Sailing through life, wherever the winds take us

Recent Posts

In Hot Water

In Hot Water

The hot water heater will probably give me nightmares for the rest of my life.  Ok, that may be a tad overdramatic. But for real, the water heater was the WORST part of the renovation. Originally we had a 5 gallon electric water heater, which […]

And So the Remodel Begins…

And So the Remodel Begins…

When we bought this place, the plan was to gradually renovate it into our dream home. We failed at the “gradual” part. As we started taking stuff apart, we just had to dive in headfirst. This meant that we have been so busy with improvements […]

Oh, Canada!

Oh, Canada!

I have been wanting to visit Banff National Park for ages. So I finally got Tyson to just schedule some time off, and we took a road trip. Our originally trip was intended to be a big loop from Utah to Oregon/Washington, then Vancouver, BC, over to Banff, then back home, with a stop in Yellowstone on the way. The day before we were supposed to leave however, we were looking at the budget and decided that it would be better financially for us to just go straight up and back down. We will do the other half of the trip another time. Regardless of the shorter trip, it was still amazing. We learned a few things along the way.

Yellowstone isn’t dog friendly. You would think an outdoor park would be animal friendly but there was almost NO WHERE that we could take the dogs. I understand not allowing them on the boardwalks, but they aren’t allowed on any trails. This was frustrating, since we had Olive and Panda with us. If you are planning to visit Yellowstone, leave your pups at home.

Dogs enjoying Calgary after being stuck in the car for most of the trip in Yellowstone

Bozeman, Mt is extremely RV friendly. Specifically the Walmart. Many Walmarts allow overnight RV parking, but usually you see 1-2 other RVs. There were at least 20 in the parking lot in Bozeman. It was awesome. Idaho Falls, ID was fairly welcoming as well.

Print your Banff pass ahead of time. Ok this one comes with a disclaimer. We didn’t have a way to print our pass, but we didn’t get ticketed or booted or anything. That said, when you pay for your pass (which we did) it says to print it out and put it on the dashboard. We were able to sneak by without it, but if you are concerned about following the rules to a T, print it off before you leave.

In off season the parking lot to Lake Moraine doesn’t close so early. We were told that once the parking lot fills up, they shut the whole road to the lake down. During peak season, this happens before sunrise. We were there by 5am to make sure that we could get in. It didn’t fill up until around 9am. I would still recommend going early, but maybe not AS early as we did.

Don’t forget an extra blanket. This was just our being dumb. We were sleeping in the car. And only brought 1 blanket. That was NOT enough. We had to buy a second one at the next store. Which ended up being Bozeman, MT, because there were no home good stores between Idaho Falls and Montana. So don’t do what we did.

Don’t forget to winter. Again, our dumb. It’s been summer so long that we forgot how to winter. We brought coats and boots… but no hats or gloves. Don’t be us.

Siri doesn’t always know what the heck she’s doing.  Exhibit A. 

Canada doesn’t do fountain drinks. We like to refill our soda/coffee cups when we travel to save money, and save environment. Apparently Canada doesn’t believe in refill because there were very few places that offered fountain drinks. Coffee was more easily found, but still sparse. Not the end of the world, but something to keep in mind and budget for.

Canada is known for it’s meats. EAT THE MEAT. We try not to eat much meat, but we had to try the elk burgers, and don’t regret it in the slightest. Best burger I have ever eaten at The Rock.

We learn new things every time we travel. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but we always learn, and never regret it.

A Complete 180

A Complete 180

I promised you an update. Cutting to the chase, we are staying in Utah. After driving back and forth to CA multiple times, we realized that it was more than we wanted to do in order to see our kids twice a month. As hard […]

All Is Not Lost…

All Is Not Lost…

As crushed as we were to have to pass on Magic Feather, there was a small silver lining. While researching the value for our offer, we found another Lancer 36, located in San Diego, with an asking price of $19500. The thought crossed our minds […]

The Offer

Making an offer on a boat is scary. It’s a lot like making an offer on a house. Except, in our case, without the expertise of a broker to guide our offer.

We really didn’t want to offend Toni and David, but we did want to get a fair price. We researched. Looked for what other Lancers were being sold for, looked for values on the NADA guides (think KBB for boats), priced all the “upgrades” out so that we could offer what we felt was fair.

Asking price was $32000.

We offered $26000.

I was terrified to look at my phone after I sent the message with our offer. Even after seeing Toni reply back, we didn’t read it for a bit. Too scared of what it would say.

But eventually, it had to be read.

