23 September 2011 | Bay Bridge Marina
Well, our minds are made up and our winter purchase for an upgrade for Midnight Breeze has been decided. No wind generator and no solar cells this season. We decided to go with a winter storage cover instead. Mary and I were out getting prices for winterization and the cheapest shrink wrapping we could find was $950.00. WOW! What a waist! So, we shopped around and found a good boat show price through The Canvas Store out of New York. In three years it will have paid for itself and on top of a good boat show price we also got free shipping and installation the first time around. Mary and I both feel we couldn’t have done any better. And at least the canvas cover is reusable and will not pollute the environment and is guaranteed for the life of ownership! I’ll post some pictures at a later date when the canvas gets installed.
Mary and I were reflecting back over this season and trying to figure out what we would have done differently. We both said more anchoring out and less eating out! However, considering this was our first year with Midnight Breeze II we cut ourselves some slack. Next year we have decided to anchor more. We have a nice grill and have never used it. I blame no one but myself for that. Being too lazy! One item that we have decided on is a departure date for heading south! Mary was reading the latest copy of Latitudes and Attitudes and the big man with all the body art said you must set a departure date even though it is arbitrary and may change. He goes on to say you have to have a goal to challenge yourself with, even though that date is fluid. So, we looked at the calendar and decided on the spring of 2014. I’ll be able to retire from government service in October of the 2013 and plan to cruise the Chesapeake as a warm-up in the summer of 2014 before heading south right after the boat show in October of that year. We hope we can meet up with some experience cruisers and follow them the first year to get some experience ourselves. So it is finally done, we have a date and with that comes a plan of action. I’ve already signed up for the retirement conference at work in November. The Gov says you should start your planning and exit strategy two years before you retire so that is what we are doing. Both Mary and I have started cutting back on our possessions and making plans on moving our base of operations from Maryland to West Palm Beach where we have our retirement condo. We have been repairing the condo over the last two years and almost have it where we want it. The last thing we will do is sell the house here in Maryland, take one of the cars to Florida and leave the other here in MD. Our plan still has us cruising the Islands during the winter months up north and returning to MD in the summer to work in replenishing our cruising kitty and visit family and friends. We do have some aspirations of one day taking Midnight Breeze south during the hurricane season to Aruba then continuing to South America, Central America, Mexico and a Texas stop over to visit family, before returning to the Islands and MD. Once that has been completed I want to see this great country of ours by RV. I have spent most of my working life working for this great country of ours and I would like to see it all before I die. If I live to see that end then I’ll think up something else. I’m not going to lie down when I retire because I do believe that’s the fastest way I know of to meet out maker, I’m not ready and I hope he’s not ready!
So until next time be safe and may the winds always fill your sails!