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So, the biggest questions I have gotten after the holiday season are,
1) Did you go see your boat over the holiday?
2) What are your next steps? What do the next six months till you head to the boat look like?
The first question is easy to answer. We did not go to Florida. While there certainly are projects we could have started, we would not be able to complete them at this time. One Life is secure and winterized, and will be there in June. Additionally, there other things in this country, so it was an easy decision to head to south for the holiday. We will wait until the end of the school year to head back to One Life, and prepare to start the journey of our next life.
What are we going to do until the end of the school year? There’s actually quite a bit to do. On the boat front, our youngest has signed up for both a Coastal and a Celestial Navigation course. Sandy and I will follow along, but he’s the one who will take the classes and the tests for certification. These certifications will open doors for him should he decide to do more sailing or become a Captain after he leaves One Life. Reading charts, plotting courses, and navigating by the stars are all very important skills. While we have some basic skills from both the ASA103 and ASA104 courses, there is a definite opportunity for growth in this area.
Another big thing related to boat life is that the three of us will be taking a diesel engine maintenance course in February. There was a time in my life when I could, and did, change the oil in my car. I probably still could, but any more I defer engine maintenance to the experts. With the computerization of car engines, I’ve pretty much given up on that stuff. However, I don’t have that choice on the boat. We all need to understand how the engine works, how to change fuel filters, and be able to do some basic maintenance. If we are in the middle of the Pacific crossing to Fiji and we need to start the engine, and it doesn’t start, we’re it. There’s no expert to call and ask how do I do this. No access to the hive mind on Facebook or Google for help.
The Victoria Sailing School has a three-day diesel maintenance course that we will be taking next month. It’s in person, here’s an engine, figure it out kind of thing. Ok, I hope it’s a little more than ‘figure it out’, but yes, you need to trouble shoot, problem solve, and repair. Will this make us experts on diesel engines, no. But we will at least have an idea as to how things function and where to look for problems, yes. We’re looking forward it, and it will be a good weekend.
Beyond that, we’ve got the regular routines that we have now. Get ready for work, go to work and school, and take some weekend outings to keep things interesting. And as always, we keeping moving forward. We will also need to do some planning for Matthew’s graduation party, the closing of Sandy’s business, rehoming the remainder of our belongings, finding a permanent physical address, and plans for our vehicle and few belongings that don’t go to One Life with us now. We are also working on dog training. If you’ve ever known a Gordon Setter you know they are smart, really smart dogs, and pick up on things quickly. It’s easy to be intermittent with our training, but it’s imperative that Kona is solid on here, stay, and place before we are on a beach or sailing alongside our fellow ocean life.
We have also started to look at our power needs on One Life. We will have computers, phones, and tablets, kitchen appliances, along with the systems on the boat that require power. One Life currently doesn’t have a lot of solar, and we think we want to increase that. We need to determine our power needs and our solutions for power off grid. How many amp hours do we need to plan for? We’ve just started to look into that, so we don’t really have a great idea yet, but it’s a start. So, I suppose the other big thing we are dipping our toes into is the types of boat projects that need to happen and our timeline for completion.
In some ways there’s a lot going on. In other ways, there’s not much going on. I’ll tell you that we are all excited and ready to move forward. I won’t say we are in a holding pattern, because there’s more to it than that. But in some ways, it does feel like a holding pattern. One book that I am going to get and read is 4,000 weeks, Time Management for Mortals. It’s one that Sandy listened to after hearing Elena from La Vagabonde recommend it. In there, as Sandy explained it to me, it proposes the idea that we are time. So, all we can really do is make the most of every moment. Ultimately, our lives are the compilation of our moments and the decisions we make regarding our limited time on Earth. I think that’s what we are all trying to do as we move through the moments of each day.