Update - Moving On

Dear Diary,

3 months ago today we shared that we were taking a big step back and re-evaluating everything.  I'm happy to share that we've completed our review and are fully entrenched in our next phase of life.

Since the last writing, we've traveled to Cambodia, Thailand, and Loas, boated up the Mekong river, rode a motorcycle from Iowa to Georgia, went to Disney 2 more times, gone camping in a canyon (twice), hung out on St. Simon's island, took a cruise to Cozumel (only to be re-routed to the Bahamas when we were 50 miles off shore from Mexico), and sold Ariel. Yes, we sold our beloved boat.  We held a giant ceremony to capture her spirit in a container, which we now have, and we will be releasing her spirit in our apartment very soon.

KJ and Dy have both been enrolled in school and that starts tomorrow morning.

Val has re-started her small business support services company (Forge Power LLC) and I've started a Life Coaching practice (XXXLifeCoaching.com)  that is focused on helping people achieve their goals.

Life is wonderful, and we are still having fun.  We do miss the boating life, but we learned that for our family, at this time, the dynamics just weren't right.  That's okay, we move on.  We don't live in the past, we live in the now.

There are many lessons from this adventure, and one of the best ones is an affirmation of something we realized in the pursuit of the goal: if it didn't work out, no big deal we would just pick up the pieces and make a new picture.  Please don't let the fear of failure or our inability to execute stop any reader of this blog from attempting a grand goal.... the worst that can happen is you don't achieve the goal, at least on that attempt. ;)

Our family has settled back in the fine city of Atlanta GA, in our own little place.  Our family and friends have been super, extending their homes, support, and love.

Well, that's about it diary... our lives are so incredible .... what shall be the next goal our family goes after???? hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....


Curiouser and Curiouser!

Consulting an expert in finding our way
After a family discussion on what to do next, we decided to seek the help of an expert.... Alice.  So, we loaded up Rock and headed over to Disney in Orlando to seek an audience with her.

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?", I asked Alice
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said Alice.
"I don’t much care where--" said I.
"Then it doesn’t matter which way you go," said Alice.

So very true.  With this sage advice, Val and I have decided to head over to Cambodia and Thailand for a few weeks while KJ and Dy spend some time with family.

We did also meet up with our other friends at Magic Kingdom too, Mickey and  Minnie Mouse.
The Sailboat Family with Mickey and Minnie
After declining their offer to stay at their house, we left Orlando and headed back up to Atlanta.

Time to prep for Cambodia!


Back to Atlanta to Re-Evaluate

Where to next?

As good fortune would have it, a wonderful boating couple (Allan and Marcia) were putting up their car for sale.

In a conversation with Marica, she shared that they were working to sell their car to someone whom wanted to take it to Haiti, but there had been many hoops and bumps in trying to make the deal happen.

Well, heck, maybe the universe had destined us to have this car.

So we shared with them our situation, and interest in the car.  Sure enough, the car was really intended for us.  If the Haiti deal hadn't been problematic, and been taking a few days, we would have missed this gem.  Plus, cash in hand talks a whole lot louder than maybes and hoops and schedules and cargo shippers and such. :)

Rock, our new transport mechanism
We bought Rock, KJ named the car that, a 1996 Nissan Pathfinder, and loaded up what we needed for a trip up to Atlanta, a 10 hour drive.

Rock, stuffed with stuff
The plan is to hang out with Aunt Jenny and Aunt II for a week or so, figure out how we want to proceed going forward, and then execute.


Pause and Re-Evaluate

Leaving the boat shoes on deck for another time

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” - T.S. Eliot

Dear Diary,

After spending a few days at Fort Pierce, Val and I have made the decision to hit the “Pause” button and re-evaluate our approach to traveling as a family. While there have been many wonderful moments, the overall net for the family and our family dynamics is that, at this time, it is best we adjust how we Expand and Explore the world. Many families have young children on a boat and are able to roam the world, but ours, it turns out, isn't of the right make up and temperament to make the journey safely and enjoyably at this point.

Our family has found out how far it can stretch as a unit, and in which ways. We will use this information to optimally expand and explore. We know how far we can go.

The Sailboat Family will continue its journey to see the world, but we will modify the approach. This will include more family adventures, including sails off to the Bahamas, journeys via different modes of transport, and trips of finite duration and fixed locations.

