It has been an emotional roller coaster over the last few months. In early November when we were in Virginia, just before we departed to head south, we had one of Dan’s long time Navy buddies Chris and his wife Linda over for the weekend. Chris told Dan about an opportunity that could change our lives. It was a startup company that was looking for a leader to help get it going. Dan and I talked about this for a few weeks, as we cruised to Florida, Dan also talked to the current leadership team and we both felt this was way too good to pass up. He would be doing something great and help those in need and that was huge! He was extremely excited to be a part of the ownership, COO and President of Wildfire Alliance. BUT this would require us to make some decisions about our life on the water. (More about the startup opportunity below)
We had many choices to think about…..
- We could stay on our boat and Dan could work from wherever we were located… which would be an awesome and ideal situation. We would be able to be in warmer locations and continue to enjoy our life aboard Angelique. The drawback is being able to have consistent and strong internet services in marinas, which is sometimes iffy. He would need to have Zoom meetings without interruption, restricting my movement inside the boat while that was happening would be tough on me. This would also limit our ability to move to other locations, except for weekends, which would be tough even on weekends as things picked up. We would need to be assured that we would have strong internet services before arriving someplace new. Some marinas are far from town and without a car it would be difficult for me to keep busy and not get bored all day long.
- COVID-19 Virus has put an additional complication to our travels to other countries and limited our ability to see all that we wanted to see in any location including in Bahamas, US and British Virgin Islands or any other islands that we would like to see. If we wait a year or so we hoped the restrictions would let up a bit.
- Our parents were getting older and while we were home for Christmas my Mother took a nasty fall, hitting her head. She had 9 stitches and a pretty black and blue face. Dan’s Father had an episode where he was struggling to move his arms and legs and was in intense pain. This required Dan to drive to Bend Oregon and spend 10+ days with him taking him to hospital, determining diagnosis and arranging for after care once Dan left.
- After being gone from Portland for 2.5 years, 2 of our 4 kids were buying houses and they were asking us to help them with projects and stuff. I also wanted to spend some time in our house updating and doing a few projects.
Our decision was made… we were moving home to Portland Oregon to our house again. Where Dan could work with good internet and I would have plenty to keep me busy too. My daughter and Son-in-Law have been renting our home and were moving out in March to their newly purchased home. We didn’t plan on finding any other renters, which added a bit more cost to our base budget. So this solved that issue too. Now find a safe & affordable place for Angelique for a year or so.
We started the planning months ago when we knew the startup was really happening. We had made the decision to put Angelique on the hard in a shipyard in Florida and drive home. Yes, Road trip extravaganza!!! We wanted to take stuff off of the boat and bring home with us so a road trip was determined the best solution and a fun adventure. We didn’t want to stop cruising and hope sometime in the next 12-ish months we would be back on our beloved yacht going to exotic locations again.
I was particularly excited about the road trip and had started planning in January what route we would take, where we would stop and how long it would take us. I found a blog site from a guy that talked about their trip from Florida to Oregon, they were moving the whole family. The part I liked the best was this program that allowed anyone to customize the route along the way. If you are doing a road trip, check it out! Furkot –> Trip Planning
But like everything in our life, we needed to be GUMBY FLEXIBLE!!!! Because unexpected change would hit us hard again!
We had identified the boatyard near Stuart Florida that was big enough to lift us and also store us for a while and had talked to them a couple times. But when we called to get the final paperwork completed, they had changed their minds and said they are doing some construction and needed the space for that. They would not be taking us. So here we sat on Angelique in Indian Harbour Beach, Florida at Telemar Bay Marina with no plans. Disappointed was a very generic term for how we felt, we were pissed off and devastated. We spent 2 days looking for another shipyard that would be big enough to handle our big boat but not be a super expensive storage and we finally found one. Next Dan called our insurance company and somehow there was some miscommunications from our last conversation (change), months ago, with them and the cost would be more than double to leave her Florida (even on the hard) …. NOT what we were expecting. Another hit to the stomach. Now we were questioning everything we were doing… where, when, how, why… all of it!!!
Dan woke up the next morning and he was not feeling good, he was a bit stressed out about all the choices, options, and cost. He started putting together an excel spreadsheet to analyze all the costs with; in the water, out of the water, move north past Cape Hatteras, not move, etc etc…. There were just too many decisions. Driving home was also up in the air. As we were talking about all the choices, we realized any and all of our choices/decisions were up for consideration for change. It was a tough couple of days. Way too much ambiguity.
Once Dan got all the options and cost put on a sheet and we started to analyze them. Our options were;
- Stay in FL in the water
- Stay in FL on the hard
- Stay in FL until June/July and then move north
- Move north now
- Drive or fly home
They all had a different cost and actions needed from us. The Cheapest option was to move north now and hit Norfolk where we were this summer. The insurance and marina cost were the cheapest we have had. Maybe the shipyards would be too but hadn’t checked on that. It is freezing cold up north in February and the ocean isn’t always as kind either. We really didn’t want to do that choice and looked at the second cheapest option. Leaving her in Florida for a few months and head back to Norfolk this summer when the weather is nicer and maybe we would get to enjoy our trip rather than pushing it to just get her there. The option we picked was this one…We would leave her in the water at Telemar Bay Marina until June/July and then take her up north.
Now do we drive home or not. When I looked at the ticket prices, they were cheep! $100-ish for a one way ticket. That kinda sealed that deal. When we were planning on putting her on land for a year or so, we were going to empty Angelique out of our personal items and drive across country. But with us leaving her in the water we didn’t need to do that like we had first thought about doing. With her in the water if we get some time for a break, we can come use her and see some sights up north that we didn’t see last time. We are always trying to find the Lemonade here!!!
Well, Dan’s start up opportunity seems like a good bit of lemonade…So, here is a bit about Dan’s new opportunity…
wildfirealliance.com will provide a service to spray a season long, safe, fire retardant next to homes and buildings. This will be in wildfire risk areas and will prevent wind blown embers from igniting the plants and materials next to the building, which is what takes down over 1/2 of the homes in wildfires. They will also certify it and maintain it for the customer insurance companies, which should save premiums or provide the service for free to customers. It should even help people be able to get their properties insured. It looks like they will save both lives and property in wildfire risk areas, and make good money for themselves and their investors along the way. Dan is happy to address startup investment email inquires to firstname.lastname@example.org
I will keep our blog site going with interesting thoughts, ideas, and how the company is doing & our stay at home. You will know first about any of our future cruising!
Stay Tuned! We will try and not disappoint you!
Cheers with a big glass of lemonade!
Dan and Angela