If you remember back to our last post over a year ago “Surprise Opportunity & Everything Changes Right in Our Face….#56” you understand why we put our boating on hold and put Angelique in storage. I think we also just needed a break from our travels. It helped put our life into perspective and refocus for a while. Covid changed all our lives. We had a year (late 2020 to early 2021) of questioning just about everything. We questioned where do we want live, our home, our adventures, Dan’s startup companies and the overall life we wanted. The good thing is was had choices!!
A small recap on why we took a break.
1) Covid…..Isn’t everything we do in today’s world wrapped around Covid? In March of 2020 when the world changed forever our boat was in Jamaica and all the islands closed around us. We started to feel a bit paranoid and quickly headed to Florida on our longest ever trip and by ourselves… 4 days and nights. See our trip and how it went HERE… “Leaving Jamaica during the pandemic…#42″ The Islands (Bahama and Caribbean) still had strict guidelines for travel. We wanted our trip to be less complicated, so waiting felt right.
2) Dan had agreed to help a startup “Wildfire Alliance” get off the ground and we thought he could stay focused on that better if we went home for a while.
3) Our Daughter and her husband had just bought a house and they were moving out of our house that they rented for almost 3 years. Our son in Washington had just bought a house too and both our parents were in need of some assistance and quality time spent with us.
Our decision felt right in mid 2021 to go back to our house and unpack all our stuff and have a home again….for a while. So, we decided to pack up our boat and prepare Angelique for some unattended storage. We didn’t really know then how long we would leave her. We assumed that it would be about a year or so. At the time we made this decision we were in Florida. We knew we needed to head to Virginia to leave her in a “safe from hurricane” zone. We picked the “Atlantic Yacht Basin Marina” in Chesapeake VA for a safe and a little less expensive storage. The planning then began.
From February to June of 2021, Dan and I started the packing up Angelique for the long storage:
My mind was on all the food & our soft goods storage. I didn’t want the bedding, pillows, towels, clothes, etc. to get musty or moldy when we left. I figured I would buy about 20 or so extra-large storage bags and pack everything up with some small packets of Silica gel moisture absorbers to help keep everything safe. If you have ever owned a boat before and left your belongings in a closed-up boat with little air circulation, you know what I’m talking about. It happens quickly that musty smell. I wasn’t willing to come back to my bedding smelling bad. We also had planned to use two dehumidifiers to help keep the moisture at bay. BUT…with no one aboard, I wanted to be sure.
During this time we worked hard to get through most of our food to minimize any breakage or leakage while we were gone.
Have you ever seen tin cans and pop cans rust and leak? You never want to, believe me!!
The food would just sit, get old or attract bugs etc. The only refrigeration that was going to remain “on” was the very small drink sized fridge on the back deck, if it didn’t fit in there it was getting eaten or tossed out. We also shut down the chest freezer on the fly bridge…..okay she (chest freezer) rusted out and we had no choice but to haul her off and trash her. This was a good time to accomplish that. All my spices and baking items were sealed in freezer bags and then inside an airtight plastic bin. They stay much better in sealed bags and bins and keep most bugs out. We were doing all this while we were planing our trip up north.
When June hit we were ready to head north and invited our friends Ken and Cheryl to join us. Our friends had never been up the ICW and were looking forward to it. We only had two weeks to make the trip and we hustled up the coast. We did do a couple good stops along the way. Some of the normal stops like St Augustine and Charleston but we did a new one. Stopping at the fish market along the ICW. (R.E. Mayo Seafood, Hobucken NC) You can just pull up to the docks with your boat and buy seafood. Ken came back to the boat with 3+ lbs. of shrimp. We had a couple good dinners and appetizers with all the shrimp.
When we arrived in Virginia at the Atlantic Yacht Basin Marina, we found out that the marina was putting us in covered moorage. This marina has been so great and knew we were going to stay a while and didn’t want us out on their main dock, so they put us back in the covered marina. We felt so lucky to be under a roof which allowed for more protection from the snow in the winter and the sun in the summer.
As we finalized our packing of Angelique we pulling in all cushions and pillows off our front and back decks and moved anything of value inside. Made sure everything was covered as much as possible. The Salon (living room) was a pile of stuff from all over the boat. But it would be safe, dry and stay clean. Dan worked on winterizing the boat, sealing off the engine room to keep the cold out, closing all the sea cocks (sea strainers) to prevent water coming in unintentionally. We reduced the freshwater tank levels, added additional mooring lines on both sides to hold us in case of bad winds/storms should come. Added blink cameras around boat and at the helm to give us monitoring ability of the bilge counts, or any inverter and shore power issues that may occur while we were gone.
We finished our last close-up items and left her. Dan would be the only one that would return during the next year. He would fly back every 3-4 months for 5-7 day stay. He would work on watering batteries, serviced fuel filters, updated software in inverter, main engine oil and filter changes and washed the boat from all the bird poo along with other maintenance items.
When we arrived back to our home in Portland Oregon, our kids had moved out of the house, and we started unpacking our stuff into the house. Dan worked on his start up and I worked on projects on the house. (after unpacking everything) I did some small projects with paint, a couple of stenciling projects. We also totally redid the Laundry room.
We enjoyed our time home with all our family and friends. But during this time, we had many conversations about what are we going to do next?
When will we go back to the boat or will we? Maybe we should sell her? Are we done cruising?
This was not too hard of a conversation. We really wanted to travel to the places we missed because of Covid, Bahamas and Caribbean. We felt like we weren’t done yet. But we needed to find a way to keep the financial part not such a big hit on us.
Should we sell our house?
We really didn’t want to leave the house empty, plus it cost a lot more without someone renting it. Could we find renters that we trust? It would have to be someone we knew. The house is so beautiful and has some unique architectural details that couldn’t be replaced if ruined. Should we sell her to someone that would love her like we did? We had so many questions and very few answers at that time. But we just kept processing it and thinking about it and tossing around the options. We finally concluded that we should sell the house and be homeless for a while.
I went into full blown packing, selling, and donating our belongings . We have sold houses before, and I know how to stage for a good viewing for a strong sale. We did do two storage units but not much furniture was saved. The house went on the market mid-April of 2022. We had a few offers within 3 day, we picked one and she sold in 3 weeks. We were able to rent back from the new owners and moved out of our house by mid-June. (one year after moving back in) After finalizing all the selling, giving away, and packing up efforts. Yes, we were now house-less, living on Angelique.
How much packing and unpacking can one person do in a year? Apparently, a lot!!
When we finally got back to Angelique we both knew she had done well. I started unpacking, opening her back up and cleaning up. During our first few days aboard Dan got Covid and it halted a lot of the projects. I spent the next week helping Dan recover. I was careful and continued to test negative.
One thing that Dan could work on while he as down besides watch videos and listen to books on-line was our project list…. And BOY OH BOY what an extensive list!!!
See all the upgrades in our next blog. Some pretty cool upgrades were needed & wanted, including a haul out.
We appreciate you being patient with us while we took a break and hope you will follow us again with our adventures.