Cheyenne Richards

T-minus five. Or three. Or eight.

Cheyenne Richards
T-minus five. Or three. Or eight.

Colin and I find ourselves awed every day by the number of people who want to support our send-off with goodbye parties or barbecues or escorts out the gate or down the coast. It’s beyond touching the number of family and friends and people we haven’t seen in years who want to toast the beginning of our new life adventure. We love you! We have no idea what we did to deserve such support, but we’re feeling it. Believe me.

The challenge is we have no idea when we’re leaving.

We know we’re close. The planner in me who refuses to stop making schedules can tell you exactly when we are *forecast* to leave. But reality has this way of intruding that I am learning to breathe and go with. (Okay, honesty: first kick and scream, then breathe and go with.)

Little stuff trips me up everyday. One tiny example: I’d thought we could replace our old main sail with the new one as item one of six yesterday. Nice try. Taking the old one off took hours. Then we could see how dirty the mast track was, so first I went up the mast with a bucket and rag to clean it, then Colin took a turn on the bosun’s chair to lube it up. Then we had to put the battens in, correctly tension them and sort out the reefing lines. Still sounds like a couple hour project but next thing we knew, we’d put in another 12-hour day.

The main sail box is checked (hurray!) — and the slugs in the track move like butter — but another five things got moved to the ‘tomorrow’ list. Or more likely the ‘We can do that in Southern California’ list. Truthfully, most of those are nice-to-have’s anyway. (I don’t think we’ll sink if we haven’t installed the toothbrush holder by the time we leave).

At this point, we’ve replaced our fridge, installed the life raft, re-pitched our prop, fixed our dorades, applied a new coat of anti-fouling, replaced the raw water strainer, varnished the brightwork, driven the car up to Aidan in Astoria, polished the hull, sewed curtains & pillows, registered the dinghy, scanned all our manuals, organized our tools, sorted through spares, and found, purchased & filled food containers that actually fit in the galley.

Then there’s the house. We’ve sold all the furniture, weeded the front and back yards, topped the hedges, painted the exterior trim and two bedrooms, and rid ourselves of almost every item that isn’t coming on the boat. The folks at Goodwill know us by name.

What’s left? Both the house and the boat are construction zones right now. I probably could have planned that a bit better... But once we rebuild our Racor fuel filters (hopefully today) we can make the boat habitable. Then the time will come to leave our glamorous land-based life (currently two sleeping bags on an air mattress in the empty living room) and move aboard for real. Finally, Colin will drive a few things like extra sails to SoCal in a quick roundtrip while I paint the last of the house and give her a good scrub down before handing the keys to the property management company. Phew! Then... we’ll only need to wait for Mother Nature to give us a good weather window and will finally cast off the lines.

Anyway, we’re close. Truly. The countdown is days, not weeks. 

We just can’t say exactly how many. :)