WHAT ABOUT THE BOAT?!

As I said moments ago, I get a ton of questions about my sailboat. And I’m going to hash them all out right now! Not that I think this will come anywhere close to ending the questions and that’s okay. I’m excited too.

Where is the boat now?

Currently, she is dry docked, which means on land specifically on stilts, outside of St. Augustine.

Why?!

Well, y’all all saw the video of Island Girl being brought on land, when they take her out she goes up in a swing on a movable tractor thing, same deal with being put back in the water. If she goes on a trailer to be shipped somewhere, the mast has to be stepped (taken down) and lifted up by a big ol’ crane. Both of these options take a lot of prep and planning, neither are cheap. It is part of what I signed on for, but it is a good chunk of change. So, she’s currently staying where she is for the following reasons: storage is super cheap at her current dock and it isn’t really worth paying all that extra money to move her around when I haven’t fully decided where I want her to end up.

Why don’t you sail her to Charleston?

Well, obviously the first snag there, I can’t sail…yet.

Why don’t you hire someone to sail her here then?

Coming up from St. Augustine where she is to Charleston, what is a 4 hour drive by car is about a week trip by sea even for an experienced sailor who buckles down and hustles. To take her by sea to Pensacola would be, at a minimum, 3 weeks and going all the way down the around the tip of Florida. That kind of time doesn’t come cheap. Plus, she doesn’t have a motor.

She doesn’t have a motor?! Also, sailboats have motors?!

Nope, no motor. Which made Island Girl’s price tag much more appealing. Here’s the deal, if I’m patient and keep a lookout, I can snag a used outboard motor for $200. If I just go grab one, it will be closer to $800. Learning from my past experiences, I know enough to not sink a ton of money into Island Girl until I know for sure this is the route I want to take. She doesn’t need a motor for me to dock her in a slip and live on. She definitely doesn’t need a motor if I go with my fallback plan (see below).

How will she get somewhere?

If she goes back into the water, it will be the same as when we took her out. The big sling on wheels scoops her up and lowers. If I move her, she’ll have to be put onto a custom trailer. She’s got a 4 foot draft so she has to be pretty high up. That involves a big crane to lift her and a big crane to step the mast (taking it down). Same thing coming off the trailer.

So she’s just sitting there?

Island Girl is a sound sailboat, solid hull and not a single soft spot on her decks. Even still, she’s got some sprucing up to be done. Her beautiful teak wood is getting varnished, custom cushions are being made for the cabin, berth, cockpit, and for sunning on the bow. Lighting in the cabin, upgrades to the head, etc. More than esthetics, some minor work on the hull while she is out of water. Up top she is being painted, maybe down low too. We’ve got 5 tiny bubbles that I’m thinking I’ll wait until after the season to address and there’s not really any point in painting her now if I’m doing that next year. She is going to be beautiful.

Are you going to get pink sails?

Even I know my limits on the extra. No pink sails. Same on the motor, I’m not putting a ton of extra money in to anything that expands more than making her live-aboard ready. And if I were, it wouldn’t be new sails. Island Girl has a full set of sails and rigging in fab condition, no need to replace them especially when having new sails done is thousands and thousands of dollars. But, do expect to see pink Sunbrella all throughout the rest of her.

What is this backup plan?

If anything from this crazy life of mine and the last year or so on the road, I’ve learned to ALWAYS have a back up plan. Did I blow my whole boat budget on Island Girl? Hell no. We’re using fake money amounts here because even though I share tons with y’all, the exacts of my financials isn’t everybody’s business. So let’s says I paid $50 for Island Girl. Everyone kept saying if I just spent $1,000 I could just get a boat that was all ready to go! What if I don’t love boat life? (Gasp, I know?! Who will I even be if not a boat person?!) I’d rather make a $50 mistake than a $1,000 mistake. Hello, RV lessons learned. So I’m going to put maybe $20 into my $50 boat, see how I like it and go from there.

Really, I just want to be able to unpack all my stuff in one place.

Now, if the worst turns out to be true and I’m not a boat person (just the idea of that makes me clutch my chest with anxiety, this absolutely cannot be true), I’ve got a couple of options. First, turn around and sell her for double what I paid and put into her (yes, it really was that good of a deal). Second, sell her sails and rigging to cover a year or two’s slip rental and set her up solely as an AirBnB.

So you’re bringing her to Charleston?

I still don’t know. Charleston isn’t cheap y’all! We’ll see how things go. I’ve got a hard deadline of April 1st for my work and she’s having her own work done so no need to rush any decisions. I’ll figure it out when the time rolls around.

