Making It Official

Although we hadn’t told many people what we were up to before we left to see the boat in October, we had told Chris’ parents. His Dad was excited. His Mom, a little nervous about pirates, but supportive. But we hadn’t told my Dad, mostly because we didn’t want to worry him unnecessarily in case the deal fell apart. But now that we were back and everything was going full steam ahead, it was at the top of our list of things to do.

It wasn’t really something I was looking forward to. I was feeling more than just a little guilty. After all, my Mom had passed away less than three months before. It felt like we were abandoning my Dad. Chris and I rationalized that there would never be a perfect time to fulfill this dream and I could hop a plane home pretty quickly from pretty much anywhere at short notice if need be. Besides, we wouldn’t be leaving until the following spring, so there would be plenty of time for all of us to adjust to the idea.

There being no time like the present, we arrived back from Subic Bay and went over to Vancouver the very next weekend. This had to be done face to face.

To say Dad was surprised would be an understatement. At first he thought it was all a big joke. So we showed him pictures of the boat. He still didn’t believe us. We thought we finally had him convinced, but even the next day he asked, “You didn’t really buy that boat, did you?” We reassured him we had, and that we weren’t abandoning him. The sea between us was just going to get a little bigger.

We realized Dad’s thought process was starting to shift from incredulity to curiosity when he asked how the fishing is in the Philippines. All in all, it went a lot better than I had expected. Dad even went out and applied for his first passport this spring. Maybe we’ll get him tuna fishing in the Philippines yet!

With that behind us, we started planning in earnest. We would scramble to get our house ready to list early in the new year. We would hit the Seattle Boat Show in January. Chris would start a new contract in Azerbaijan in February, and I would quit my job a couple of weeks before we had to move out of the house. If all the stars aligned, we could be on the boat as early as April 30th.

Of course, things didn’t quite turn out as planned. In many ways, that was probably a really good thing.

Final renovations on the house took a little longer than we expected, as they tend to do. The list of projects was a long one. New roof. Get rid of stuff. Completely gut and redo the family room. Give the downstairs bathroom a facelift. Get rid of more stuff. Finish the main bathroom. Purge and pack stuff away. Clean and stage. In the end, we were listed by the end of February. And it looked amazing.

We took a little break during this mad rush to drive down to Seattle for a weekend to check out the Seattle Boat Show. We scoured the list of exhibitors ahead of time and made a plan to cover off as much as we could in the two days we had.

There were a lot of things on our list. Buying a new STIDD helm chair wasn’t one of them. But we couldn’t resist. The show price was so amazing that we ended up scooping one of the display models right off the show floor. After all, you have to be comfortable on those long ocean crossings. We were now the proud owners of a black leather helm chair and the boat wasn’t even officially ours yet! Do I hear you mutter “Impulse buy”? Absolutely!!! It was our only significant purchase at the show.

Meanwhile, I kept working during this whole process and still hadn’t told anybody at work anything other than we’d decided to sell our house and get something “a little smaller.” With Chris going back to work overseas again, the compound was really just a little too much for me to handle on my own when I worked full time.

Case in point…during Chris’ first trip to work in Baku, we had a HUGE winter storm leaving our perfectly manicured lawn strewn with branches and pine cones and sticks and leaves and debris from one end to the other. We knew we had made the right choice in realtor when he showed up, rolled up his sleeves and helped me after work on two consecutive nights to get everything ready for the next showing. I doubt any of the others would have done the same.

Although the yard looked great once again, spring was late in coming. I told myself — and anyone else who would listen — that it would sell once the first rhododendron bloomed. As luck would have it, that was in the middle of April, just about the time we had to make a quick trip to Calgary.

Wouldn’t you know it? We received two offers on the same day just as we sat down on the ferry at the start of our trip. So we spent most of the drive texting counter offers back and forth and searching out places to check email, print the various iterations of the sales contract and faxing it back. Before we left Calgary, we had reached a deal. And by the end of the following week, the subjects were removed. We’d have to be out at the end of June.

But we couldn’t celebrate just yet. During the midst of all this, Chris packed up once again and headed back to the Philippines to be there for the transfer of boat ownership. As luck would have it, the boat officially became ours on the same day as the subjects were removed on the sale of our home. April 27th.

We even had our first official visitor to the boat while Chris was back in Subic. Rich just happened to by cycling around Luzon Island at the time and stopped by for a night or two…which stretched into a few more. I’m sure I only heard about a few of their exploits on the town!!!

And just like that we owned an ocean going, passage making vessel. Good thing we still had two months to get everything sorted before we had to be out of the house. But what would we do with all this stuff we still had??? More on that shortly.