Within a week we have sold our old home, a 37 ft. Class A motorhome we named Sanctuary, moved our belongings into a storage space, then purchased and begun moving aboard our new home, a 42 ft. sailboat named Brilliant. That has to be some kind of record.
Things have just been falling into place for our monumental shift from RV’ing back to Cruising, much quicker than we ever could have anticipated. Things just started happening rapidly, and we propped each other up to deal with the changes and make sure all of the details were covered. Brilliant’s previous owners are now CLODs (Cruisers Living on Dirt) and are sad to let her go, but also excited that Brilliant will be sailing to faraway places again with owners they trust will take good care of her.
We let them have one last trip to move her from their marina on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) up the St. John’s River to a boatyard just south of Jacksonville, figuring they wanted to say their goodbye’s. Here we arranged for a temporary haul-out and survey. We met them at the boatyard and helped moved her into the lift for the hull and running gear inspection. Our temporary home marina was right next door, so we after we launched the boat and conducted an engine test we docked there and completed the survey.
As expected the surveyor noted several items that needed attention, but none were serious shortcomings and nothing that made us any less enthusiastic about the great boat we found. Helping that feeling were all of the cruising goodies already installed or packed onboard. The survey took the better part of the day and provided us with a thorough inspection of everything from the keel up to the cabin top (surveyors don’t climb masts) and we were both pleased and not surprised with the results. It also provided us our first list of things to do after taking possession.
Thankfully we had the luxury of a room at the Navy Lodge on the nearby Naval Air Station to go back to at the end of the day. Did I tell you how much Carrie enjoys it when the military gate guards salute us? Spike looked on the new space as just another inconvenience, but it was nice having a little “sanctuary” for a few more nights before moving aboard and getting things situated for our future journeys.
After driving the owners home we transferred the required funds, and the next day we met with them to sign and notarize paperwork (both necessary evils of the process), then we all went to lunch and got to know our new friends (and Brilliant) a little better. They also brought gifts! A dinghy ladder, some extra keys, and something Carrie has always wanted: a clothes wringer that fits on the stern rail.
My gifts came in the form of all the little things aboard that I don’t have to install or add on. Just a few worth noting are hooks in the aft locker to hang things on, a wash-down hose in the anchor locker, LED lights throughout the boat, plenty of lines and spares and extra filters scattered everywhere, and even a set of tools!
Simple things normally make the best presents for us.
Now if you believe by the length of our two successive homes that we achieved more room in this process, please think again. A motorhome is like a rolling box, not exactly what one would call aerodynamic. Even the truckers we encountered are attaching foils and other accoutrements on their rigs to reduce drag and the accompanying diesel usage. However it has abundant room inside, especially once you set up camp and extend the slides in the living room and bedroom. Then there is the storage space underneath.
Not so with a boat. It always seems like there is ample storage aboard a boat when those storage spaces are empty, but since this is our 3rd “new” boat together in the last 9 years, we’ve learned to be more objective about that. Accordingly, as we moved our stuff from the storage locker, a few boxes at a time, we have already recycled numerous extraneous items to the local charity organization. After all, how many changes of clothing does one need when the normal dress code is “swimsuit”?
In the same spirit of giving we left a number of “gifts” behind for Sanctuary’s new owners. Some were sold in addition to the motorhome but several additional goodies were left behind because they were more suited to RV’ing than Cruising. There have also been a number of questions (which we invited) on how exactly various things work. Some were re-explaining things that we covered during the handoff. We’ve expected this as he didn’t take any notes, instead trying to just take it all in. We think he was pretty excited about the great RV he found and just got overwhelmed with the explanations. They’re leaving on a trip to Western New York next week, and we’re certain to get some calls from the road as they try everything out.
Everyone appears satisfied with the events that have taken place during a very busy week. Being the ones in the middle, so to speak, we have made some pretty significant adjustments (and seen some serious coin travel in and out of our bank accounts). But it feels like we’ve finally come home after being severely uprooted from our last home on a reef in the San Blas islands 8 months ago, which now seems like ages. Spike is getting pretty comfortable with his new home. He rolled around on the non-skid almost immediately and seemed pretty content to look out on the water again from the back deck as we enjoyed the diminishing light of the day from our new cockpit.