Are you going to rename her? Isn’t that bad luck?

Yes and sometimes. There is a whole renaming ceremony that takes place to make sure you stay on Poseidon’s and all the other gods’ good side. Don’t ask me what, I haven’t even begun to decide that. You’ll all be invited to the ceremony where part of the appeasement to the gods is lots of good food and booze.

Big Takeaway:

Boats are expensive, but the one thing I’ve found cheap is the storage rates where she is currently. Remember the big crane and stepping the mast? Yeah, that’s expensive. Huge ordeal. And I don’t feel like doing it multiple times. She’s already on land, let’s get everything done we need to while we can instead of the whole process just to move her to a different dock to work on her then the whole process again to put her in water.

On top of all that, the owner of the dock and the guys working on her are really good, genuine, honest people. I trust them and their work. Especially since they come at an affordable rate. The estimates I got in Pensacola, which is a pretty low budget water town, were about four times as high as the quotes where she is docked. In short, moving her only once, paying low dock rates, getting skilled labor at a beyond fair price is the course I’ve charted (ba-da-dum!). Everything else can be figured out in due time.

So yeah, the boat is good! Plan is going well! And yes, you’ll all be welcome to come aboard….well, almost all of you. Like I said the other day, sailboats are for tacos and houseboats are for haters.

Keeping My Head Down

Let’s have some real talk about the questions I’ve been getting lately (and this is probably more for me than y’all). This one is all me with the boat the next one over covering all of the questions I get on my boat, hop to all things Island Girl RIGHT HERE.

I am so insanely excited about being back in Charleston! And having my life back! And everyone! And all the champagne! It is all just so massively, over the top happiness! Yet, I’ve still been kind of MIA on the social scene (even though I did sneak out for some fun this weekend).

Being back is hard on a multitude of levels. I didn’t really plan on being here let alone think I was ready to come back, all of this is a transition. Like a transition that was decided on a Tuesday and I was in Charleston on the following Friday. What can I say? I’m a rambling rose ready to hop briar patches with the change of winds.

Honestly, I feel like hiring a band, stringing up some cafe lights, setting up a bar, and inviting everyone I’ve ever met over…which is my major problem. I am completely ready to go back to fun when I actually need to work on my work life balance. As an adult, I should be able to follow a schedule with time for everything and everyone. Unfortunately, I am just not that kind of adult (I mean, have we ever met?!).

That is why my self imposed grounding in my little dorm in Tuscaloosa was good for me on a work level, yet bad for me on a mental/emotional level. I do my best when I’m shuttered off from everything, zoned in on a project with a light blinking from the end of the tunnel when I emerge. Tuscaloosa was hella solo with a couple outstanding friends, still skewed heavier on the isolation.

Right now, I’ve got some major deadlines. Mega deadlines this week, uber deadlines next week, hella deadlines at the end of the month.

Even though I am pee my pants excited, this week I’m going to have to be head in the sand, knocking out deadlines with some appearances to my old life when I take a break, hit a wall, or smack it right out of the ballpark. After I get through the crunch of this, I’m going to try to find a better way to handle all of my everything.

If I haven’t seen you yet, it is not you. It is absolutely 100% me. Legit, I was here for 6 days before I saw anyone outside of the house and even then she came by the house to drop something off. I want to see every single person I’ve ever met in Charleston, I just can’t tackle getting a handle on the precarious weaving of everything until I square away some other stuff first.

If not, then I’ll just continue one extreme to the next. I’ll be the socialite recluse who disappears for weeks at a time only to bust out of my cocoon to host absolute parties of the year. That sounds way more interesting anyways…and dangerously like Gatsby. I should maybe rethink that plan…

Just stick with me y’all! I’m working out the kinks and trying to work y’all all back in. For the first time in my life, I’m easing into the shallow end instead of a cannonball into the deep end. Totally new for me.

But yeah, I love all of y’all so much and I can’t wait to see all your faces! Give me some of your astounding patience and I promise I’ll get all this anxiety tampered down enough to be fun, to be present, and to be the awesome friend I know I’ve got deep down in me.

As for why I’m back in Charleston, where I’m living, who is who, blah blah blah, that is a whole other post yet to be written. When I’ve got that figured out, I’ll share. All of it is still falling into place, I guess I’m getting more practice on the whole easing into things front then I realized. You’ll get the scoop as soon as I get a grasp on it myself.

*This is yet again more ramblings that have not been spellchecked or proofread instead kicked off the cuff from my phone without double thinking. Frustrating for the grammar patrol, liberating for my stream of conscious. I’d apologize, but we know you’re really here for all my random.*