In our last installment, I laid out the immediate plan—get back to the USA where we can give Dream Catcher all the love and attention she deserves. Unfortunately, the “to do” list is long, and our plans are written in sand, as usual.
We’ll probably beeline for Florida as the closest parts-heavy destination. There, I expect we’ll immediately purchase some things to make further living and travelling aboard more comfortable (freezer? generator?).
When we get somewhere to do more major work (North Carolina?), we need to pull Dream Catcher and paint the bottom or we’ll be dragging 105 pounds of sea gunk with us once we’re in water where we can’t as easily scrub every week or so. Maybe at that time, we’ll fix two nicks in our mini-keels, pull the mast, deal with some sheaves that exploded in the latest hurricane, check (and replace, if necessary) the standing rigging, and run some wires and what-not inside the mast.
Over time, we’ll also be sewing new sails (jib and main blown out), replacing the canvas (faded and tearing), getting a new stove (oven and broiler dead), buying new propane tanks (rusting), upgrading the solar array (more efficient ones are cheap now) and likely the arch that holds them, considering our aging dinghy (small leak), redoing all the interior cushions” (there is no butt-cushioning left in the cushions), and probably making some interior modifications to better suit the cruising style we’ve evolved into. And I’m sure I’m forgetting many, many things.
Wow, I feel poor already. And that’s without mentioning Bozo’s joints, which probably need some refitting, too!
I’d like to say that we’re going to arrive somewhere and just crank through all this. But anyone who knows us should realize that’s not our style. Boat work sucks, and as I do writing work (and I have no practical skills, like with tools and stuff), the grunt work pretty much falls on Bozo. We’re not looking to have him bake in 101 degrees in a boat yard in August so we can rush south next fall. We don’t much like travelling when everyone else does anyway, so we’re going to take this as a chance to mix it up.
That means we’ll likely be in the States at least a year, maybe longer. The current plan is to pick away at a few projects, then do something else. Then do a few more boat tasks and then escape to somewhere else. We remain weasel-free, and while that is unbelievably sad, it does make for a good time to things that aren’t so easy when we’re tied to fuzzy friends who WILL NOT travel in a cage (they are very firm on that point).
The “something-elses” on tap are mostly TBD. Family time, especially with the nephews, is a definite. I’m angling for some “civilization”—I have a weird thing for art museums. Bozo has been acquiring and stockpiling cheap, non-functional motorcycles by the metric ton, so it looks like some wrenching-on-bikes will take place. (Probably also, Amy getting a motorcycle license—as there is a simple, short but lovely bike almost done!)
Bozo also bought a little truck for almost nothing and got that completely overhauled in 2016, so we’ve got regular wheels. We’re thinking of some road trips, maybe with camping involved. (I suspect an air mattress may be more important than it was when we cross-country camped in our 20s!)
Is there a chance that all of this land life (and vehicular acquisition) could lead us to abandon cruising? Sure. We don’t consider it too likely—and no matter what, we can’t imagine living a “regular life.” Worst case, this turns into a blog about off-the-grid, underground Hobbit houses equipped with extensive aquaponics systems, and also operating as independent ferret rescue facilities. Your choice as to whether you continue to read in such an unlikely event.
Right now, we’re proceeding under the assumption that Dream Catcher is our permanent home and this is just a break-slash-refit period. We are, however, looking longer term at where and how we want to cruise. We’ve been pretty stationary as I built my writing business, Bozo spiked volleyballs until his body argued back, we hung with longtime friends, etc. But suffice it to say that the Georgetown-based thing isn’t really for us anymore—at least as of this writing. That could change, I’m sure. But we’re considering what we want to get out of life afloat and where that means we should go. We’ll see.
To keep the seafaring dreams alive, we may also move Dream Catcher about in the coming months, when we’re between major deconstruction events, and “do America” by boat as we haven’t in many years.
The good news for readers, there should be enough change, projects, and trips to make updating here worthwhile. So we’ll be writing more soon!