It’s been many weeks of chaos, living on the edge, packing, sorting, throwing away, pawning stuff off on neighbors, and things are finally feeling a bit more “normal” again. OK, it hasn’t been living on the edge, and our new lives are far from normal, but since last Thursday I’ve been able to get back to work part of the day, we’re sleeping well, and David is teaching his morning stretch classes without any issues. I’m also back to getting coffee in bed every morning thanks to my amazing husband, even if “bed” means the V berth on the boat.

We left Port Townsend on September 29, just a month beyond a full year since we left Point Richmond, CA. The weeks prior to that involved getting rid of stuff, storing what “little” we wanted to keep in UBoxes (those remained in storage in Port Townsend), and loading the 15′ moving van in the rain with the rest of the stuff we didn’t know if we were going to need or not. The first night, we stopped at David’s sister’s house in Eugene and set up our bedroom set there. She had just bought a 4 bedroom house, and didn’t have enough furniture. We can now drive 8 hours north and sleep on our bed and eat on our dining room table, and it helped her out too.

From there, we worked our way over Siskiyou Pass in a sketchy torrential downpour, and spent the night in Shasta, CA. It was LOVELY to see snow all over Mount Shasta. We’ve passed by here many times in the last year, and it’s looked like a big brown molehill. Shasta Lake had a lot more water in it too.

We arrived in Richmond on Sunday, October 31, at 5p… just as the Richmond YC’s Great Pumpkin Race was gearing up for the party. What a homecoming! We saw most of our friends, some of our new Pacific NW friends, and got to hang out in our club which we hadn’t had the chance to do since before Covid. The next day, we unloaded the truck full of more stuff than we should have brought IN THE RAIN. In the rain up there, in the rain down here. The difference between the two is the PNW gets rain all the time, and California needs it. So, we now have a storage locker full of stuff we need to find a place for on the boat, or ditch it and call it a day. (Yeah, some of it will go back up to Port Townsend, because wherever we end up after this next part of our life’s journey will involve reacquiring everything that’s in those boxes.)

We’ve been living on the boat since October 31. This is a temporary situation until we can temporarily move into the temporary house sit up in the Berkeley Hills. That should happen in the next few weeks, at which point we can really start ripping into the boat and taking care of the bigger projects that need work. We have a long list, though every day I look around and am grateful that David and I made this happen. This boat is STUNNING… it’s like our own little Craftsman cottage. I mean, the drawers on this boat are dovetailed… on the front AND the back. I don’t think I’ve ever even owned antiques that had both sides dovetailed.

And even though we’re back in Point Richmond and we know everybody and the lay of the land, things feel different. We’ve changed a lot in the last 14 months. We have grown together, we moved to a beautiful place, and met some amazing people. David retired from a full-time job, which has opened up both of our possibilities for freedom from being locked into the 8 to 5 grind (I already had that, but with him unlatched, we are both free to move about the cabin.) David loves racing, and I’ve started to get involved in it too… and we’re getting opportunities to travel and race which we did not have before. David has started racing with different people, which I’m very happy for him about.

After years of begging Ernie to go to the bathroom on the last boat, he doesn’t seem to have a problem with this one at all (crossing fingers this new habit of his remains when we go to Angel Island). On the last boat, he would walk halfway up the deck and pancake, scared to go any further. On this boat, he trots around it, lays on the deck, likes to sit on the bow and watch the water and the world go by. His life is a little nicer down here too, because he gets to lay in the sun and there’s more things for him to look at than hanging out at the foot of my desk all day long.

We don’t take quiet and calm for granted; Port Townsend was teeming with relaxing and safety. The Bay Area not so much… though living here at the yacht club is calm and quiet. When we hear sirens, we note that we haven’t heard many of those in the last 14 months. Anyway, I won’t go into all the ways the Bay Area sucks, because it really doesn’t in a lot of ways. I’m looking forward to going to an art museum in the next couple of weeks… and I did go to Trader Joe’s last night, so for those of you in Port Townsend that are from here, you probably can read between the lines!

Speaking of rain, we had an “atmospheric river” come through here two days ago. 45+kt gusts, boat heeling in the slip, and it just rocked us to sleep. It was kind of nice. No leaks on the boat either… she’s dry.

The journey has started finally… many years in the making, many years thinking about it individually and together. To hell with status quo!