Rejected. Flat out. No counter offer, no wiggle, nothing.

I don’t fault them for it. They just want to get what they feel she’s worth. But it did hurt a bit that they were unwilling to be flexible or meet halfway.

We waited a bit to respond. Thanked them for a wonderful day of sailing, but that we would have to pass.

It was a sad day.

Buying a Boat… Again.

Buying a Boat… Again.

Remember how much I didn’t like this process before? Yeah… I still don’t like it. It’s exhausting and an emotional rollercoaster. After sailing Magic Feather, we were in love. But our head and logic couldn’t forget Kalimba in Long Beach. Magic Feather had the love […]

Vancouver and Magic Feather

Vancouver and Magic Feather

After our disaster of a weekend looking at boats in California, we were not entirely looking forward to traveling to Canada to look at another boat. Not that there was anything wrong with it, but having the last boat sold out from under us really […]

Common Courtesy, Not So Common

Common Courtesy, Not So Common

This weekend we learned that you can’t buy decency (Thank you for the quote, Steven)

Friday afternoon, I was browsing Facebook, as I do, when I came across a boat shared to a sailing group that I am in. A 39’ Yorktown, listed for $16k. If you aren’t familiar with sailboats, that’s a screaming deal. According to the listing, most systems work, and pictures were recently taken and all looks pretty good. Get in touch with the seller, clarify which systems don’t work (primarily hooking up some electrical, which we can do after re-wiring Intrepid), and decide to take an impromptu road trip out to California to take a look at her.

The seller wasn’t showing the boat until Sunday morning, so we left Saturday to be able to get there early Sunday and head home after. We only have Cole this weekend because Kyle had work, so we packed up the Beast (our big SUV) and headed out.

Our plan was to set up our air mattress in the back and sleep in the car somewhere. Which was a great plan… until we got about 2 hours down the road and realized that we had left the air mattress under the trailer. Oops. My bad. One trip to Walmart later, we had another mattress (and it fits better in the back than the one we left, so I guess it’s not the worst thing), and we were back on our way.

After we got to L.A. (well, Wilmington actually) we went in search of the marina, so that we could make sure we knew where it was the next morning, since we had somewhat limited time, and we wanted to be one of the first to see it. Our GPS didn’t seem to know where it was taking us at first, and we ended up driving around the shipping docks of L.A. for a bit. Which was kind of cool, but also a bit sketch. Turned around, found food, and then double checked the navigation. Figured out that we had been close, just on the wrong side of an inlet. Which was cool because it meant that we could go over this amazingly cool bridge. Which was way more terrifying than cool when we were on it. It was super high, and I was scared. But we made it across, and found the marina around 7pm.

We thought about just parking in the marina parking lot to sleep, but the bathrooms had to be opened with a key, which we didn’t have. So we texted the seller and let them know we had found the marina and we would see him in the morning.

Now to find a place to sleep.

Since we have been considering a nomadic boon docking life with an RV, we have been doing a lot of research, which was helpful because we have found a couple resources for free parking/camping locations. But, we were in L.A. and there were none for over 30 miles. Next best option… Walmart parking lot.

It took a bit to get settled in, between feeding and watering the dogs, and multiple trips into Walmart for stuff we forgot, but we finally had the bed set up in the back and we were able to relax for a bit.

And then, at 10:30 pm, I got the text.

The boat that we had driven all that way to see, had sold. He got an offer he couldn’t refuse.

I was baffled and pissed.

He knew that we were there, we could have taken a look that night, but he sold it to someone else. Even after we had told him we were coming from Utah to see it.

Who does that? How does he know we wouldn’t have made a better offer? WHAT A JERK!!!

The seller tried to say he was sorry, but I’ll be honest, I wasn’t super receptive. Tyson talked me down from sending a barrage of angry texts, so I settled to cursing him in my mind and wishing bad karma on him.

Though quite deflated, we still went back to the marina the next morning, in hopes of being able to walk some of the docks and see a few other boats. There were a few yacht broker offices in the area, surely one of them would be around, and they could show us some boats that fit our criteria. Plus there was a cafe for breakfast right on the water, so at least we could eat.

(Shout out to the Marina Cafe, by the way, for being super dog friendly. They even had a dog menu. 10/10, would recommend)

Turns out, there were no yacht brokers to be seen, whether because it was Sunday, or cause they just aren’t there all the time, I don’t know. But we did see a for sale sign, and there were people on the boat milling about. Tyson flagged them down and we were able to take a look.

