04/03/2009, After adding up March...I think I'm gonna be sick
I just updated the March budget numbers for the "Cost of Cruising" tab on our www.svthirdday.com website and now I'm starting to feel a little sick! But honestly, it's hard to really call the March cost numbers a "Cruising Budget" because we left La Paz and started our road trip home to Bakersfield on March 10th, so for two thirds of the month we were cruising by car rather than by boat. The cost of slip rental, rental car, and costs associated with the driving trip are being kept separately and will be updated as a separate item once we return to La Paz, but it's already at $1106 for our current 24 days (rental car, rental slip, gas, food, hotel). We are also back into the same old problem of being back in the States, with the opportunity to buy things you "need" for the boat. It's a hard thing to understand because if we didn't come back to the States, we would have just done without many of the expenditures, but since we are "home" we convinced ourselves that we needed the items! And hey, who could argue with air filters for the dive compressor, but at $420 in compressor consumable costs, there goes about ½ of a month of cruising funds. It's a mental game that you play with yourself that goes something like this:
Should I buy the dive compressor and then the later consumable parts?
Should I buy the air conditioning unit to help survive the Summer in the Sea of Cortez?
Should I buy the new this and that?
At a survival level the answer is NO, we shouldn't buy them and we don't "really" need them, but this is why it's almost impossible to really answer the age old question of "What will it cost to go cruising" because everyone is different and wants different things out of their cruise. We had the money, so told ourselves that to make the most of our time out cruising we wanted such things as a dive compressor because who knows, we may never have this opportunity again and the kids will really enjoy it (Lori notes all "three" kids). If we didn't HAVE the money, it wouldn't have even been a consideration, but this is a great example of why money in the bank can be a bad thing for cruisers trying to stay on a tight budget.
04/02/2009, While working on Editing in Bakersfield
I'd much rather be covered in oil and bilge grime back on THIRD DAY in La Paz than working on editing video clips together for a upcoming DVD on this slow laptop computer in Bakersfield! The laptop is only about a year old and was "top of the line" when new, but editing high definition video really pushes the computers ability. I thought I should have bought a Mac, but I didn't want to learn something new just as we were getting ready to cast off. Consequently here I am, spending as much time waiting on the computer as I am manipulating the hundreds of hours of video and thousands of photos along with music into something people will want to buy. It's still fun, and much better than "real work", but it reminds me of having a 14.4K dial up modem and having to wait for a photo to download. The editing is coming along great; it's just taking much longer than I ever imagined much like a typical boat project, now that I think about it.
Our "scheduled" date to start the 3 day drive back to La Paz is April 14th and Lori is threatening to not let me leave Bakersfield until I have the DVD completed, which was my goal. However, I've been telling her that as an artist, I can't be rushed or it could damper my creative juices! She responds by simply walking out of the room and relocking the door, while telling me that she will be back in a few hours to check on my progress and let me out for a bathroom break! In fact, if the Admiral knew I was writing a blog post, while taking an unsanctioned break from editing, it could cost me my internet privileges, so I'll have to keep this short or risk losing my only mental escape.
Opps, I hear her coming down the hall now...must click submit...must get back to work...must look tired....must look pitiful for sympathy....
Shew...false alarm, it was just Jason trying to get a break form his home school assignments for the day under the guise of a bathroom break. What a rookie move, everyone knows that Lori will wait outside the bathroom door listening for pee to make sure it wasn't just a ploy. Poor Jason, didn't he see me try that move yesterday and get busted?
I've learned a few things from all this editing:
1. It's much more fun to shoot video than to edit it.
2. Pinnacle Studio Suite 12 editing software crashes almost every time you try and open window media player in the background to listen to music.
3. Always take that extra shot that seems too much work at the time, because you will wish you had it later
4. On my last "unsanctioned break", I made an excel spreadsheet and calculated that I'll earn 37 cents an hour if I sell a thousand DVDs based on the hours I have into this project already!
03/31/2009, The After 6 months, the crew of THIRD DAY is back in Port San Luis
It was a weird feeling looking out into the mooring field of Port San Luis this weekend and seeing an empty orange ball where THIRD DAY floated for almost 3 yrs as we prepared her and the crew for her journey south. With THIRD DAY down in La Paz awaiting our return, we spent the weekend in our old stomping ground of Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, and Port San Luis but something just wasn't right. I was reminded of the feeling I would have when we came to the beach, before we owned a boat, when I would stare out at the moored boats dreaming about what it would be like to cast off the mooring lines and sail over the horizon. Six months ago this weekend, on September 28th, we sailed away from Port San Luis, finally answering the question of what it would be like to sail over the horizon. Unfortunately that wasn't the end of questions, but only the start! But that's how life is, one-by-one you get answers but just as fast, new questions spring up to keep a seemingly never ending list of unknowns staring you in the face.
One thing we have definitely learned while out cruising is how to prioritize questions. What questions we worry about, what questions we ignore, and what questions we now laugh at for having ever spent serious time thinking about. Questions to worry about include anything that could result in us sinking or hitting a hard object while underway, what will be our next meal, and is any critical boat system broken or on the verge of breaking. Worrying about questions we can't control, or at least minimize with preventative maintenance, is simply a waste of time while out cruising, so we no longer pay attention to that voice in our head questioning our every decision and move. We simply are learning to ignore the self doubt and getting comfortable with the idea that it really isn't that hard to go cruising, once you leave. Leaving, without a doubt, has been the hardest thing about cruising, but the good thing is you only have to do it once!