Monday, January 15, 2018

Quinquennial Blog Post

I learned a new word today!  quinquennial means five years.  Since I haven't posted for almost five years, I will make this my quinquennial post!  :)

I am excited to report that we are really getting closed to achieving our goal of becoming retired sailing cruisers!  We hatched this plan back in 2006.  For more info, see my post from June 12, 2012:

At this point, we live aboard a 30' O'Day and rent out our house (Ravens House).  

On the same property (aka Ravens Camp) we are building Ravens Cottage, a small 420 sq ft cottage with loft.  This should be complete in Spring/Summer of this year!  We will be renting this out as well.  

We live very inexpensively aboard but we have incurred a lot of debt getting these houses complete.  Once we have both rental incomes coming in, we plan to work for one more year (or so) to pay down debt and then refinance all remaining debt into one loan with a manageable payment.  We estimate that we will have $1000 to live off per month after all debts are paid and after deposits into Property and Boat maintenance accounts.  That's until Social Security kicks in about 7-10 years from now.  

This will will make for a tight budget for our first years of sailing, but should be workable if we have a sailboat that is off-the-grid and self-sufficient and we spend these years in Mexico, and South/Central America.   I have a small retirement account that we plan on emptying out to buy a slightly larger and much more capable blue water cruising sailboat. 

So, if everything goes according to schedule (ha!)  We should be retired and on our way in 2019 or 2020 at the latest!  Only a couple years away!  

Hopefully I will be giving you a Casting Off the Lines blog in the next couple of years.  

Safe Travels! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Carroll Inlet

Had an awesome two nights in a little cove just north of Osten Island in Carroll Inlet.  We didn't get any sailing in...just relaxing and exploring.  I dropped my crab pot three different places and only caught one undersized crab.  He was about 6" across and looked old.  He had lost some pieces of his legs long ago and had barnacles on his claws!  Funny old fellow.  It was fun to gently handle and measure him...and determine his sex (you can only harvest males).  Then we let him go.

It was nice and warm the first two days.  We paddled around in our dinghy exploring.  There were lots of little critters in the water that kinda looked like sea slugs.  I named them Joe and lost count of how many Joes I saw...probably a hundred.  He was really cute.  He stuck his foot to the side of the bucket and started cleaning/eating with his huge mouth.

We got in a little target practice with Robert's six shooter and at night heard wolves howling...I was happy to be cozy in my boat when those wolves howled.  I think wolves are the scariest critter in Alaska...much scarier than bears.

Here are some pics from one morning.  The water was so still it provided a wonderful reflection.


Friday, September 13, 2013

A Time to Kill

I just made my first kill.  I had never killed anything other than a bug or spider before.  But I am a meat eater and for years have felt uncomfortable that I let others do my killing for me and just buy the tidy packages from the store.  

I killed a quickly and humanely as possible.  My heart was in my throat as I sawed the knife through its body.  I thanked the world for its provision and apologized to the fish for its discomfort.  Now I will use the fish as bait in my crab trap.  Next I will kill a crab. 

The most distressing thing about it is that I am not as distressed as I imagined I would be.

We are off to Carroll Inlet tomorrow (here in SE Alaska).   Watch out crabbies!

Monday, August 5, 2013


Every day I think:  I need to sit down and write a blog post.  Everyone will think we gave up our dream, didn't meet our goals.  But then time slides sideways...always laughing at me around the next corner ahead, and I don't get it done.  So, this morning, I thought I would just write a quickie...better than nothing?  Perhaps.  :)

Looking back at my posted plan last May, I see we have kept the spirit if not the letter of it.  We now are living aboard a 30' 1980 O'Day sailboat!!!!  We are still in Ketchikan, still working our 9-5 jobs, but we are learning and saving for the day we can cast off for parts unknown.  We also have finished and rented out our log home, which was always the plan.

Gotta run!   I see time just ahead....

