The Smaller Abode

We love our new home.  The apartment holds our belongings in a nicely laid out 825 sf floor plan.  The abundance of windows is lovely.  Being on the second floor, we keep the blinds open most days.

Downsizing was no easy task.  We downsized from a 1900 sf home to 1/2 the size.  Over the years we collected more ‘stuff’ than we ever could have imagined.  We were surprised because we don’t collect trinkets, collections, souvenirs and such.  But it was the books, the CDs, the gear, and all the materials required to maintain your home in good condition.

We started over a year before the house went on the market.  We were so proud of ourselves with the amount of ‘stuff’ we donated, gave away, sold, and trashed. Three months before we put the house on the market we completed the same exercise again but with no mercy.  At the end, more ‘stuff’ was removed from our ownership, we staged our home with our furniture, and we moved into our apartment.

We’ll be doing this exercise again when we moved onto the boat!

Let’s Take a look

It took three trips to St Petersburg, FL to conclude that Journey is the boat for us.  Chris went out first to view her after his CD business trip, April 22nd.  Two weeks later we flew out to spend all day on May 5th for Carrie to view Journey for her first time, be part of the Boat Survey, and to participate in the sea trial.  However, none of that happened on the 5th because weather delayed our outbound flight.  So we arrived in St. Petersburg the evening of the 5th.  Gratefully, the surveyor Lee Taylor, of Taylor Marine Surveying, had to returned Saturday to finish the survey.  We spent most of the Sunday with Lee as he completed his survey, educated us about the boat, and share a handful of tips.  I highly recommend Lee Taylor.  I hear sellers don’t like buyers to use him.  hee hee


Though we felt the boat was a go, for our own conscience we needed that ‘sea trial’.  So Chris went back to St. Petersburg May 20th.  Jonathan, (Journey’s owner), Chris, and Joe Z, our broker, of Preferred Yachts, went out to sail on Tampa Bay.  All went well even without wind.  Chris spent that time with Jonathan learning the ins and outs of Journey.  It was time well spent.

Thumbs up!  Let’s do this and become official boat owners.

Now where is that dotted line?

Counter Accepted … Yes!


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Sell the house. check.

Counter offer, counter accept, counter offer, counter accept … or something like that.  It was nerve-racking and very distracting as well.  But Molly, our Broker, keep us calm the best she can.  Molly Cleavenger, of Coldwell, was fabulous with supporting all our questions and representing what our needs and criteria were.   Molly listened to us, asked clarifying questions, and keep in touch often.  It was comforting we can contact her anytime we needed.

We wait through the closing process.  And still waiting,

and wait some more.

And then it’s here.  Cha Ching!  April 18th!  We are officially no longer bound by a mortgage payment.  To our surprise we found that was so freeing.

Hold on now as we move aggressively with finding a sail boat to buy.  We spent hours on the internet when Chris come across a nice surprise.  Wait! What!?!  What is this?  You say the boat in Florida decreased their sale price?  Get out!  FANTASTIC!  Let’s make an offer. Stay calm.  Don’t get your hopes up (ha – that was almost impossible).

Aaaaaaand   …. Offer accepted!  Cheers!

So let’s get this right.  We closed the house on the 11th, made an offer on a Tatoosh 42 on the 13th, and the offer accepted on the 14th.  I have one word … Whirlwind!  But Mama said it best; Scary Fun!

In retrospect we kept it simple; it really is simple math.  Our personal math equation is:

Sell House  =  Sailing Boat + Retirement

Enough said.


Seller accepts our offer on a Tatoosh 42


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Threes days after we closed on the sale of our house, our offer on a Tatoosh 42 was accepted.  You want to learn a bit about the boat?  Here is a great video walk through by our broker Joe Zammataro.

Designed by Robert Perry and built by Tashing this bluewater cruising sailboat is incredible condition and currently available for sale She is located Currently available for sale or Trade and located at my office at the Harborage Marina in St Pete  […]

via Tatoosh 42 Walkthrough By Joe Zammataro at Preferred Yachts — Boating Bay  

Additional information about Robert Perry’s boat designs:

We have said it before …


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… Boats grow on trees.  Just saying boats grow on trees is easier to say when you are not talking yourself out of a boat you THINK you want.  Just walk away – we would say.  There will be another.  There will be another boat just right for us.  Or at least we’ll get closer to the right boat.

Our first love was Summer Rose.  A Passport 42 that just knocked our socks off.  But the timing wasn’t right.  And here is doozie; why does the owner still have her listed for sale over a year later?  Just boggles my mind.

Then there were the boats up in Seattle, the Nordic 44, Passport 41, Passport 40, and Caliber 40.  Pretty nice but each came with their own problemo we didn’t want to adopt.

Oh, and I don’t want to forget the Norseman 400 that came from Hawaii.  She was roomy and so pretty!  It was that boat we came to realize as much as we love the Passports, the style of the Norseman felt roomier.  However, again our timing to buy did not a line because we haven’t sold the house yet.  But we did have the broker working with us – and he knew and respected our plan.

Let’s not forget the flash visit of the Slocum 42 in Marina del Ray, CA.   The boat showed well  online.  Chris flew down to view her … hmmm as he scratches his chin. No Go!

And we also had our eye on the Passport in BC.  But that didn’t pan out as the owner didn’t seem motivated to give more photos we asked for.

But the Tatoosh 42 felt great, she felt right. I almost said to Chris – I don’t need to see her. She feels good to me.  Just like when I enter the house for the first time – I wanted to buy it right there.  With the Tatoosh 42 I just wanted to get her home.

