Here's the rule for setting the Date of Departure: Make it Happen. Thankfully, I have recently read articles about such lists. The universal rule of all who are "out there" now is to do what we can, and cross off all that isn't vital. The goal is not to complete the list. The goal is to set sail for world cruise. I need to remember that.
Shhh. I have a secret. Stew and I have set the date (well the month/year) we plan to talk off. I assure you we are talking years not months in the future, but we have a lot to do to get ready. Now, I wish I had an MBA in Project Management. This is going to be an interesting, fun, daunting challenge. We need to make a lot of lists and check them time and time again. We will need to scale back for now on some of the ideal purchases.
We are having our first major North Easter here in 2008/09 winter. It is 6:07 with high tide expected at 6:46. This will be a higher than normal tide with a surge; the 30 knots of winds mean it's bouncy out there and northeast winds blow the boat away from the dock, stretching the lines. I get nervous getting on and off and we will change the lines a bit during the next few days. We don't have to be this far off the dock. You landlubbers do not want to see the chasm we negotiate from boat to steps.
We planned for today, shopped yesterday, will do laundry on Monday. Stew ventured out for the paper and we have stayed in and kept warm. Our nearest neighbors are monitoring a radio channel with us. If anyone has a problem, we can get some help quickly. We love our new neighbors . John and Dora are newbies at this living aboard thing but they are game, learn quickly, and are great sports. Life is still good on the water. The photo is taken from our door. The lights are the Christmas decorations on Far Horizons. The white specks are blowing snow. You can't see the white caps rolling in from the river.
Many articles written by cruising sailors discuss various items they take with them to make the boat seem like home. Since space is an issue, hard choices have to be made.
We (I) have chosen Christmas ornaments that fit in a small plastic bin -- the size you keep shoes in. Inside are a few shelf ornaments, our stockings, the knit treetop angel, and garland and decorations for the tree. We create a tree on the mast, by winding garland from table height to the headliner (ceiling to you land lubbers). Then we hang our ornaments from the garland. It works. I've strung red cord between two port light handles and hang Christmas cards from the cord. Christmas has arrived on La Luna. Neighbors who don't shrink wrap have prepared for the Boat parade by stringing lights from bow to stern and up the mast. Our landlord has erected a "tree" of lights at the top of their crane. The marina is ready for the holiday.
This is our first real winter storm of the year. We had ice, not snow, and the projected heavy winds from the north east did not materialize. Those winds -- above 30 knots from the north east create a lot of rock and roll down here and threaten the docks and dock lines at high tide. As ice storms go, this hasn't been the worst for us. All we have to do is periodically bang the plastic cover to remove the built up ice -- and then shovel those blocks and shards of ice off the dock so we don't fall. Of course, cleats on our boots are mandatory -- falling in would be a very bad thing. We actually invited friends on land to contact us if they lose power. We have it better than they do. We can operate on our batteries for quite some time and run the engine to recharge if we have to. If the neighborhood loses power all we lose is Internet access. So we are warm, cozy and comfortable during this ice day.
On the Sunday before Thanksgiving a reporter for the local daily paper wandered the dock in search of a story about people living aboard due to the downturn in the economy. That wasn't the story. None of the live-aboards who spoke with her are here for that reason. Many of us have gone or are planning to go on a long cruise and this is the way to get used to the boat and focus on the future. All of us like the lifestyle and the neighbors. I like the way it forces us to live more simply. We may decorate for the holidays, but don't feel the need to keep up with the neighbors and light up the world. In my opinion, no one needs to buy those huge inflatable lawn ornaments. What is up with that? By necessity, we keep things simple. Perhaps that is the lesson for today's economy.