Ariel in her new slip
Ariel is being kept in Ft. Pierce, Florida at a nice marina. We will be buy a car, drive back to Atlanta, stay with family there, take stock of the situation, and then make our next move.

Excitement continues to build as we figure out how to Expand, Explore, and Enjoy this amazing world we live in, in ways that are the most suitable for us.

It has been an amazing 50 days ... I wouldn't trade them for the world.

We tried, it didn't work this way for us.  So we will "Pause", reflect, and try again. Not every adventure works on the first try. We will share our learnings once we've let all this set in.

I wonder where we will go next, and how........



Vero Beach FL to West Palm Beach FL : Day 1 : Computers and Ft. Peirce FL

Leg 3, Day 1
Vero Beach, FL to West Palm Beach, FL : Ft. Pierce

After a week at Vero Beach, it was time to move on.  The area is fantastic, but we need to make it down to West Palm Beach to make the jump to the Bahamas (West End).

Would we have a buzz or not? That was the big question.  We wouldn't know until an hour or so had passed.

Shaun, one of the dock hands at Vero Beach, helped us push off and I must say I did the backing out as an old pro.  We left without incident and made our way under the bridge.

Val began KJ's schooling stuff while Dy sat with me in the cockpit. Dy told me multiple times to stop Mommys boat and bring it back.  She really doesn't like leaving a place. The familiarity of some place is very important to her. We've begun to really understand that about her.

After an hour of motoring, no Buzz! Wahoo!!! 

2 hours in, no buzz. :)

After a few hours, Val got on the phone and called around; we decided that we would stop at Ft. Pierce.  We could stop there, at a marina, and home base a few days before the jump.    

We pulled in at Harbortown Marina, a nice big facility with walkable access to many boat stores.


Vessels Along The Way

SS Manatee in Jacksonville, FL
While making our way, we've seen some pretty interesting vessels.  Here are some of the photos we've taken so far of the more curious and/or interesting ones when we had a camera handy.

S/V Lollygag
Unmarked Blimp Flew Right Over Us In Jacksonville, FL
HUGE Trimaran
As we came into Vero Beach, we saw this one
Guy was poking along doing his own thing
And loud!
Home sweet home for someone


Vero Beach City Marina, Vero Beach Florida

Vero Beach City Marina, Vero Beach Florida
We had a super week staying at the Vero Beach City Marina.  Lots of walking and bus riding for us. There were 3 different playgrounds that we were able to enjoy, lots of restaurants, and the beautiful beach.

Number of bathrooms plus a family bathroom
Lot of washing machines at marina
Gas and Diesel at marina
Staff is friendly and helpful
Grassy area with covered pavillions on premises
Marina was not noisey anytime during our 7+ day stay
Captains room was clean, well apointed, and had lots of good local information in it with a good trading library
Free city buses with bus stop at marina
Vero beach is 1.2 miles away
2 playgrounds and 3 parks all walkable
Great dog park within 0.1 of a mile
Close to a number of reastaurants
Close to many financial institutions (Fidelity, Scottrade, and more)
Lots butique shopping opportunities (not our thing, but notable)
Ace Hardware is 0.5 miles away
PakMail ship center is 0.4 miles away
Island streets near marina are on a grid so it is easy to navigate
Very close to the Intercoastal Waterway

Number of dock carts is too few
Grocery store is 5 miles away (but is on the bus line requiring 0 bus transfers)
Marine store is 5 miles away (but is on the bus line requiring 0 bus transfers)
Walmart is 15 miles away (but is on the bus line and requires 1 bus transfer at main station)
Propane isn't reachable by foot or by bus line (even if you wanted to sneak it on the bus)
Can be congested at the channel turn in since channel turn in is at a bridge

Price of marina for a slip
Laundry is of average price

Ariel at the slip at the Vero Beach City Marina

Half of the Captain's Lounge at the marina

Dinghy Dock at the marina

Fuel Dock

KJ Jumped off this stump, the Jumping Stump, no less than 83,171 times

Plenty of washers and dryers at the Vero Beach City Marina
as well as a dollar bill changer! Wahoo!

Rock wedged into a tree
 KJ and I discussed how long ago that rock must have been put into the tree, given that the tree has now grown around it.  Some day KJ may return and still see that rock!

Multiple picnic tables at the marina

Vero Beach City Marina receives the Sailboat Family seal of approval.