The week before Memorial Weekend, I was in the San Francisco Bay Area where I had been for work. I spent that week catching up with colleagues and just connecting. Ever since I moved from California three years ago, my workmates have had a fascination for life in the South so I tend to use my “catch up” time sharing new stories of life on the water. After all, we bought our house on a private channel that opens to the Chesapeake Bay, which includes a 37’ Sea Ray Sedan Bridge and a couple jet skis and I’ve been known to go stand up paddleboarding before work starts – so there is always something interesting to share.
However, we knew at some point we would sell the power boat for a sail boat, we just didn’t know when. While I was at work in California, work friends kept asking me about the little puppy I had recently found – they wanted me to adopt the little cutie, but my standard reply was that I didn’t want to adopt any new pets, because I wanted to adopt a sailboat. When I got home, we opened a bottle of wine and started talking about what it really would take to make that dream a reality.
The next morning, we started combing through Yacht World looking at boats, specifically Hunter. The budget was fairly low to be honest. We are on a single income and have a hefty mortgage on this house on the water. Plus, the channel doesn’t accommodate any sailboat larger than a 42’.
As Sunday approached, we joined our fabulous neighbors for a BBQ and as we are all water people, conversation shifted very quickly to the summer season ahead of us being on the water. We shared the fact we were moving forward faster with the search for the perfect sailboat. We discussed Beneteau, Hunter, Island Packet and others. The best for blue water and the fact that size really does matter for an Atlantic crossing.
At one point, our friend Tim (who recently sold his sailboat in favor of a trawler and spends their winters cruising the ICW to the Bahamas) suggested we rent out the house and live aboard a boat full time. He said “you could sail down to South Carolina, stay for a month, then sail down to Florida. Your options would be amazing.” At the time, I dismissed the idea, but by Tuesday morning, the idea took hold and I convinced the better half to go big.
That day, we shifted our search criteria and instead of a monohull, we decided to look at the Lagoon Catamarans. We found several Lagoon 440 Owner’s versions and furiously crunching numbers, I found a way to make it all work – IF (and only if) – we could actually rent this house out. It all hinges on leasing this house to someone who a) needs a 4100 square foot house, and b) wants to live on the water. Trust me, this is a niche market in the city we live in.
On Wednesday, I remembered I had to get permission from my employer to live aboard a boat and outside the state I currently lived in. Unbelievably, she agreed – and she cleared it with her boss and the human resources folks. Pinch me now. This has to be a sign.
Speaking of signs, I have started to believe in them. Little signs pointing the direction you should go. Everything that had been happening up to this day were little signs. Finding the adorable little Yorkie on the side of the road and reconnecting her to her owner, when I could have kept her (that’s a long story for another time); talking to Tim and getting that idea; crunching the numbers; getting work approval. It’s almost as if this is the time – this is exactly the right time for us to make this change.