Tag Archives: Cruisers Living On Dirt

It’s Our Liveaboard-iversary!

It was December 27th, 2014 when Rhonda and I checked out of the extended stay hotel we’d moved into after selling our house, and settled into our new life onboard Eagle Too. That makes today the 4th anniversary of our embarking on our full time liveaboard life.

So here we are, four years later, deep in the midst of a transition back to life ashore. A friend of ours said we’re going to be CLODs. I guess it means Cruisers Living On Dirt. Will we still be considered cruisers once we have a permanent address ashore? Perhaps not. I’ve often said that someone shouldn’t claim membership in the cruising tribe who spends more nights sleeping in a bed ashore each year than in a berth afloat. For the last four years we’ve felt a strong affiliation with the tribe because we could literally count on one hand the number of nights we spent sleeping ashore in a year. But next year? Probably not. We do still hope to venture out in the future, but it will most likely be for weeks rather than months at a time. I guess maybe we’ll become part of the Cruiser’s Reserve? (that should totally be a thing!)

We’ll probably have more to say in the future about our thoughts on this transition. But for now, just know that while there are parts of this liveaboard life that we’re going to miss, there are also some pretty definite plusses to moving back ashore that we’re anxiously anticipating. For example, after four years, I think Rhonda and I have both gotten pretty weary of marina showers and restrooms. And there is absolutely nothing I think we’ll miss about trying to wash clothes in a marina washer or at a laundromat. And I really didn’t appreciate how much we missed having a car until we recently bought another one. Traveling around is now quite easy again.

And then there are days like today. A strong cold front is approaching the area, and we’re being buffeted at the dock by 30 knot winds, as the boat dances about, rolling, swaying and creaking. It will be a pleasant change on days like this to be under a sturdy roof surrounded by four brick walls, sleeping in a bed that isn’t tilting and rocking.

We’re supposed to be closing on our house in a little over two weeks, and we’ve starting thinking about the things we’ll need for a life ashore that we at one time owned, but got rid of in the great downsizing after selling our house. Our life today is filled with chartbooks and binoculars and lifejackets and VHF radios. But we’ll soon need things like small kitchen appliances and an iron and a broom and mop and towels for the guest bath. Meanwhile we have a mover scheduled to transport the contents of our 10×20 storage unit to our new home. We’re referring to it as Christmas in January, because we have boxes full of things that we packed away four years ago, and we really can’t recall exactly what might be in them.

But we don’t have a Christmas tree. Or at least, not a proper house-sized one. But since it looks like we’ll be CLODs soon, we used the Everything Must Go! day-after-Christmas blow-out sale to pick up what we’ll need for next year’s holiday decorating.

So I guess that means we’re really on our way…

Caution: Detour Ahead — Part Three

Our visit to Antietam had set us to thinking. Thinking more deeply about where and when would be the right set of circumstances to purchase another home. Not swallow the hook (give up cruising entirely and become landlubbers once again), but establish a base to operate from between trips on Eagle Too. Keeping the boat was important to us. We know we’ll eventually grow too old to continue this Life On The Hook™, but we hope that’s still years in our future.

Maybe the home we’d recently seen was a good fit for us. But the numbers just didn’t quite work. Some calculating told me we’d need to sell Eagle Too to pull it off. And we just weren’t prepared to consider that. So we put the idea away and looked again at the weather with an eye toward departure.

Then I received a momentous email. When we’d visited the model home at Antietam, we’d left our contact information with the sales agent. “Let us know if any good deals come up,” we said, or words to that effect. Well apparently, our ship had just come in. The agent was contacting us to tell us that the builder was close to finishing the house we were interested in, and wanted it sold. So they were dropping the price $10,000, as well as giving us another $10,000 in cash to use for closing costs. I’d already done the math, and had a pretty good idea that this would tip the balance in our favor. We could swing the house, and keep the boat as well.

“Throw in the complete appliance package, including refrigerator, washer and dryer, and put blinds in all the windows, and you have a deal,” we told them, with an eye toward conserving as much of our cash as possible.

“Done,” they replied. “In addition, we’ll pay your first year’s Homeowner’s Association dues,” the sales agent added, icing the cake for us.

So it looks like we’re buying a house. It’s about a 90% done deal at this point. We’re just waiting to hear back from the underwriters regarding our mortgage. We easily pre-qualified, but it won’t be official until we get the final thumbs up from the bank.

So what does this mean for the crew of Eagle Too? Well, we currently have a preliminary closing date of January 14th, 2019. It will probably take the rest of the winter and the following spring to get our stuff out of storage and into the house, and take care of setting things up. We’re guessing that by the time we’re finally settled, it will be close to hurricane season again, which means we’ll once again be waiting it out here in Pensacola. But maybe next fall we’ll be able to head out once again, for a trip of two or three months. If we can pull it off, it should be a nice compromise and an interesting life, spending some quality boat time in the Keys and maybe the Bahamas, but with a nice home with all the comforts a dirt dwelling provides to return to.

Stay tuned. We’ll let you know as soon as we hear from the bank…