We’re on “schedule” for leaving Portland. Most cruisers know there is no real schedule when planning for a passage. Too many variables. Our short term plan was to leave Portland and take a couple or three weeks on the Columbia River to complete a shakedown of our new systems and storm sails, figure out how long we can comfortably live on 125 gallons of water, limited fresh food and washing clothes by hand. But most importantly, just unwind and play with our toys. If all the electronics, engine and gear were working then we would head offshore earlier, stopping in various ports along the Oregon coast. We still have a bottom paint haul out scheduled where we will spend a couple of weeks with my parents. Last chance to visit our families before moving on down to California.
Final push to get out of the storage unit took a bit longer. We used the time and space to finish up some boat projects. Large canvas projects, rebuild the V berth hatch with all new wood and acrylic, put in extra shelving within the large cubby holes, but in general we discovered the major downsizing we did earlier wasn’t enough. More loads to the goodwill, and begging family and friends to take our “gifts”.
Loading the boat was easy, just stack bins , bags and boxes on deck, on the bed, table and any other place where it would fit. The cockpit was so full we could barely get in through the cabin doors. Reality set in like buckets of cold water in our sleeping faces! We stumbled around, shuffled stacks of clothes, food, toilet paper, gear and spare parts from one end of the boat to the other. Seriously. Our boat neighbors watched in disbelief. We were in disbelief. The waterline came up about 3 inches, that is approximately 2700 pounds of additional weight. Slow boat to China, it was time for a serious boat diet! We are now down to manageable piles of gear, we can see parts of the cabin sole and some table space. The soft cooler doesn’t need to be stored in front of the head (toilet for non boaters), it actually sits under the table for now. I have bruises, a sore tweaked knee, John lost some hairs on one project, but we’re doing okay. Best of all, we can crawl into bed without spending 15 mintes rearranging the piles.
The loose ends – tasks that eat time and we didn’t get done the last couple of months that should’ve been accounted for. Selling the cars, last minute retirement paperwork, reassessing the nonessentials weighing the boat down, and small annoyances. I see light in the boat. The hatch above the salon needed new acrylic so we decided to replace it when we picked up the V berth piece. We have it torn apart sitting on the forepeak, and since it’s been unusally hot in Portland it works well to have a large open hole in ceiling, we may just leave it for a couple more weeks as we move down the river, all play and no work doesn’t feel right.
Waiting for little guys. No Name Baby finally arrived after 54 hours of labor and waiting, waiting for text updates, the little guy popped out. Relieved that all is well with Mom and baby, we’re waiting for the parents’ bonding time before we visit. In addition, we have another grandson’s first birthday party to attend this weekend, and another grandson’s second birthday is next week. Where did all these kids come from, it’s like watching Mr. Smith in the Matrix series duplicate himself.
We can get back to reorganizing, selling cars, finding the essentials that were crammed into the lockers without noting it properly in the boat journal (the one that was suppose to have been started a while back).
Retirement: The feeling of relief, time to sit and enjoy the morning coffee, no rushing to the job.
Hanging Out: Life is wonderful. We love and we are loved.