Preparing for the Change

Getting ready for a(nother) leap!   We've been back in portland for a few weeks and can already feel the whirldwind of change deep in everything we do.  Our days are hectic and rushed, our lists are so long that we don't even know where to start and/or what should be on top... and above all else we're trying to make sure we spend every single second we can with those we love (which hasn't been easy given their schedules are as crazy or worse than ours right now).

On the upside, we blocked out the loft so we had a place to stay and its been awesome to feel what its like to live in our our hood and with a roof over our heads (and a hot tub) for a while.  One day we'll decide to live normally (i think) ;)

Where to start... the last few weeks honestly feel like months.

The van - We started mentioning to a few people that we would likely be selling the van during our drive back from alaska.  Ouch, right? This seemed like a tough decision at first, but in reality we know we can't fit the van on the boat, we know it doesn't float so we cant tow it behind the boat, and seriously... why would we stick it in a garage somewhere and pay for storage while it decreases in value when we could sell it almost new (and we have now more than proven that we can always simply build another one later if need be)?  How's that sound for justification?

In reality, it still feels like were selling the only home we've known for years and a member of the family... but we still know it's the right decision, and I think we've been clear on our opinions about collecting "stuff".  Decision made.

Our first few days back in portland and we already had a couple people that wanted to fly/drive in and see the van so we agreed, drove north to the seattle area and the first person who viewed the van bought it.  Once again we are more than thrilled with who "adopted" our van and we are stoked to now live vicariously through her continuing adventures as we continue on our own (and got a pretty cool tour of some indonesian architecture to boot).

We know its also the end of an era... and part of us is sad that the van wont be ours anymore in a few short weeks, but were so stoked for (and overwhelmed with) the new direction that its easier than I might have imagined.

The boat- Ah, the boat.  We've already spent ridiculous money and hours on the boat we have yet to meet/see (and have no idea how to sail). The boat is tucked into a marina off the intercoastal waterway near Ft Lauderdale, FL.  That seemed like the safest place to ride out the rest of hurricane season without us and is more of a working boatyard than a marina, which means it has great access to services so we could start getting a bit of fitting out done.  The only problem is that means we have to make tough decisions about what to do/add to the boat- an even more difficult decision since we aren't there to manage or even have the option of doing it ourselves.

We've already pulled the boat back out of the water to replace the seals on the saildrive (meaning i now know what a saildrive is), and are working through at least the projects we know need to be done.  And trying to manage this project the way we would have any van or house project... lots of visuals to help make decisions and (hopefully) make sure everyone is on the same page before starting!

It's proving to be far more difficult (and far more expensive) than any house we've ever remodeled (and certainly more than and van we've converted.  We're trying to focus the efforts in on safety and communication.  Most importantly, were adding the things that keep us safe and allow us to communicate with the outside world.  I'll try to get a post out with all the specifics of those systems soon, but its been a very interesting learning experience just trying to figure out what all these systems are, much less which we need, how to get them and how to get them installed on the boat while were more than 3000 miles away.

Preparation/Packing- Its fair to say we don't even know where to start with this one.

It's almost impossible to picture living aboard a boat, much less living in the caribbean so very far away.  We used the loft/garage as a staging area and basically started with everything we own that isn't related to snow and cold weather and then tried pairing down from there.  We spend half of our days going through and trying to pack/plan and the other half trying to learn about the boat, coordinate projects from afar and arranging purchases of things we'll need aboard.

Mostly, it feels like were stuck in research/learning mode 24/7.

We are also trying to check as many things off the list that we know we'll miss about the PNW.  That obviously includes trying to host as many dinners/events/parties as we can to see everyone, but also weekend trips to the coast, tailgating at a duck game, rock climbing and drink-and-draw events among anything else we can think of!

Its becoming very clear very quickly that we may be way, way over our skiis here.  That we may have bitten off more than we can chew.  That even more than usual we have absolutely NO idea what the hell we're doing.  But lets at least hope that the last decade of figuring it all out as we go has prepped us for that lack of knowledge.  Besides... theres only one way to truly find out- and thats by taking the leap and moving forward.  So here we go!!