Patience is a virtue


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When is the right time to sell and get the most equity?IMG_4179


Watching the market is like watching water boil; the wait, the wait, or the wait, wait, wait.  It is concerning; particularly when I’ve heard a couple of brief remarks in the news that the seller’s market will top out sooner than expected.


Interviewing brokers/realtors can be compared to interviewing a car sales-person (but with more class).  Our first interviewee was wonderful and I was convinced we’d probably go with her.  The second interviewee struck us as rather silly and out of her posh territory.  Then our third was a good fit (beginning to sound like the the 3 bears).  We felt good with our meeting after she left the house.  Our second meeting with the third broker went so well for us we decided to hire her.  I felt we were in great hands.

After the house went on the market, the end of that weekend we had 9 offers on our house.  The long process of narrowing down the list to a shortlist of 3 was an exercise I had never experienced before.  There was more to consider than just the price.  We made our decision on a seller and after a long 10 days, the house sold and we relinquished any responsibilities on 18April17.

In the meantime, after living in the apartment the last two months, we have adjusted to the ease of the smaller abode.  I remember the first month we spent our free time sitting, reading, relaxing, catching up on a few movies, and slept as much as we can.  The release of responsibilities with living in the house you own took a bit to clear out of our minds.


Are you sure?


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Are we sure?  Is he sure?  Am I sure?  These questions need to have a similar answer in order for us to move forward in a cohesive and productive fashion that will also support our emotional well-being.  When you think about what will take place in the next two years, and what has already happened in the last three months, it could be a bit shocking, overwhelming, and perhaps so frightening that you would want to turn back to the place we know so well … comfort.

We have planned out the best we can and know there will be surprises we did not prepare for.  And there lies the adventure.  The growth.

My sensations ebb and flow when I think about our retirement plan. Selling the house. Buying a boat. Possibly finding a home for AB. Taking J with us. Selling everything we own. Sailing down the west coast.  It doesn’t sound complicated or is it.  When each phase is upon us, I know I will learn so much.

Yet, and I say yet, because that word can also contribute to the ebb and flow sensations I experience about the changes that will take place; I become elated when I share our future plan with others.  That, I believe, lies my truth and that brings me comfort.

Money – Plain and Simple

Last month we returned from a week long sailing trip with my brother-in-law and wife.  It was further down the Mexican West coast than I’ve been before.  To my delight the terrain was green with bushes and trees.  The water was glorious.  And the sea life was plentiful.  We had ourselves a great time.

We returned home and we had our typical response to our sailing vacations.  How much longer can we wait before we get our plan going?  Can we go earlier?  How much money do we “really” need to sustain our cruising? …  and more questions like that.  It happens each time we return from sailing.

This time, we sat down with the short term and long term budget and goals.   So much to factor in and still the unknown to factor in.  We do know the value of our house has exceeded our 2019 goal already.  That is certainly a plus that will come in handy now or later. The second half of that equation is how much more and would it cover the difference of leaving two years earlier?

It doesn’t matter how you look at cruising, it will come down to the money at some point.  Your money + your style of cruising = how much you need.  We are currently reading The Voyager’s Handbook – The Essential Guide to Bluewater Cruising by Beth A. Leonard.  Beth describes three types of cruisers, the Simplicity, the Moderation, and the Highlife.  According to her description our plans fall under the Moderations.  And now I wonder, can we cruise for less than the Moderation and much more than Simplicity and still enjoy ourselves?

Current numbers vs numbers in 2 years vs numbers in 4 years.  Can the house equity cover the 2 yr?  Stay tuned and we will let know when we find out.

~Fair Winds

One of my favorite words … Gear!

You know how with any new sport or activity you typically need to outfit yourself with correct gear. Whether it is running shoes if you plan to run that 10Ks, a paddle if you want to join that dragon boat team, a backpack and essential gear because you prefer to hike away from it all, a road bike if you decided to participate in cycling events, a swimsuit if you race in triathlons (note I already have the shoes and bike at this point), a cross bike for Cyclocross Races, and now boating gear!  There is always some kind of gear you need for most activities.  If you are like me, you like gear and may have collected a bunch over the past years.

For a couple of reasons I have slowly purged some of the above items over many year.  Reason #1: I’m not using them anymore.  Reason #2: and more importantly, I will not have room for said items on our boat.

But that didn’t stop me from purchasing more gear for my newest enjoyment; Sailing!  There is so much one can purchase to increase your enjoyment.  And then there is the minimum if you are willing to deal with a little discomfort.  I run kind of in the middle of these two measures.  However, I will purchase the necessities to stay safe on any boat.  My first was a PFD (personal floating device).  The purchase was in the mid-range of choices and I’m been happy with it’s performance.  We purchased it over 5 years ago.

I purchased a West Marine Off-Shore PFD and it has the harness so you can be lifted out of the water if necessary.  However, if you are looking for something for the in-shore, try this PFD may be what you are looking for.

My next post will share why I received my next sailing gear.

Happy Sails,



When I look at the home I see and feel more than I originally thought I would.  The word home carries many meanings depending on who you ask.

As a very new blogger I signed up for WordPress  Blogging U -Photography 101.  The course is supported by expert bloggers and photographers.  I look forward to the growth I’ll acquire and improve my sailing blog.

The first assignment is take a photo of our home.  Standing outside of my home, snap the photo, and download to here is not my answer.  Home:  the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.  – Webster.

We are familiar that living in one location permanently is uncommon these days. For myself, I come to believe that my home is within me.  I quote Johnny Cash, “home is where I hang my hat.’  Whether I travel near or far, I create a little temporary home that suits my senses.  It’s in my heart.  As a spiritual woman, hOMe would be where my alter is. So without further ado.



My ever evolving Alter of light and love.