Friday, May 31, 2019

Getting Settled

Day 3, May 31, 2019. 

Matt was up, showered and gone to return the U-Haul before I could drag myself out of bed. 

It was such a cozy warm sleep and it was grey and drizzly out, I didn't want to get up. 

The hot water bottles that our new friends lent us did the trick! Unfortunately Matt forgot his wallet so couldn't get coffee on his way back.. good thing the marina gives out coffee to customers! 

We don't have water, electricity or propane gas on the boat yet, so basically it's like camping. 

My day was mostly spent organizing and unpacking our items. And then trying to figure out the best place for everything. A lot of trial and error, and I know the next few months will be just learning where we like to keep things, which drawer, cabinet or shelf. For now, most things are somewhere. 

Matt spent most of his day taking off the rigging on the mast. The rigging is all the wires that hold the mast in place. We are going to bring it into Halifax and get it inspected. It's original so we'll likely have to get new rigging. 

We went into Chester to get groceries for lunch and dinner. Tonight we put up the dodger in the cockpit and wound up all the rigging to take into the shop tomorrow in Halifax. 

A good productive day indeed! 

Much chillier tonight so I'm dressed in multiple layers with my winter hat and neck warmer on too! Night night!

Favorite cozy spot on the boat.

My view this morning when I opened my eyes.

Morning coffee at the marina office.

Tai's Mark Twain poem displayed.

Removing the rigging is not easy.

ANJULIA SUE squeezed tightly between two friends.

There's our mast down.

Our galley (kitchen).

Dinner was soup in a can in the marina laundromat, the only warm place!

Tai's cozy bunk.

Aila's toys and books ready for her.

There's a table! Jersey tea towel hung on the wall, Tai's poem and a souvenir from Eritrea.

Need to find a better place to stow our ocean fishing rod.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Hello There Boat

Day 2, May 30. 

After an early breakfast stop at McDonald's, we powered through to Gold River Marina, NS. 

It took just over 8 hours but time went quickly with lots of podcasts and intermittent napping. 

We were reunited with our boat at 6pm local time and upon initial inspection, she looked pretty good. 

The scuppers were clogged with pine needles from the winter but we managed to unclog them easily. 

We then got into beast mode and unpacked the entire contents of the U-Haul and car onto the boat. Using a pulley that normally lifts the dinghy motor, we worked right up until it was dark. 

We found a Tim Hortons that was still open at 10pm for a quick dinner. 

When we got back to the marina, we met a lovely couple who were also living aboard their boat in the same boatyard! We climbed into their cozy boat, chatted and they lent us some hot water bottles to keep us warm tonight. We even exchanged boat cards!! 

I am now lying in our cozy bed, literally surrounded by boxes and bags and tools and food and I-can't-even-remember-what. Matt is drinking a beer and watching the end of the Raptors game. 

Tomorrow the real work begins.

Welcome to Nova Scotia!!

Hooking on yet another big load to be hoisted up.

Passing some boxes through the front hatch (window).

Late night dinner at Timmy's.

Ladder up to our boat.. a tight squeeze!

Now where's my toothbrush?!

The V-Berth where the kids will sleep.

Our cozy bed finally made... we just dropped into it. Tomorrow we unpack.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

On Our Way!!!

Day 1, May 29. 

After an escort onto the highway by Kam Wong we headed east, driving about 7 hours until Ingall Fort. 

Beautiful countryside and views of the St Lawrence, the drive was smooth and uneventful. 

We relaxed in the Fort's barracks for the night (made a bonfire and played the piano!), and as we were the only guests, we had the choice of a couple dozen bunks! 

Highly recommended (cheap) airbnb option if you're passing through. 

On the road already this morning.... 8 hrs' drive and 1 hour time change to go until we get to the boat!! 

Goodbye Dad!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Thanks Ottawa - It's Been Fantastic!

I'd like to think of our time right up to leaving Ottawa as Phase 1 of our boat adventure. 

This phase I call: Preparation. 

Many tasks went into this phase: renting our home, dealing with all things administrative and financial, phasing out of our jobs, attending sailing-related and off-shore safety courses, attending to medical and educational matters, and many other major ticket items that is necessary to leaving land life.

What would you take?

Wrapping up our work freed up a lot of mental space in our brains to then focus on the move itself. 

It felt extremely liberating to wake up on our first day of unemployment, but I did feel a greater sense of responsibility than ever before!

The last few days before departure were hectic, but strangely enough, Matt and I felt no rush and totally confident that everything would fall into place. And they did!

Tai's Clothes for the Boat
Maybe it's because we've done so many moves before that we are accustomed to this kind of transition. 

Or maybe we figured, there is just no sense to stress out because everything that needs to get done, will get done.

We have both gotten very good at specializing in certain tasks and I'd like to think we communicate well. 

We tend to 'check in' with one another at least once each day by phone. We'll also 'debrief' with one another at the end of the day right before bed. Just so we know we have moved a bit closer to the finish line. 

Sharing an email address and calendar helps a LOT too!

So in our last week in Ottawa, we had my out-of-town cousins visit, I met some friends for lunch, my dear colleagues at OCISO took me out for a delicious Ethiopian dinner, Aila had her Sparks graduation, I managed to squeeze in one last massage, we cheered my sister, Anice, on her first marathon (amazing accomplishment!!!!!) and our friends held a great big farewell party for us. 

It was so lovely to see some of our closest Ottawa friends all in one place. 

We have been in Ottawa for exactly 5 years and there are some very special bonds that we have formed over the years. 

Aila's clothes for the boat.

Some of them got up and said some truly sweet words about us. It was so touching to hear... and a little awkward! 😄

We got our U-Haul trailer 2 days before departure day, and we managed to load it all without much trouble. 

In fact, we didn't fill the entire trailer but I suppose having more space is always better than trying to squeeze in every last item.

Tomorrow, on the morning of May 29th, 2019, Phase 2 will begin. 

I'll call it: Move On-board and Prepare Boat.

Only Matt and I will be driving out to drive out to Chester, Nova Scotia, towing the rented U-Haul truck. 

We have given ourselves 2 days to cover the distance, so if all goes well, we will be sleeping aboard Anjulia Sue the night of May 30th. 

Tai and Aila will be staying with some friends for a couple of nights in the local neighbourhood. 

The Dreaded Tupperware Sort-out!

Then they'll be with Gong Gong until all 3 of them are scheduled to fly out to Halifax on June 10th.

This will give Matt and I some very precious time to move on board and get started on the long list of boat jobs that we have to do. 

I'm sure there will be some surprises and other jobs added to our list. It's in at the deep end for sure!

We aren't sure how long Phase 2 will last. As long as it takes to get the jobs done!

Especially those that require the boat to be out of the water. The jobs that we can complete whilst in the water, we'll probably not prioritize so highly. At least that's what we're thinking. Honestly, who knows?!

Phase 3 will be: Launch Boat and Learn to Live on the Water. 

This will bring other elements of learning and applying new skills like navigation, handling our boat (sailing, steering, anchoring and docking) our boat, and generally being more self-sufficient than ever, but still being able to go ashore if we want.

Phase 2 and 3 are a complete mystery to us since we have never been full-time live-aboards before. 

Well, we could not have asked for a better send off from our Ottawa friends and family. Now it's GO time!

Yummy Ethiopian Dinner with Colleagues

Farewell Party Brought to you by: Lillian, Karen & Sheree!

Packed and ready to unload on the other side