05/17/2010, Still on land
Bill's last day at work was last Thursday. I have a last doctors appointment Monday, assuming I get a clean bill of health I will give my official notice the following day. So, hopefully my last day will be June 8th.
Bill and I went through our list of all that we need to get done in the next 60 days and all of a sudden it doesn't seem long enough! I am flying out to California on June 25th to visit with my Mom then fly back here to Minnesota on June 29th along with my sister, Sharron, who will be visiting from Australia. Sharron will spend 3 weeks with us before flying back. We hope to spend the week of July 4th in the Apostle islands.
My task prior to flying out to California is to go through all my clothes and take 98% to Goodwill. Boy, will it be nice to get rid of all my business suits, high heels, etc. I'm still trying to figure out how to go from a big 6 drawer dresser and a double closet down to 2 very small shelves and ½ a hanging locker for all my clothes!!! This might be the most difficult part of living aboard of anything else I can think of.
Next step will be to try and sell a few pieces of the remaining furniture we have left and the minivan. We already greatly downsized our personal belongings and furniture about 2 1/2 half ago when we sold the townhouse. We will be getting a very small storage unit for a few of the things we just can't let go of.
Our last day at the apartment will be July 31st when we will move aboard Walk A-Bout.
Boat is still on the hard in Madeline Island but for the past several months I have been "adjusting the sails "in a different body of water. Its funny how you end up where ya want to be --- just frustrated you got there how ya did. Confused?
05/14/2010, Still on land
We have had several people ask us about the name of our boat "Walk A-Bout". Most people would spell it "walkabout" but, of course, we had to be different. We were visiting my family in Australia and went up to Queensland to dive the Great Barrier Reef and do some touristy stuff. We went up to the mountains to a town called Kurunda. We met a native Australian (aborigine) named Boonja and purchased a boomerang from him. We asked him if he could write the word "walkabout" on the boomerang. He did and how he spelled it was "Walk A-Bout". So, we assume that is the real spelling of the word.
Here in Minnesota we laugh every time someone thinks it is a Canadian pronunciation "walk a-boot".
I have a cousin who lived for a while in New Guinea. Her "house boy" would suddenly strip off all his clothes and go "walkabout". She never knew how long he would be gone or if he would return. He would just show up several days or weeks later and put his clothes back on and go back to work as if he never left.
Most dictionaries define the word as:
Australian. A temporary return to traditional Aboriginal life, taken especially between periods of work or residence in modern society and usually involving a period of travel through the bush.
So, instead of travel through the bush we will travel on water........we may or may not return to work. We may or may not wear clothes, depending on where we are!!
05/10/2010, Bloomington Minnesota
You always know that when you commit to a Plan A or B ----- It is only a matter of time before "Plan C "will rear its ugly head!!! Actually let's call this our "First Choice" in the beginning we talked first about heading down the ICW as our route of choice to get to the Caribbean and then over the years it morphed its way into entering through Chicago and finally exiting Mobile Alabama. Plan A.
Now after several months (2 weeks really) of deep consideration (and one small oil slick) we have decided to avoid the Gulf of Mexico all together. Go figure. If anyone needs to have a detailed plan with waypoints of all locks, marinas & fuel stations from Chicago of Mobile just e-mails us and we will send you the spread sheet!
Today we are constructing a new sail plan. This will have us taking off from Silver Bay mid August, across Lake Superior, through the lock to Lake Huron, motor through Detroit to Lake Erie, drop the mast and enter the Erie Canal. Step the mast back up near the Hudson River then making our way down to Norfolk VA and the beginning of the ICW.
It was 17 degrees this week in Silver Bay --- Yes we want Walk A-Bout back in the water but that first crossing back to our slip will be a bone chilling experience.
I wish I could say that I am writing this from somewhere warm and sunny, but unfortunately that is not the case. I am siting in an apartment in cold, not the right word - frigid, that's better - snowy Minnesota just counting the days (months) until winter ends and we can be back on Walk A-Bout again.
We have been planning our cruising life for 10 years now, finally in year number 10. Depending on work obligations we have two options for leaving Minnesota.
Plan A - September 1 head across Lake Superior, through the lock to Lake Huron, down Lake Michigan, lower the mast, enter Illinois River through Chicago, then to the Mississippi River for a short while then Tenn-Tom waterway out Mobile Bay (put mast back up) to the Gulf. Sail down to the Florida Keys, up to Miami then across to the Bahamas. From there - unknown. Hopefully head south then Panama Canal, the South Pacific and Australia.
Plan B - October have the boat shipped to Florida. We then join Walk A-Bout around the first of December. Then continue Plan A.