It was a Coronado 35, also for $16k. And really the first “big” boat that we have been able to physically see in our search for a boat. It’s amazing how different boats can look in pictures than in person. For better or worse.

The boat wasn’t a bad boat. High, center cockpit, with a lot of room below. The aft berth had a king bed! That’s bigger than the bed we had had at the house. Not something you usually see on a 35’ boat. It was in good condition, just a bit old and dingy. And tall. But overall, just not that thrilling. Coronado reviews online weren’t great either, so it just wasn’t the boat for us.

While we were checking out the Coronado, we told the owner, Al, about the boat we came out to see, and the situation with it being sold. He said he knew the boat, and had friends that looked at it and said it was trashed. That made us feel a little bit better. Knowing it probably wouldn’t have been the boat for us anyway helped, though we still would have liked to have had the option to make that decision ourselves.

Al also suggested we check out the Shoreline Marina down the road, because they are more open to live aboards, so we headed over.

Shoreline is a huge marina, especially compared to our little marina on the Great Salt Lake. We walked around, and talked to the marina management to get info on slips. Live aboard wait list is 3 years. Blah. But at least we know.

There was one more boat that I had my eye on online, that happened to be in the Shoreline Marina. A Catalina 36. We like Catalinas. I called the broker who was selling it, and he was able to re-work his schedule to come show it to us. Thank you, Lon!

She was beautiful. Legitimately everything we could ask for in a boat. New upholstery, new bottom job, tons of upgrades. Pretty much perfect. And in our price range. Even better.

If we were more impulsive, we probably would have put down an offer then and there. But logic rules out, and we have another appointment for another boat in Washington next week, After that, we may put in an offer on her, but we owe it to ourselves, and the other sellers to keep our appointment.

All in all, it ended on a good note. It wasn’t a total waste of time, we were able to see some boats, get a feel for the marinas in the area, and see the ocean. And we *may* have found our girl. Stay tuned for next weekends adventures.

Changes

Changes

I know it’s been a while. I apologize. We have had a LOT going on the last month, and I haven’t been in the mood to write, or really do much of anything. But I have a minute and we are slightly settled down, so […]


My Diary

Post ID:

I know it’s been a while. I apologize. We have had a LOT going on the last month, and I haven’t been in the mood to write, or really do much of anything. But I have a minute and we are slightly settled down, so it’s time to update on the changes.

We left Intrepid for the summer. The flies got to us. I spent a lot of time feeling depressed and defeated that we couldn’t deal with them, but once the air conditioner went out because it was so clogged with flies… That was my last straw. We will re-evaluate at the end of the summer when the flies are not so bad, and go from there.

So where are we living now?

In this, “Mr. Nomad”.

A 1975 20′ camp trailer that we got for $2000. Since he’s older than Tyson, he’s got some issues, but overall, for the price, we are content. We are currently parked in the driveway of Tyson’s step-moms.

Me being who I am, my main priority was fixing up the interior to make it more comfortable and pretty and bring it out of the 70s. This meant new paint, which was a 3 day project for me and my kids while Tyson was on a business trip, contact paper on the counters to make them look new, peel and stick back splash “tile”, and new flooring. There is still a bit to do, including some touch ups on the paint, and the ceiling needs to be fixed/replaced, but I am much more comfortable here now that it’s nice and new and clean.

Tyson being who he is, his priority was the systems. We set it up to be able to go off grid, so that we can, in theory, park anywhere that we have service (since we work though our phone internet), and we will be good. New bank of batteries, and 4 solar panels. We also have a window fan to try to combat the heat, though at the moment, it’s drawing more power than we are getting from the panels. We don’t know if this is because we have the panels set up in series rather than parallel, but we might adjust it to see if we can get more out of it. But we are self sustaining, if we are careful with our power, and water.

What are our plans for the future?

Honestly… we don’t know. We may go back to Intrepid in a month or so, and continue with our original plan of looking for a big boat on the coast (we’re actually looking at a boat in the Pacific Northwest next weekend). We may buy a plot of land and park the trailer on it, and build a tiny house on it, and then Airbnb the trailer out, and eventually the tiny house as well when we retire to a boat in 10 years, rather than next year. Or we may buy an RV and travel North America. Or maybe just find a cheap small house and stay here.

Moving from the boat to the trailer has really made us reconsider all our options. I still want to move back to Intrepid, Tyson is a bit more apprehensive, but we are open to seeing what will be best for us.

There you have it. Where we have been, and where we are going (sort of). Hopefully the next update won’t be so far out.

Until then, we’ll keep breezing by.