Wednesday, May 07, 2008 | Author: Julia
We are now proud members of Techshop, the coolest place ever and only 4 minutes from our house. Open until midnight every day, full of large heavy machinery (think bending, cutting, welding, grinding, lasers, embroidering, etching, milling), space to work on smelly, messy boat projects until late in the night...oh yes and an extremely large foam cutter. For all your foam cutting needs.
Sunday, May 04, 2008 | Author: Julia

Beta Marine 38
We have been talking with Ethan from Hirschfeld Yachts about repowering with a Beta Marine ever since we bought our first boat (a Cal29), that had an Atomic 4. We ultimately decided not to repower the Cal and instead bought Pisces; which has an old Volvo MD3B. This spring at the Strictly Sail boat show, it was time to stop prevaricating about whether or not to repower; if we want to repower before we leave then the boat show was the place to start that process in motion with all the major dealers offering discount prices.
As a result, in a couple of weeks we will be taking Pisces up to Schoonmaker Marina in Sausalito and repowering with a Beta Marine 38.

We will be taking time off work to do as much of the repower as we can in order to cut the install cost; this flexibility is just one of the many reasons why we chose to go with the Beta Marine guys.

Another recently acquired item (so new in fact that it is still being shipped to us) is our EPIRB. We ultimately decided on the ACR GlobalFix 406 (the kind with the GPS locator). We bought it from Sals Inflatables over in Alameda, the same people who we hired a liferaft and EPIRB when we came up the coast with Pisces. They had the best price around, and we didn't have to pay any shipping.
Friday, May 02, 2008 | Author: Jacob
It's been a long time since we've posted anything...and a lot has happened.

We started planning and scheming about going cruising three years ago. It started out as any good dream should, with a vague assertion that it was something we wanted to do. Since then it has gained it's own momentum, 'let's look for a cruising boat', 'let's buy the cruising boat', 'let's start outfitting the boat'. Until we found ourselves where we are now...just a handful of months out from perhaps actually getting to go cruising.

Along the way we have thought quite a bit about what going cruising meant to us, in terms of both what it represented as a dream, but also what it required in terms of sacrifice. Some of the more material sacrifices involve things like not buying a new car, living in a cheap apartment in order to save money, not spending money on furniture or anything else that we would have to sell after a short period of time when we moved aboard, etc. These things never really seemed like a huge sacrifice to us, because really, who cares if your coffee table is a second generation Ikea hand-me-down?

Recently though we've had to confront other aspects of the sacrifice that cruising will entail, namely being away from family and putting life opportunities on hold.

This realization started for us a few months ago when a close family member became very sick, to the point that it seemed 100% sure we would not be going cruising on the schedule we had original anticipated. It was never a question for either of us, that family would come before going cruising, but it was still a huge shock to have everything we have focused our energy towards suddenly be thrown into doubt so close to the time when we would have achieved it.

Having this happen also brought into focus another type of sacrifice that trying to do something like cruising requires, a sacrifice which is a bit more subtle than the material things, and also much more important. Trying to go cruising requires putting everything else on hold. Interested in switching jobs? Doesn't make sense, we're going cruising in a year. Want to get some further education? Can't do it, we're leaving to go cruising so soon, and the time could really be used in improving the boat. All your energy needs to be channeled into getting the boat ready, and keeping your life in a state of affairs where you can up and leave for some undefined amount of time. Not an easy task.

This was driven especially home for us because if something does suddenly throw a wrench in your fine planning (such as illness) you suddenly look around and say "shit, I've got nothing going on other than planning to go cruising!". It forced us to do some very deep soul searching about what cruising meant to us, and what were the limits of sacrifice we were willing to make in order to achieve it.

We have had a wild ride over the past bit, being shocked and frightened by the illness in our family, getting over the initial chaos of having a plan thrown into disarray, and even getting to the point of being comfortable with letting go of the dream of cruising (at least in the near term).

And then...things got better....our family member suddenly was not so sick...and cruising suddenly wasn't off the plate...

So, here we are, back where we started. Except that now our commitment feels that much stronger. We had our dream pulled suddenly away from us, we had to confront what it meant to us, why it meant that to us, and let it go. And it looks like we are lucky enough to have been given back the opportunity to pursue it.