November, 2016 – February, 2017
In November, 2016, we left Colorado. It was a very long, stressful, and emotional process for Angie. Leaving a place that has been our home for over 25 years and the friends we have made there took a bit. Moving onto the boat full time was actually going to happen. We could start our circumnavigation. It just didn’t seem real (and still does not).
We have been planning this for the last 10 years. And, admittedly, Angie stopped being excited about it and reading everything she could get her hands on, about 2 years ago. She got tired of reading everyone else’s adventures. We were not getting any younger, and Angie’s motorcycle accident in 2015 didn’t help, neither physically nor financially. The medical bills sucked up an entire year’s budget. The reefs that we want to visit and dive are dying.
All of the planning in the world does not mean anything if major pieces of the puzzle do not work out. Again, Angie got in a funk. For us, we had to sell everything. Angie found it very difficult to manage rental properties while not having consistent, decent phone and internet. So, it was with great surprise when we actually had two parties contact us about buying our last home in the same week in September. It was unlisted, and we were gearing up to turn it over to another property manager since the person running it as a B and B had issues making consistent rental payments. That piece of property was a huge piece of the puzzle, and it sold.
One work project also still hung over our heads that needed to be completed. With having to go back and take care of that, it still feels like we are not able to actually and officially GO.
Mark flew back to Colorado for 10 days in December. The project was still not on schedule, nor could our part be completed. He now needs to go back again.
So, that has dictated how far we can go until we need to find a safe hiding spot for Uno Mas for the upcoming hurricane season. Angie was going to stay on the boat while Mark went back to Colorado, taking care of the kitties. Well, the job scope was changed, with more add-ons, and both kitties died. We had a feeling Mean Kitty wasn’t going to be sailing with us this season, but having Nice Kitty go unexpectedly, well, just really sucks. So, Angie will be going back with Mark, to make sure he gets the job completed and there will be no going back. This then also lead to finishing another job in Chicago and going back to Ohio for a few days with family, all during hurricane season. We do not like the idea of leaving the boat for any length of time, especially during hurricane season. We had to pay an additional boat insurance premium because we would be north of 10.5 degrees Latitude, our boat insurance’s cut off for the hurricane zone. And, we will be leaving it in a place that has seen hurricanes. The concern is great.
Where to go, leave the boat, and feel it will be safe? We are not going to go back to Florida again, so it needs to be someplace South. Being in Florida, makes us hemorrhage money and so does travelling across the USA in an RV. We are on a very fixed and tight budget for the next few years, with no income rolling in to help offset any of the expenses. Our grandiose plans when we left Colorado in November was to get through the Panama Canal in Apr/May, 2017, then Galapagos , Easter Island, Pit Cairn, French Polynesia, and be in New Zealand by October to weather out the cyclone season. However, now that Mark needs to fly back, we could not go to New Zealand. The time he needs to fly back would be in the middle of trying to cross the Pacific. So, we altered plans and decided to stay in the Caribbean until Spring, 2018. To hide from hurricanes in the Caribbean, we need to be South. A lot of boaters leave their vessels in Grenada. So, we are looking at there or in the ABC’s (Aruba, Bonaire, or Curacao), Columbia, or Panama. We have been to Bonaire multiple times diving and have also vacationed in Curacao. Aruba is easy to fly in and out of. So, we are leaning towards there. Grenada is having problems with a lot of crime against boaters. We are seriously questioning whether we want to leave our boat there or not. Columbia and Panama have some concerns as well, but not as bad as Grenada. So, we shall see where we actually end up. Columbia is the only place our insurance company would actually cover us without the additional premium.