Monday, June 11, 2007

Reversing course

We are still at the Clearwater Casino in Suquamish.

Trawlerfest was really good, at least for us. The seminars were informative and well-run, the boat exhibits had several good examples of what we are looking for, and we met several nice and interesting people. Considering the venue and the number of attendees, exhibitors, and boats, the staff also did a great job with the logistics, although I was a bit irked that some of the evening items, such as the charity auction on Friday night, happened after we had to leave on the last shuttle back to the casino. (To their credit, the staff was very responsive when I complained about this, making certain to complete closing ceremonies on Saturday prior to the last shuttle's departure.)

We have a list of take-aways and to-dos from the show, and are looking forward to attending another Trawlerfest in the next year or so. We also have a list of boats we'd like to look at, and we'll be tracking the other big shows to see if any of those will be helpful to us.

In response to several people who have written in about this: No, we are not just on the verge of buying a boat. It is, however, our plan to buy a boat as our next residence, whenever we decide to be finished with Odyssey. We don't have a timetable for this: we are very much enjoying our travels in Odyssey, and intend to continue them for the foreseeable future, quite probably for several more years. We're starting the boat research now for several reasons:
  1. We have a lot to learn about boats and boating. We certainly don't want to put it off until we are already on the water, and we also don't want to try to cram it in in the few weeks or months before we are ready to buy. Starting years ahead lets us study at a relaxed pace, and allows a certain amount of opportunism: we can go to shows and classes when they happen on a schedule and in a place that is convenient to our travels.
  2. Life is uncertain, and any number of unpredictable issues might bring an early end to our bus travels. This is certainly exacerbated by the problems inherent in owning a 21 year old bus for which parts in the US are becoming scarce. The day may come when we decide that we'd rather hit the water than try to keep Odyssey in full-timing condition, and, by starting now, we will be more ready if and when that time comes.
  3. Given the amount of attention Odyssey draws, I am also not ruling out the possibility that someone, somewhere, will see it and decide they absolutely have to have it. Everyone has his price, and there is a point above which any offer would prompt us to sell the bus, and move on to the next phase of our travels. Here again, by studying the market now, we will be more ready if that opportunity presents itself.
  4. Just as we bought a used bus, we will almost certainly be buying a used boat. The boats we are looking at today as factory-new will be among the boats that we will be looking at on the used market in a few years. By collecting new-boat specifications and details now, we'll have them on file when the boats show up used and their sellers may be inclined to embellish the details, or simply no longer have the factory information after, perhaps, a series of owners have had the boat.
Now that Trawlerfest is behind us, we will turn our attention back to busing. And, in that vein, I spent a good deal of time yesterday troubleshooting the TPS problem. Unfortunately, it did not prove to be anything simple such as bad wiring in the fix I made a few months ago. So we have decided that we need to head back to Kent, to the Detroit dealer there, for more detailed diagnosis. That puts an end to the plan we had to proceed northwest from here, over the Hood Canal and onto the Olympic Peninsula. Instead, we will head back the way we came, over the Tacoma Narrows. (The ferry from Bainbridge Island, which would cut 35 miles off the trip, would cost us $58. We'll spend an extra $15 on diesel instead.)

While we are in Kent, we will try to get up to Everett to visit friends John and Susan who are staying there. They were the wagon masters on our Mexico caravan, and contacted us when they saw on the blog that we were in the neighborhood. It will be good to get a chance to catch up with them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your comments on this post! We currently allow anyone to comment without registering. If you choose to use the "anonymous" option, please add your name or nickname to the bottom of your comment, within the main comment box. Getting feedback signed simply "anonymous" is kind of like having strangers shout things at us on the street: a bit disconcerting. Thanks!