Bet you thought I was referring to Galapagos in that title! Made you blink! Oh heck, no. We didn’t sell the boat. And that is certainly not part of our plan. But we did sell the house. If there is anything that cruising will do for you it is help you decide if you still want to live in a place or not. And while we will always love that house, we fell like it is definitely time to move on from the town we lived in for 30 years. It’s just time for something new.
Long time readers will remember how we struggled with the decision about what to do with the house when we moved aboard. It was our family home, the one the kids did a lot of growing up in. We loved the big yard, and the proximity to conveniences. We were not sure how cruising would suit us for the long haul, so we held onto it; first renting it to our kid and his friends, and then renting it for the last two years to a great couple who took good care of the place while we cruised. That was the right choice. We came back to a firm decision to move on from owning that property, and a very hot seller’s market. There was not even any wavering about the decision. It was time.
After only a month of sprucing up and significantly upgrading the kitchen and main bathroom, the house sold after less than 5 days on the market. We are just about as pleased as sellers can be. If all goes as we think it will, the house will close at the end of December, bringing 2020 to a close in a much way better than this year deserves. Best to leave the year on a high note, although that’s a particularly low bar.
I’ve been meaning to update the blog for weeks, but the world has been spinning very fast between getting the house on the market and Mike starting his new gig for the State Patrol. We had set our sights on his not having any kind of commute to speak of when we got home and the stars aligned in his favor as we pulled into the dock at the end of our cruise. In that moment, as though some spiritual mailman had been waiting for us to touch land, he received an email for an interview. Somehow, we both knew that job would materialize and it did. Now he commutes by bike, but his office is less than 2 miles from home so walking is also an option. Although he can work from home, the building he works in is so lovely, and so quiet during Covid times, that he has enjoyed going to the office and hanging around in the large open spaces by himself. Just Michael and the Office Admin person. Well, I use the word ‘enjoyed’ loosely. It certainly is a change going back to a full time job after the kind of traveling we’ve been doing.
I have my practice back up and running and am open for business. I haven’t been able to make myself go back to working for insurance companies, but we’ll see how that goes. I will also be contracting with an organization who offers on-the-ground mental health support for military families. I can start filling in for their full time therapists soon as the FBI says I’m not a criminal. It seems like it’s taking them a long time… I try not to take that personally. This is a government contract so the wheels turn extra slowly. Now that the house is sold, I have time to work. So let’s get a move on.
And what of Galapagos? Is she languishing in her slip? Well, maybe a bit, but we prefer to think of her as resting up. She is not neglected. Before he started working, Mike completed a couple of little projects like a new inverter/charger system, a Victron, which makes him happy. He also sealed some hatches that had begun to need attention. But our big project, now that we have time to think about it, is remodeling the salon.
It’s always been our vision to have a much deeper and more comfortable settee and a table that is more multi-functional for the way we live on the boat. Mike has extended the width of the settee on the port side, making it deep enough to sleep on comfortably. It’s now ready for new cushions and upholstery, which I’ve decided is my next project. I have all winter to work on that.
We still plan to have Galapagos’ mast removed and replace rigging and fittings in the spring/summer of 2021. Now that we’ve stopped bleeding money into the house, we can build up the kitty for that big project. Our mantra is ‘two years of working, then we can leave the dock again’. Two years. That’s what our intentions are. This time, we’ll have a lot more experience about what it means to leave the dock.
Every night I dream about being aboard, about swimming in warm waters, about traveling by boat. Some of the dreams are pretty strange, but somehow the boat always makes it to where she is going and we’re always fine. This week we were in Australia and New Zealand in my dreams, and we had discovered oversized pink seahorses that hid in the underwater rocks, nothing but their tails showing. They were so pink, and so adorable. Surely they must exist in some space/time place. I look forward to going out again to explore and perhaps discover them.
We have plans to move back aboard, at least for part time living, when the weather is more agreeable, so probably in May. Meanwhile we are enjoying the fruits of land living with Claire and Dan in a comfortable little house in Olympia. After our house sale closes we will begin looking more seriously at buying another property, probably in Olympia. We’d like to have established a place here before we leave again. We like it here. It’s starting to feel like home.