Friday, June 28, 2013

Bahamas bound: work is underway on the new boat!

Hello, dear readers!  Welcome to my travelogue and collection of other miscellaneous musings. Having never gotten terribly ambitious about doing real freelance travel writing for pay, with query letters, contracts, and the whole bit, perhaps I'll have more luck with a plain old free blog--no obligations, no troubles, no negotiating, no deadlines.

First topic: getting ready for the big trip. Those of you who have been following the saga of Amber and Pope's excellent adventure know our goal is to sail to the Bahamas for the winter, and that I recently took the first step: turning in my application to retire July 31! 

You may also know that, just a few weeks ago, we took the second step: buying a sailboat to live on for 6 months or so!

What we haven't shared widely yet is the fact that the boat, a 30-year-old, 30-foot O'Day called "Integrity," initially thought to be a "bargain," turned out to be... well, let's just say there are a few minor nits and nats that need repair, fixing, maintenance, cleaning, upgrade, outright replacement ... uh, well, you get the general picture.  There's some work required to make the boat seaworthy, rain-resistant, safe, and--most important to my half of the partnership--cushy and comfortable.

Pope is working practically around-the-clock on our "second home" while I finish my last month on the job, socking away cash so we can limp financially through the winter without wondering how we can afford our next can of beans.  A sailboat, fortunately, requires no expensive fuel if you can get good at sailing to and from docks. Pope has had some practice; I'm going to have to catch up.

We found Integrity, an O'Day sailboat, for sale at a boatyard in Edgewater, Maryland

But one thing at a time. First let's get the boat ready! (Nice long shot; can't see the cracks in the finish or the patches on the fabric...but you CAN see the large cockpit--great for happy hours, double hatches--for ventilation, and bimini--for shade.)

Stay tuned!  We're on a roll. Or should I say, a wave...