We have a lot on our minds these days. Finally, we feel like the craziness of Covid has all but disappeared - sure we still need to be safe; but I think it's coming to an end, an endemic not pandemic. Just in time for the weather to get nice once again.
Over the last few months, we have started selling and donating our possessions, as well as getting our land home ready for sale. This has proven to be a huge task; it is interesting in the things we humans like to collect or the things that have special familial meaning to us. We hold on to these things, stash them in the attic only to find them still stashed away, covered in dust eight years later. In our home, we have a China problem! And not the country, China; but instead, five full sets of family heirloom China. China does not do well in a sailing environment, the heeling and the crashing over waves would utterly destroy any form of "fragile-ware". We have multiple sets of grandparents China and great-grandparents China and great-great-grandparents China, plus my wife's set of China... What to do? People nowadays don't understand it, if it doesn't have Twitter or TikTok in its description then it's not even worth them spending time on it. It is hard because, these people were a part of our lives. My grandmother just passed away last year, over a hundred years old. Another recent item that I received from my grandfather, who passed a few years ago over a hundred years old, was his first toolbox that he used while searching for oil in the south; it is fashioned out of an old dynamite box. Nothing sturdier than that, but is Canada customs going to be okay seeing a box in my boat that is labeled DANGER: Dynamite? I think not. And let's not even think about re-entry into the states - where if you have an apple, you had better quick eat the evidence.
My wife is taking early retirement from the state on the absolute first day she is eligible, which is at the end of August. She will be taking leave that she has saved up from June 1st to August 31st. I will continue to work until we sell our land home. Most of the summer will be made up of practice, practice, practice. In the fall we will be moving Karma "on to the hard" to work on some necessary offshore improvements including a re-rig and do some necessary maintenance, such as maintaining though-hulls, painting the hull, install new standing rigging, install new running rigging, install a watermaker, backup bilge pump, composting toilet, and install a long-range way to communicate. I may be attending (waitlisted) the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding in October for the Marine Sciences course (Electrical, Diesel, & Plumbing). We also will be living aboard all this time, once our land home is sold and the boat is paid off.
But first, we have a really exciting little trip planned in early April. A really incredible woman is going to come aboard Karma and go sailing with us for several days. Her name is Nancy Erley (http://tethyoffshore.com/my-story/about-nancy/) and she has circumnavigated the globe TWICE in her Orca 38 sailboat. I already had a lot of experience sailing growing up, so the ASA course we took in 2020 was kind of a refresher for me. But it was more of an "Intro to sailing" for Rochelle and even though she aced the tests, she says she needs more hands-on instruction. Nancy's primary task will be to come aboard and teach Rochelle how to master the art of sailing Karma; I will be the crew for this journey. We both need to be skilled enough to handle Karma solo, in case one of us becomes incapacitated or gets a bad case of seasickness.
Nancy has since come aboard and departed Karma. My next blog piece will be on the incredible journey we had with her aboard and some of the many things we learned.