Sunday, December 9, 2012

Belated update

I know it has been over two weeks since last I posted here.  Some folks have speculated that the boat, which I described in that last post, has spelled the end of the bus and of updates here, but that's not the truth, which is much more prosaic.  The fact is, I've simply been too busy to write much, and, more importantly, there has not been much to write about.

Some time ago I committed to myself to blog every time we moved.  While lots of readers have appreciated that, it's really for more selfish reasons:  we wanted to have a record of every place we've been.  We do refer back to that record frequently, to remind ourselves of good parking spots or eateries or bus garages or what-have-you.  And the simple fact is that we have not "moved" in two months.  Sure, we keep moving every 72 hours to comply with local parking regulations, but in the past two weeks, we've been circulating among several spots which I have already well documented here since we arrived in early October.

Not having moved, except among those spots, there hasn't been much to document, and I'm sure that our readers do not otherwise need to hear about the daily minutiae of our lives (though lord knows, I've posted plenty of that on various occasions), such as where we've eaten or with whom we've been visiting.  All of that said, I should probably catch everyone up on the larger details, and what our plans are for the coming weeks, something which has been evolving slowly up to the past few days.

As I've written several times in the past couple of months, we have been lingering here principally to help my cousin get settled in to his new life in California, coming from upstate New York.  I am happy to report that his family finally arrived last Saturday, and they are all settled in to their temporary digs, with their boy having started school there on Monday.  There has been a fly in the ointment, however.

They were trying to buy a house in the delta area, on a short sale.  After waiting nearly two months for the bank to get its act together to close the deal, the bank instead decided to foreclose on the house, so the whole deal fell apart.  By circumstance, we were out at the apartment with him when the news came, helping to accept delivery of a new bed.  That was fortuitous, because it meant we could spend that afternoon driving around the neighborhood looking for alternative properties.

So three days later, on their first full day in California as a family, we all piled into the car to look at houses, a couple of which we had flagged that afternoon.  By the end of the day last Sunday they had made an offer on an alternative property, just a few doors down from their original bid, and yesterday they signed a contract.  That means we'll be in Oakley all day this coming Tuesday waiting on home inspectors, carpet cleaners, and the like.  With any luck they will be able to close before the end of the year, but if not, at least by mid-January.

Meanwhile, we solidified our plans to fly east, retrieve their dog, and inspect the boat.  We will fly out of San Jose this Friday morning, and leave New York for Savannah first thing Sunday.  Monday afternoon we should be in quarters there, having picked up our technical consultant from the airport.  We'll have the dog with us, so we'll be in pet-friendly hotels for the duration of the trip.

Tuesday should find the boat on the hard, having been hauled out Monday afternoon, and we'll start the day at 8am with the inspection of the hull, running gear, and other underwater items.  We should be splashed mid-day and head out on the sea trial, testing every piece of equipment on the boat.  Wednesday will be given to a detailed technical inspection of all the systems, from engines to electronics to toilets.

We booked our hotel in Savannah through Thursday morning, and that will give us just five days to make the drive all the way back to Oakley for Christmas dinner.  The good news is that we will be on the southern route at that point, so weather will not be as much a factor as if we had gone due west from New York.  As long as we are that far south, we will stop in Houston for a quick lunch with Louise's brother, his family, and, assuming their cruise ship docks in Galveston on time, her dad and stepmom as well.  There is no time in the schedule for us to linger past lunch, so whoever is not already on hand will be missed.  Part of our motivation here is that our eldest niece just announced her engagement a couple of weeks ago, and this will allow us to offer our congratulations in person and to hopefully meet the lucky gentleman.

I am hoping that the oil sample analysis and surveyors' reports will come in while we are on the road, and that we will be able to accept the boat (or know the reason why not) by the time we arrive in Oakley on Christmas.  If we do accept the boat, we have agreed to close the deal by January 15, which would mean a quick turn-around with the bus to head right back to Savannah on about a two-week timetable.  That's about as fast as we ever want to travel in the bus, barring heading to a major disaster someplace.

While we might close on the boat mid-January, our training captains will not arrive to train us on how to operate it safely until the second week of February.  So we've lined up some temporary dockage and a captain to help us move the boat there, and then we will probably head back off in the bus to take care of a few more loose ends.  For example, we have a line on a possible storage facility in Tennessee that we'd like to check out in person.  Also, we'd like to attend Trawler Fest in Fort Lauderdale at the end of January, and the bus is probably still the best way to do that, even with the round-trip mileage.

We should be back in Savannah in plenty of time to get moved aboard before our training cruise.  After that, it is a matter of getting Odyssey to her designated storage location before we sail motor off into the sunset.  Unless, that is, we manage to sell her before then, something that becomes less likely each day I put off getting the advertising copy written.

In any case, I intend to keep blogging right here, most likely even after we make the transition.  Once we get back on the road at the end of the month, you can expect me to once again blog from each new location, which will mean daily as we make our way back across the country to Savannah.  We will still be continuing on "our Odyssey," even though that will not be the name of the boat (and, no, we have not chosen one yet), so continuing to post here will be most appropriate.

I expect between now and then to be just as busy, no, busier, than I have been the past two weeks.  There are a thousand little details to be worked out, and many conversations to be had.  So you will not hear much from us for the next couple of weeks, either.  I will post here, though, if and when we accept or reject the boat.  It is important to keep in mind that this is not yet a done deal, and if the boat turns out to have show-stopping problems, we will be right back to our daily routine here aboard Odyssey until another suitable candidate comes along.


  1. I love being busy and somehow I suspect you two do also. Certainly sounds like that's been the routine for the last few weeks. We hope the boat inspection(s) and sea trials all go without flaws, well maybe a few if they are very minor. We don't know if being wanderers for the last several years has made you loose track of holidays, but none the less we do wish you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and what could be a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR.

    I retire on 12/21 so if you get back to TN drop me a note, I might be able to get away so we could have a bite to eat, I'll have time.

    Safe travels and good fortunes in the new vessel.

    Pat and Russ

  2. Wow - Hope it all works out as you wish. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Maybe we will see you one day here in Key West!


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