for the Rest of Our Lives
I suppose the phone call shouldn’t have surprised me as much as it did. After all, Jim and I have had a shared vision for almost twenty years. I have always advised my students, (when the subject of future relationships come up) that you need to have a life buddy that you can share a vision. Whether that vision is children, travel, a particular sport… well, you get the idea. So on February 24, 2006 when I got the call, I probably should have taken it in stride. Jim said, “Hi Deb, how’s your day going?” I said it was a good day and things were running smoothly. He went on to say eleven words that would change our lives forever. “I just wanted to let you know I quit my job today.”
Jim isn’t stupid, so I knew this wasn’t a whim…. and his sense of humor doesn’t rank in the top 5 - (it has improved since he stopped working). So when I asked why he quit on this particular day, at this particular hour, he had a very serious and sensible reason that I support today.
As the result, we are in the midst of our shared vision, which is to sail around the world – or at least the parts we want to experience. As you probably are aware, we are in a 34 foot Gemini Catamaran and this part of the web site is an attempt to explain how we prepared to embark on our journey.
First, we told our friends. The reaction from Jim’s work people was pretty much the same, “Are you crazy?” or “Is Deb going with you?” The last question always amazed me. Although I loved my job, would you pass up the chance to sail (if you liked to sail) around the world? One of my friends said, Deb, you are a, “Ritz Carlton Girl.” Sailing is nothing more than camping on the water and you hate to camp. She went on to tell me that I was much too prissy to sail, “What about your nails, your hair dresser, and your Saturday luncheons at expensive Central West End restaurants??? You are going to hate sailing.” Many of our friends and family were sad to see us leave, but were very supportive. Many were perplexed that we could sell everything we had – yes, the house, cars, airplane, and possessions. (We both believe that we are on this earth just renting from God. We really don’t own anything, so why cherish it to the point of absurdity?) My sister was afraid that I was going to die. I guess she thought the God of Neptune was going to swallow us whole (just kidding Pat). In any case we needed a plan and began formulating the plan on the evening of February 24, 2006.
First, we agreed that our out date for leaving would be mid October, giving us time to get the boat ready and miss any pesky hurricanes lurking around the coast. I would work until the end of August and Jim’s last day was at the end of June.
Next, we needed to sell our house and the contents. But after thinking about it, there was no sense in selling all of Jim’s tools, and the basics we would need when we got off the boat (dishes, flatware, etc.) So we purchased trailer that was 10 by 5. Our great friends, Pat and Paul Cook, let us park it on their property. Thanks – we really appreciated the offer and kindness.
Third, we needed a realtor. We knew the one that sold our townhouse to us and liked her very much. I affectionately called her the “Nazi realtor” because the first thing she did was tell us we needed to “de-junk.” REALLY “de-junk”….. (I highly recommend her and if you want her contact info, just e-mail us – she sold our house – in a very hard market - in less than 8 weeks.) Well, I didn’t really think our house was ever that cluttered, but we ended up filling the trailer with boxes and boxes of “stuff.” Knowing fully that when we sold the townhouse, all the “stuff” would have to come back in the house to sell, and the “keeper stuff” had to be moved to the trailer. That was a difficult job – to touch every item that you have and make a decision on everything down to the can opener.
Next we interviewed Estate Sale Companies. Buyer beware, get a good company and check references. Although we had a reputable company, I was disappointed at the end result. I thought we could have done better with what we had to sell. Their networking and marketing skills seemed to be less than adequate.
July and August were just a hard months. Jim was gone much of the time getting the boat ready, I was working full time, and I had to finalize everything in St. Louis. We closed on August 3rd and the buyers tried to nickel and dime us to death. Fifteen minutes from our closing we got a call from our realtor saying the refrigerator wasn’t clean enough. So we had to dash back to the house and re-clean the frig. There were a bunch of college kids moving in and I wonder what the frig looks like now????
Our dear friend, Anna Forder, let us stay with her during August. Unfortunately, the second day we were there, she fell and broke her hip. Because we were there, the doctor let her come home early and she is doing fine.
Our dear friends had more than several going away parties (any excuse to drink) and we left for the boat September on Sept. 4th. Marty and Ellen Roberts from Tulsa, Steve and Linda Bennett from Omaha, Tim and Miriam Trycha from Osage Beach, and Cousin Julie and Aunt Sandy came to say one last bon voyage – several more parties later, we departed.
Getting ready to go was no small task. While we were selling the house, and we had the boat hauled to have the bottom “faired” and then new bottom paint applied. In addition, we also had some more voids in the boat filled and new gel coat applied. The people at Green Turtle Bay did a GREAT job on their work and we would recommend them to anyone. The boat has several items that needed replacing – Jim put in all new windows which meant he had to buy the lexan and fabricate eight new windows, he also sewed a new shade cover which covers over half the boat when we get to warmer temperatures, then of course there was the changing of oils and applying a product named PolyGlow to the boat which has made it look like new again. We decided – well, I decided, that we would have one birth serve as a “garage” and the port birth kept as an actual place to sleep – that meant no junk in that room. We did decide we would pack the boat and then go through it and “de-junk” all possible unnecessary items. I was pretty pleased at the result, if anything we are over packed on is clothes and consumables. I thought it was silly to sell cleaning products in St. Louis, just to buy more, so we ended up with some doubles in the boat. The clothes situation was tough because we needed warm clothes going down and summer clothes when we get south. In any case, we have too many clothes and plan to vacuum pack the winter clothes in a few days when we hit warmer weather. We have a small frig and a gadget known as an “Engle.”
The Engle is a large cooler that draws very little current and can be used as a freezer. We went to Sam’s and bought fish, chicken and a little bit of red meat to freeze. Buying it in bulk was very economical. The small frig holds fresh veggies, cheese, etc… In terms of dry goods, it’s really up to personal preference, but know your storage capacity before you shop. I made two trips just to make sure we were stocked, but not bulging at the seams. We like tuna, crab and salmon cakes, green beans, and baked beans. On our way down the waterway we did a lot of soup because it was chilly most of the time. Jim likes cereal and oatmeal. I’m not much of a breakfast person, so I usually eat left overs.
One problem is getting our prescription
drugs. We transferred our prescriptions from West Pine Pharmacy to Walgreen’s.
That has seemed to work well, because most major ports have a Walgreen’s
and you can order on-line. Jim’s doctor prescribed a number of drugs that
we may need in an emergency – not a bad idea if you are off shore for
any length of time.
That’s what we did in preparation. These are the highlights, there are hundreds of other details – but so far, I have been pretty pleased at our outcome.
This all seems easy but reality is
we ran out of time and could have spent another week or so getting ready. However,
if you stay until you are ready, you will never leave.
Web Page by Jim Faughn