees, books, exams and certification expenses. Course fee does NOT include: alcoholic beverages, personal safety gear and any expenses incurred off the boat.
Coastal Navigation $275 / Celestial Navigation $295 
Financial Preparation:
There will be lots of things to figure out with this section of the plan

Pay off any debts (credit cards, bills, etc)
Build rainy day funds (unexpected repairs, emergency travel back to family, etc)
Build the consulting business, or create a way to support my lifestyle while living from a boat
Figure out timing, and prepare house to sell near the time the boat is ready

Personal Preparation:
I don't know if you recall from my first post - yeah I know it was all of 24 hours ago, but I said I was an out-of-shape ex-runner.  Well out of shape won't necessarily cut it for my desired new lifestyle.  So the plan is to cook and eat better, exercise more, and lose some weight.  We'll keep track and see how well that goes :)

Choosing the type of boat - type/age/size:
Power or sail - Pretty sure that choice is decided - sail.  I want to have as small an impact on the environment as possible. So moving with the power of the wind (I do realize a motor will have to be used at some point during the trips) is very enticing.

I think with the budget I anticipate having I'll definitely be looking at a used boat.  I'm fairly tall - 6'2" and would like to be able to stand when inside, so that may limit some of my choices, but I will find that out as we get farther down the line, and I entertain you with my comparisons of the different boats.

Find/Purchase the boat
This will get covered in detail - at some point I'm sure you all will be like, Just buy the dang boat already Tux!
Refit/repair the boat
Many questions, will be posed to the community on how-to's, what's the best fit for what I want to do, past-experiences, etc.   I will be pouring over forums and blogs (already have) for a lot of info.  But we'll detail the trials and tribulations of getting my new home ready here!

Home base (if any):
Will there be a place kept on land (That's really not the point of this, but all options are open right now)
If not, where will mail go, residency be established, all that fun stuff.  Will there be a marina I return to as more of a base?   Stay tuned - many posts to come I'm sure!
Planning the year round sailing schedule:
I will want to drop on family from time to time.  My son is on his way to college in Annapolis (but by the time I set sail he may be done), and he may end up staying in that area, who knows.  Luckily it's on the water, so I can stop there.  My parents are getting older, and the rest of my family lives in my hometown near them.  That's an hour south of Lake Erie, so maybe ride out the hurricane season there.  I'm sure those plans will change as we get closer to a departure.

Equip/provision the boat
Hopefully at this point in my plan, I have picked up some incredible knowledge from all of you, and my readings. And have a good idea of what I'll need and where to get it.  If not I expect friendly reminders to come pouring my way, shedding light on my miscalculations :)

Then finally I can reach the best point of the plan!                  SAIL AWAY  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

From Idea to Reality? You have climbed aboard from the start!

Welcome to what may end up being a total failure!  But even if I don't end up anchored in the Bahamas, my sailboat rocking in the waves, and a warm breeze on my face, I believe the personal journey itself will be worth the experience. If nothing else I hope to find out more about myself, what kind of life was I meant to lead, and what will truly make me happy.

Now before you start to groan, and worry that this might be some blog where I will blab on and on about philosophies of life, and how man was meant to live - well on second thought that may happen too! - but I intend to describe everything in the process.  From my first sailing lessons, and assuming that doesn't kill it from the beginning (maybe this turns into an RV fulltime living blog :) ), to practicing my skills on various boats, to deciding what type of boat, how I intend to support myself.  I'm sure the last sentence was a grammatical disaster.  That will be one thing you have to learn to cope with as this is an Applied Math major writing this blog!

I hope to list help I receive along the way - in terms of advice, and any other assistance.  I've heard (from my forum readings up to this point) that the sailing community is incredibly friendly and helpful. So I anticipate friendly advice telling me I'm being an idiot and point me in the right direction.

So now - here is where you (my masochistic reader), and I will start.    My 43rd birthday has just hit, and I find myself an out-of-shape former runner, who is single, unhappy, and has spent way too much time wallowing and maintaining life instead of living life.  I am divorced, and have 2 children.  One is 18 and on his way to Maryland for college, and the other will be a senior next year, and we're not sure where she will end up.  So the empty nest is upon me (unless of course - the kids end up having to come back - that never happens right? :)). I have recently found a decent job in the technical field (server technical specialist).  So maybe a consulting job will help support the lifestyle?  I already do some personal support remotely.   But that's a topic for another time.

Don't worry - I don't think I'll be living aboard next year or anything.  This will be a long process. I want to make sure it's right for me, and that I do enough research to get to the proper boat/equipment, etc.  This post seems to be getting way too long - so I'll leave this until tomorrow.  

Thanks for checking in!