The past two weeks have been filled with activities related to family and friends, or preparing for our departure for the Great Loop. We had all six of our kids with us Christmas Eve and day; ok, only three of them are biologically ours, but we claim their fiancée, husband and boyfriend as ours too, and feel we’re the most fortunate people in the world that all three of our adult kids have settled in with people we like, love and enjoy. For the four days we had kids with us, we slept too little, ate too much, drank good eggnog or wine, talked a LOT, and received great gifts, all of which were things we need for our Great Loop trip. It was wonderful.
Since Christmas it’s been a flurry of packing and organizing bins full of boat gear, electronics, nautical charts and cruising guides, dishes, pots and pans and bedding, making lists, talking to the surveyor and our boat broker about final details on the boat purchase, arranging a place to moor the boat in Florida once it is ours, 15 hours on the telephone and computer sorting out boat insurance: who knew we’d have to develop a Hurricane Plan, a Captain’s Resume, buy almost $1,000,000 worth of Protection and Indemnity coverage as well as Oil Pollution insurance?
And we’ve been on the telephone almost daily with our nephew’s wife, Sara. She and our nephew Tom, just retired from the military after 20 years training or serving as a Navy Seal, are moving into our house the day we depart. They’ll live here for the year or more we’re gone – free housing for them as they transition to civilian life, and free caretaker for us! We call that a win-win.
Our plan is to depart home Tuesday, January 3 and begin the drive south, then east to Florida, hopefully covering the 4,000 miles in 9-10 days, with stops in Yuma for lunch with friends, Tucson for an overnight with another friend, and Houston for a visit with Cathryn’s parents. We’re excited; or at least Cathryn is excited, and Bob is looking forward to it; he can’t actually bring himself to say he’s excited. Now if we could just decide on a new name for that boat . .