Planning - The first week of the year was busy with getting estimates and planning our remaining chores. We also spent time on the Internet, trying to harness the power of the World Wide Web to let as many people as possible know about the availability of Long Passages. So far no solid leads, but as the say Down Under - It's early Days!
Big Estimates - After having lots of high quality work done in Thailand and Turkey, it was a shock to receive quotes in the US with labor rates of $70-100/hour - I almost thought we were in Italy!. We will examine our options, and probably revert to doing much of the work ourselves.
Unloading - One of our objectives has been to unload all non-essentials from Long Passages to get her back to her design waterline. So far we have unloaded perhaps 30 containers of books, souvenirs, clothes, and personal effects and have two small storage lockers stuffed to the gills. When we re-float her in a couple of weeks we expect her to float much higher.
New Paradigm - Speaking of floating higher, while at the Lauderdale Marine Center we watched a new paradigm being established as a 40' Container Cruiser was loaded into a box for shipment to Trinidad. No more bashing to windward, getting wet, worrying about storms, or doing any of those seamanlike activities - just take your 40' sailboat, remove the keel and mast, stick it into a container, and ship it. In this case it was going to Trinidad and thence to the Baltic. Perhaps I am too old-school, but it doesn't seem like cruising to me - most of our interesting and memorable experiences were unplanned and a little messy.
Back to Tallahassee - At the moment we are back at the other end of Florida for routine medical checks, and next week we head back south to..
Pick up a Motorhome - For years we have been making fun of the huge motorhomes in the US - and now we are in the process of acquiring one - like we had in Europe (and Australia). The catch is that overseas we were comfortable in an 18' motorhome, but in the US they only make them big so we have settled for a 30' RV, bigger than we have ever had but still smaller than most American RVs. Stay tuned for this new chapter...