Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Another Month Closer

Posts are currently sporadic so I suppose this is mostly just for me as a reminder later of what life was like with less than seven weeks of work left (yes! 7) and yesterday was the 2-month mark until we fly south to our new home.

I think that's the part I find the most unrealistic and maybe I'm struggling a bit, but the concept of flying off to my new home with just a couple of suitcases is phasing me.  I'm really daunted with the daily task (ok, I'll admit I don't do it daily although Henry would be happy if I did) of going through boxes and stuff to decide if its "keep - for the boat", "sell - garage sale", "donate" or "throw out".  I'd like to add "storage" to the list, but where and at what cost, and will I really care.  Not much has changed in a month, has it?  I'm still struggling with the storage question.  And yes, I realize that not everything is going in a suitcase as you'll see below.

So, here's where we're at today.  Henry has made a lot of progress on our list:
  • Arrange shipping of personal items to Mowzer:  we've decided to send two shipments.  One will go from Toronto and will be made up of personal stuff that we have here in Canada.  We'll drive down, package up our allocated crate which will then be trucked to Miami and then put on a boat for St. Thomas.  The other shipment will be made up of stuff that we're ordering from vendors in the States such as the anchor, the water maker and the solar panels.  These will be shipped to a freight forwarder in Florida who will package them up on a crate and then put them on a boat for St. Thomas.  Both shipments will hopefully be scheduled to arrive around the same time that we do - mid-October.  The big advantage of splitting the shipments is that there is no point having stuff shipped into Canada where we'd have to pay duty and at least 13% tax, just to ship it back into a duty-free U.S. territory, and for the U.S. orders we will save a bundle on shipping if we consolidate them all into one boat shipment.
  • Purchase of water maker, small generator, EPIRB and solar panels and arrange shipping to Mowzer:  shipping figured out as above and Henry is primed to place the orders.  Solar panels are elusive and appear to be in hot demand at the moment so they may end up being our nemesis.
  • Health insurance - purchase coverage - arrange required doctor visits:  doctor, dentist & optometrist visits are completed or booked for September, insurance is still TBD.
  • Boat insurance - purchase coverage: still to be done
  • Sell the rest of our stuff, timing it so we have something to sit on, sleep on and eat off almost up until we leave or at least until I finish work:  more things have sold with good timing.  For example our bedroom set is sold but the buyers don't want it until October which is perfect for us.  Final estate sale is planned for October 4th and maybe a garage sale in September dependent on weather.
  • Sell the cars:  still to do - anyone looking for a used Elantra or Rio?
  • Get the house completely emptied and cleaned out ready for handover to the new owners:  final task still to be done.
Sometimes it's just easier to focus on the future and avoid peering back at the past and all the memories but the past keeps intruding with all the items that need to be decided upon.  I'm constantly confronted with my parent's and grand-parent's past and it takes me back to happy places.  But, like a boat anchor, unless I can lift those memories from where they have sat for so many years, I can't move forward, and move forward I must; and the memories can come with me.

So, with resolve, I look to little items that I can figure out pretty quickly and that gives me some momentum so I can deal with the bigger issues.

With Jim's help, we've figured out what we're doing with respect to computers and I've even sourced a little monitor that we can use with our Mac Mini that is powered solely through a USB cable.  It's just 16" on the diagonal so a little bit bigger than a laptop screen and can be used in portrait or landscape mode.  It weighs in at 1.2kg and when the stand folds against the body is only 3.6cm thick, so very easy to mount at the nav-station where we have just a little bit of space.  (There's that crazy Canadian bilingualism on measurements!)  This is an AOC e1659Fwu.

Also on the computer front, we've decided to replace our current printer with a wireless model that's a bit smaller and lighter but still incorporates a flat-bed scanner.  You might wonder what place a printer / scanner has on a boat but just being able to make copies of boat papers will be helpful.  I'm currently fixated on the Epson XP-310 again because of it's size (8"x18"x15") and weight (9lbs) and the fact that we've been very happy with our current Epson printer.
I've been doing some reading on TheBoatGalley.com about food storage containers and really need to wait on this until we're on the boat so I can measure up our spaces properly, but just having some ideas about what works in the rocky-rolly world of the live-aboard cruiser is a help.

And finally, I've been planning how we are going to pack our personal stuff for the truck/boat journey so that they remain dry, pest-free, and reasonably fresh for when they arrive.  I'm thinking of using quite a few of the zip-loc vacuum bags.  You know, the ones that you pack full of stuff and then hook up to the vacuum and suck all the air out so they're nice and compact.  Henry tells me I have a cubic meter to pack in and I only get half of it!

In a world that is obsessed with the 'super-size', it is proving quite difficult to not just down-size all our personal stuff, but also down-size the actual size of the items we want around us.  It's easy to find the next biggest TV/monitor but sale-folks look at you like you've got two heads when you tell them you're looking for something just a tad smaller than what they've got on display.

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