At Home in the BVI

Paul with our bags on arrival to Blue Sky May 20, 2013
Paul with our bags on arrival to Blue Sky May 20, 2013
Boat Family created by Katie Cooper
Boat Family created by Katie Cooper

We arrived Monday around 5pm.  Boarded Blue Sky with our 5 bags and 2 backpacks.  Discovered we underloaded our bags by approx. 20 lbs each.  Lesson learned, don’t pack the scale until you’ve weighed your luggage.  That said, we have more to bring next trip when we pick up Charlie in July.

The boat is in good shape. We will go for a 5-6 day shake down sail in the BVI.  Paul has just returned from the Chandlery with a necessary tools to get us started.  We took two trips to the grocery stores to get our pantry stocked.  It’s beginning to feel like home with the exception of the linens.  These are still the ones that have been used by cruisers who’ve chartered the boat in the past.  Our linens will come later also.

I wanted to mention to our son Lindsay that there are baby chicks here.  They are with their mama hens, as they roam freely in the BVI.  I tried to get some photos uploaded but the internet service is weak, so pictures will hopefully come when we get to the USVI sometime a week or so from now.Chicks

All I can say, is we are very happy to have the move behind us and to finally be on board.  Let the adventure begin.

The Move

The move out of our home of 8 1/2 years started last weekend. Paul and I, along with son Keith did it all.  Luckily I have been off work for a month and had a head start on boxing things up.  The bad news is not enough was boxed up and the storage facility closed at 8pm daily.  Paul had started clearing out the garage also in advance.  We had Russells Waste Removal for round one.  Just prior to moving weekend we had another pile of trash piled in our driveway.  We solicited another junk man for this load.  Then on Thursday morning we called Russell again for yet another load.  We could have done a fourth load, but Paul hadn’t the time to go through any more sorting.  Time was up. We were to be out of the house by 11am on Thursday morning.  This did not happen.  Called the new owners and asked for an extension.  They agreed we could take until Friday and leave things in the garage if necessary. We had to work flat out from 6am to 10pm every day for a week to make it happen and had everything out of the house by Friday evening at 9pm.  The garage however contained 5 more car loads for the storage unit which got taken over on Saturday morning.  Keith came again on Friday evening and helped with the final loads.

You may recall my earlier post where we secured out storage unit.  At the eleventh hour, we opted to go for a larger more accessible unit.  We are thankful that we did. We have managed to fill every nook and cranny.  It’s unbelievable how much stuff we had in our home.  I’ve asked Paul for a commitment not to bring so much aboard Blue Sky.  We’ll see how that goes.

Something to consider if you decide to move things into storage to go sailing. Everything in your fridge must go.  I had my daughter and her upstairs neighbor go shopping in my kitchen.  They took what they wanted.  This still left me with many jars to empty and put into recycling.  I borrowed an extra recycling box from a neighbor and still could have used 3 more.  It’s crazy how many containers fit in a fridge.  I will think differently when I shop for groceries going forward.

We got to the hotel late Friday night a realized that we had paperwork to finalize and we’d need the extra day in town.  We called the airline and they were able to accomodate a change in flight to Sunday.  So we leave tomorrow.  This along allowed us to be much calmer today than we’ve been in weeks.  Can hardly wait to get to the boat and truly start our new life aboard.  Thanks everyone for the well wishes.  We promise to keep you posted every chance we get.


We move out of our home of 8+ years on May 15th.  On my parents last visit they asked what we were doing with our cat, Sierra.  We had thought we’d take her on board, but she is declawed and would not stand a chance to get back on board without those claws.  So for now she will go to Grama and Grampa’s house at Lake Isle, west of Edmonton.  To get her there Gwyn drove with the cat, dog, daughter and 2 granddauthers in tow for a 4 day weekend.  Left on Friday, and returned home on Monday.  The dog, Charlie will also stay temporarily until the boat is in the US.  Then we will return for a car load of items for the boat and pick up Charlie.  It’s all rather complicated, but in the end we decided that it would be less complicated to do our first big sail without the pets on board.

As you can see from the picture below, Sierra the cat, has made herself at home.  Charlie, is less comfortable and looks a little worried.

IMG_20130505_064859 IMG_20130505_064822 (1)

Time is fleeting

So considering retiring to a home on the water and working towards that is great.  It can always be in the future “at the right time”.  So we missed the April target, but there is still time, right?  Not really.  Sometimes life rears up, stares you in the face, and says it is now or never.  No longer is next day/month/year ok.  But it must be now.  Suddenly in a whirlwind, the universe puts together what your brain is content to have as a “plan”.  So now it is very real.  House on the market – bang, terrific couple just gotta have it – same emotion we felt when we bought.  Doc says go!  G’s job is done.  The big push is now on.  It is happening no matter how much I want to drag my feet and say “tomorrow”.  There is no tomorrow.  There is only today.  The emotions swirl inside as I prepare myself to transition from a challenging career of 45 years, and move on to sailing the oceans.  It is now a must do – full of fears, excitement, short term major stress – long term?  The journey will tell.  Stay tuned.

Storage has been secured

You can imagine the conversations I had on the train when I carried these home.

Yesterday was G’s last day of work.  A pot luck was held by coworkers on Thursday, with goodbyes on Friday.  Thanks everyone for the gift of cash to purchase something for the boat.  I’ll post here when I determine what to buy.  Friday was also the day the contract on the house was accepted.  To say the least, the emotions were running high.

Today was the day to go and arrange a storage locker.  Of course, they did not have the size we hoped for, so we opted for smaller rather than larger.  Our thought process being that we’d rather not come back to too much stuff.  That said, I believe we’ll need to sell off a few more items than originally planned. I’m hoping this can be accomplished given the tight deadline to be out of the house.  P is already packing things to take a first load over tomorrow.

The question we are asking is, will we need this in 5-10 years from now?   For many things the answer is no, but keepsakes are keepsakes and these will need to find a place in the locker.  We’ll be doing our best to pack them as tightly as possible into the space.