Monday, December 15, 2008

Can we do it?

We pretty much spent the early part of December sniffing this idea out. How much would it cost? What do we really need to make living aboard bearable? Will the kids be safe and happy? Frank dove into cruising and live-aboard forums while I checked out marinas. We learned that this might not be such a crazy idea--there are more people raising their kids onboard than you may imagine. And of course, we started a love affair with to see what boats were for sale.

Our list of "needs" differed slightly...I preferred newer systems, a step-down stern (for easy on/off with the kids and use of the kayaks), something <40' (fits into a cheaper 40' slip and is only double the length of our previous boat!), and was attracted to a sloop rig since that's what the Cal had been. I guess I'm a comfort girl. Frank liked space, "classic" boats, 3 cabins, didn't care about the sail configuration (or so it seemed!), liked the idea of a pilothouse (it is the PacNorWest, after all), and was confident that we could sail a 50' boat. In the end, our "needs" and "wants" mushed together a bit and we more or less started looking for about a 40' boat with 2-3 cabins/1-2 baths that could be sailed by one person (with occasional help from the babysitter) and was <$100k. That list left us with lots of options--LOTS of boats out there! Now, to narrow that list...

Monday, December 1, 2008

And so it begins...

It was Thanksgiving weekend 2008. Frank's whole family was in town and we were returning from a trip to Baton Rouge, with his sister and I in my car. By now we knew that my next set of orders would have us (excitedly) returning to Everett, WA and this long drive gave me time to think--maybe too much time! I'd suggested that we live in our one-room cabin during this tour to save lots of money for travels, but Frank was pretty firmly opposed as we have 2 little kids and the cabin lacks running water.

Ok, maybe that's not where it begins. In fact, I think it really began back in 2004 when our friend Jesse hooked us up with a Cal 20 from a local auction in Elizabeth City, NC for $200. She wasn't much to look at, but she could sail! We had a lot of fun with that boat and ever since we sold it in 2006 Frank has been saying that he wanted another. Or maybe it began when I sailed on the Corwith Cramer with the Sea Education Association, or maybe it was getting rocked to sleep on the Bowdoin when I was in college. Or maybe we both had fun doing our mandatory-for-all-Navy-officers sailing. Somehow, we both had come to enjoy being on the water, especially under sail.

So back to the suddenly dawned on me. I could have the cabin (we've talked about selling it a few times and I'm strangely attached to it) AND Frank could have his boat. We could live on a boat! Then the cabin would be our "shore" home! Frank's sister, Fawn, entertained my idea with a giggle and "I want to be there when you tell him this idea!" I'm pretty sure she thought I was nuts and that there was no way anything would come of it.

When I finally got a minute to talk to Frank (you know how it is around the holidays!), I enthusiastically shared my new idea. The response? "That's not a bad idea." I love this guy.