Monday, March 30, 2009

Welcome to Our Blog

I can't believe it. After four years of planning we are finally in the last stages of preparing to set out on the adventure of our lives. Sometime around the middle of August of this year we will be taking our boat, Blue Blazes, from her home in Midland, Ontario and sailing her down to the Bahamas (or maybe further).

Preparing for this adventure has been a trip in itself. First of all we needed to approach our employers on the possibility of getting a year off. I have been working on a program called "4 over 5" in which my employer will hold 20% of my salary for 4 years and on the 5th year get a leave of absence pre-paid. It's a sweet deal. Unfortunately Harley's employer didn't offer this program but when he approached them this January about taking a year leave of absence starting this August, it was approved with their blessing. We are so very grateful to both of our employers for helping us make our dream become a reality and, given the current economic times, we feel very lucky too.

To help us reach our goal we sold our house last year and purchased one less expensive. By doing this we were able to cash in on some equity, which gave us more financial security. The next thing will be trying to find a couple, or family, that I can trust to rent our home for a year. This, I (and not so much Harley) am quite concerned about. That, and who will look after our beloved cat Rocky. I would bring him with us but I just know he wouldn't fair too well on a trip like this. So, if anyone knows anyone who would like to babysit a cuddly and loveable cat let me know.

Blue Blazes is a 1985 CS36 Traditional, shoal draft, sailboat, which, in my opinion, is just big enough. We have had her for 4 years and have been getting her ready for this expedition since day one. Given our limited budget, spreading the cost of all the creature comforts, safety items, and spare parts over the past 4 years has made these expenses more manageable. Most of the large expenses have been taken care of and now we just need to attend to the fine details.

That's the money side of things.....the boring stuff. Mentally, we have been preparing for decades. With all the books and cruising guides we have read, charts we have studied, videos we have watched, seminars we have attended, and trips we have taken, we are more than ready. Let's get this show on the road...or should I say water.

Hope you can join us on this journey. It should be a good ride.