Friday, June 15, 2012

Faun Fables - Eternal

I love this clip.   The song is great by Faun Fables, but it doesn't even start until 2 minutes into this clip.  It turns to English at about 30 seconds in, so hang on. 

This is a show in Israel interviewing Faun Fables who are known as "Freak Folk" musicians from Oakland, California.  It's like oil and water between the interviewer and the band at first.  Then they jam together!   Hilarious, as well as a chance to spread the cool song, Eternal.

"I want what is not easy, love me without adornments..."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Piana - Moon And Cello

Lovely music off Piana's album Ephemeral.  I just love all the different music I discover on Pandora!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Education, Vacation, & the Path Forward!

 My husband and I just returned two weeks ago from an amazing trip....more of a "life event" than just a vacation.


The first week we spent taking a sailing course at the Blue Water Sailing School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  We lived aboard a 43' sailboat for 6 nights along with two other students and a captain/instructor. 

This was school, not a charter where you lay about the boat all day.  9am - 5pm each day we were in "class" although it was learning as you are doing.  We were jibing and triangulating and docking and anchoring and tying knots and doing man overboard exercises and chart plotting.  There were three 100 question exams.  It was a stressful, fun, and fantastic week.


After our week with the Blue Water Sailing School, we flew to

for a week of hammocking and snorkeling.  This is a funky, casual, social, super fun place is you like things laid back and quiet.  There are 21 units right on the beach and no nightclubs, shopping, high-rises, etc.  Here is our bungalow on the beach.

we went for the swimming and white sands which we got in abundance. 

However, we found more there than we were expecting: Friends!   We met some wonderful, down-to-earth, introspective, joyous people there.  What a great bonus! 


As many of you know, my husband and I have had a dream of living aboard a sailboat and sailing from place to place full time.  This is referred to as the "cruising" life.  However, neither of us had ever sailed!  So going to this school was our test to see if we really wanted to do it and if we really could physically and mentally achieve it. 

And the answer is......


So, next we have to figure out how to get from where we are now:

 A couple working full time with
a mortgage and little savings

To where we want to be:

A couple living aboard a sailboat
 and exploring the world.

Yesterday I worked out a timeline for getting from point A to point B.  It goes in four steps:

1) Refinance house so that we have smaller payments. (Complete by Dec 2012)

2) Save money and build a small cottage on our property.  Move into small house and rent out large house. (Complete by Sep 2013)

3) Save money and purchase our sailboat!!!  Moor it locally, move aboard, and rent out both houses.(Complete by Sep 2014)

4) Save money and tie up loose ends, then start our journey! (Set sail by Apr 2015)

The trick is saving the $$$ of course.  We did very well on our first budget (see my first or second blog post).  We learned to live with less.  The new budget will be even leaner.  I am working on it now and then will meet with my husband for the negotiations. 

I have lots of ideas for extreme saving that many people may see as nuts...but I just can't work my entire life to buy all the junk the media says I need.  Instead, if we forgo all the little stuff that sucks money out of our pockets, we can really save a lot and go see the world!

Some savings ideas are:

  • Eliminate all beverage purchases.  We will be healthier just drinking water anyway. 
  • Have only one vehicle and use the bus lines
  • Get rid of cable tv and contemplate how much internet usage we really need
  • Get rid of my cell phone...we got by without it up to a few years ago.
  • Do not carry any credit that is charging everything off in full monthly
  • Buy clothes at thrift shops...make due with minimal clothing
  • Sell all of the knick knacks and stuff we have accumulated through a lifetime
  • Eat low cost, but health foods like making up soups and beans from scratch.
  • Do not purchase any pre-processed products.
  • Keep heat low and lights off as much as possible.
  • Conserve water...turn water off while soaping up in the shower.
  • Never purchase anything that is not on your shopping impulse purchases.
  • Keep a strict budget and follow it. 
There are lots of others.  I know you might think that the savings realized through these efforts is small, but together they add up. 

As I told a co-worker the other day, my personal brand of insanity isn't for everyone, but it definitely fits me!

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