Twist of Fate

Wow, a lot has been happening lately to push us from the suburbs to the sailing part of our plan.  We’re big believers that things always happen for a reason in life, but the way things have been falling into place for us has made us wonder if theres some divine intervention or something going on that really wants us to accomplish our goal. It’s really crazy how things can happen when you least expect them to.  We also realize that it’s been a while since we posted, as we were waiting for something relevant to post about.  Well, get ready for an eye feast my friends (#adambennett) as we download you on our happenings from the past two weeks.

Shortly after we came up with this plan, and realized that our dream of doing this could actually become the reality of doing this, Matt was laid off from the company that he’s been working at (steadily) for nearly 8 years.  Whomp, whomp.

(Side line note… Any of you that know Matt, know that this is is the typical storyline for him: something really great happens, he’s all excited, you’re really rooting for him – then bam – something bad happens.  But it always turns out OK in the end. Story of his life, I swear!)

So, with no secondary income coming in, we thought we had to put the plan on hold temporarily until we got this sorted out and back on track again.  Matt, being the eternal optimist and extremely resourceful, took this as an opportunity to figure out how to align his career with our future goal of living on a boat and sailing around the Caribbean.  So he took matters (and his resume) into his own hands and began scouting out boatyards and marinas in the Annapolis area.  He contacted a very reputable yacht sales company, spoke with the owner, and was hired a week later!  He starts his first official day as a boat technician tomorrow.  Not only is he gainfully employed once more, but at an amazing company learning skills that will be extremely valuable to us and others once we begin life on the boat.  Did I mention that he has better working hours (no more waking up at 4am and driving to DC!), works in Annapolis and gets to wear flip flops to work in the summer!  Love this man like crazy and am so proud of him for making something amazing out of a potentially bad situation.  Twist of Fate #1.

Over the weekend, Matt got an interesting email while in Charlotte on another business opportunity (I’ll let him post more about that one, but it’s a great opportunity to set us up for some residual income to lengthen the burn time of our trip!  #bumsforever!).  Back to the message… a woman contacted Matt about potentially renting/purchasing our house this summer.  Turns out she is planning to move back to Maryland from California with her husband and was looking to return to Severna Park.  Convinced she was a fraud and this was some marketing scheme, he called her back and spoke to her for nearly and hour and was convinced that she is completely legit.  Turns out that Matt had updated our housing info on Zillow after we had it reappraised, and had listed his email in the info.  So, we potentially have a renter/buyer for when we find our boat and need to sell the house.  Who knows where it will lead, but the fact that someone inquired about purchasing our house completely out of the blue is a pretty freaky coincidence.  Twist of Fate #2.

And finally, while in the throes of all of this exciting news, I received a text from my aunt asking if we had any furniture we wanted to sell to my cousin, who had just bought a house.  Talk about perfect timing here.  Do we have furniture to sell?? Well yes actually, we do! We were able to unload our entire 5pc queen bedroom set for a great price and will no doubt be able to give him even more as we reduce our household stuff and he builds his up.  It’s a shame we don’t have the boat lined up yet or else we would have seen if he wanted everything else in the house too! $ell, $ell, $ell!! It’s amazing how detached we’ve become to all of these things that we once thought were so necessary. (Ok, ok WE really meant I).  In the end they’re just things, and they’re actually pretty easy to let go.  Twist of Fate #3.

Turns out things are sort of all falling into place.  We’re excited to resume our boat search and connect with a realtor about getting our house listed.  We really wanted to stay in our house thru the summer, and still may.  We definitely don’t want to rush such a big investment (not just financially, either!) by settling for any boat that presents itself.  Plus, there are a lot of holes in the Twist of Fate breakdown above. But, like we said before, life just has a funny way of working itself out and it looks like it’s working that way for us!  Stay tuned!

The adventure begins!

And so it starts!

Last Saturday we met with our broker, Alan, to look at two formerly chartered boats that just happened to be in the Annapolis marina that we really liked.  Perfect!  The first was a 39’ Leopard catamaran that Matt was super excited about.  He had done his research and decided that the Leopard cats had the best layout with the biggest outdoor space, something that was important to us since we will be bringing the dogs onboard.

This particular cat was nearly brand new and about $100k over our budget (whomp, whomp!) but we wanted to see it anyway to give us an idea of what the layout of the Leopard models looked like.  Boy, she was a beaut!

4174029_20121220100441_1_XLARGE

Since this boat will be our permanent home, layout, function, and storage are the three must haves that we’re looking for. This one had a huge indoor / outdoor space that could easily accommodate 2 humans and 2 dogs.  Once the weather gets warm, this will probably become our living room.

4174029_20121220100500_1_XLARGE4174029_20121220100506_1_XLARGE

The kitchen is a little smaller than I had wanted, but seriously, how often are we going to be cooking four course meals on this thing anyway?  Our whole reason for wanting this crazy adventure is to simplify our lives, so why not start in the kitchen?  I for see a lot of sandwiches, one pot meals and canned goods going on in our future!

4174029_20121220100503_1_XLARGE

There was lots of storage in the hulls  and the bathroom even had an enclosed full sized shower.

4174029_20121220100510_1_XLARGE

4174029_20121220100512_1_XLARGE

We also loved the fact that the dual hull layout will still give us some separate space.  As much as we like each other, we do value our time to ourselves and have been fortunate enough in our past two land houses to have a spare bedroom that Matt took over as his space.  Having that option on our floating home was a must if we were to keep our sanity at sea.

4174029_20121220100514_1_XLARGE

We liked the Leopard because it had a smart design, lots of storage and the layout was very spacious.  Again, this particular boat was well out of our price range, and we’re going to have to make some trade offs as the price goes down.  We don’t want to be living at the marina forever waiting until the boat is paid off to finally untie the dock lines and get going!

We are pretty much set on the catamaran idea, but wanted to see a monohull because you can’t beat the price.  They run nearly half the cost as cats.

We toured a 42′ Beneteau Oceanis 422.  It was a beautiful boat, but after just seeing (and loving) the cat, it didn’t really have a fair shot.  Just getting onto the boat was a bit trickier than the cat where we could just step from the dock onto the deck area.  I’m not sure how the dogs would accomplish this, or how I would at 6am leaving for work, either.

IMG_1085

We made it onboard without incident and were impressed with the large and open cockpit.  Definitely a pleasant surprise.  However, one look at the steps leading down in to the living quarters below changed my mind.  These things were like a swim ladder and went straight down.  Trying to maneuver them, I thought I was about to go straight down too.  How would we get the dogs down there?  This boat was definitely not for us.

IMG_1084

We liked the bright and open living room area and the layout of the galley kitchen.  The upholstery and teak were well maintained, especially for a boat that was nearly 8 years old.

IMG_1082

IMG_1081

Another con to this boat was the extremely narrow hallway that lead thru the kitchen to the master bedroom & bath.  I’m sure that section would be seeing a lot of traffic and turning to make room for another human or dog could get tiring pretty quickly.  The bedroom itself was spacious, but had very little storage and a small bath, especially when compared to the cat we had just seen.  Another bummer was that the clearance on the doorway was much lower than the ceilings.  I actually scraped the top of my head twice while passing thru. The list of potential injuries were racking up quickly on this particular boat.

IMG_1079

In the end, we decided that a catamaran was definitely the right choice for us.  Just looking at boats was so exciting and confirmed that we are making the right choice to sell it all and begin a new adventure.  Can’t wait to see more!