I’m going to say straight away here that sailboats sitting at the dock are no fun. Don’t be fooled into thinking they are. I’ve essentially known this fact since I was I kid, but recently have been forcing my nomadic, sailing- and racing-loving adult self to be content with the process. The intention of stopping here in Seward was to complete a proper and much needed refit on Yahtzee. And I’m proud to say we’ve done that.
With go-time on the horizon, my excitement at cruising more of Alaska and beyond is growing and self-restraint is becoming tiresome. Several “warmish” sunny days have allowed us to complete projects outside on the boat and our to-do list is a stick figure of its fat former self. We’re almost ready, and the bottom line is that I can’t freaking wait to get out sailing again — and not simply for the weekend. Indefinitely.
That said, our last couple months left in Seward are mostly about streamlining our lives back into cruising mode. Which is exciting in its own way, too. Having been attached to land — either via dock or by rental cabin — for two winters means we’ve gathered excess “stuff” that needs to be sorted through and organized (as mentioned in my last post). But downsizing and organizing is the easy part.
The true key to streamlining for cruising isn’t merely about getting rid of acquired clutter, it’s about getting our non-material lives in order, which takes time. Yahtzee’s insurance is up for renewal this month and I’ve spent an abundance of time on the phone and via email working out coverage from Alaska all the way into Mexico. (Boy was that sweet to type.)
Our next journey down the insurance black hole is that of the health variety. We’ve received a few good tips from cruising friends on the topic, and are in the infant stages of sorting this out. So if you have any helpful ideas, dear reader, please let us know.
Then there is the question of mail. Although we don’t get much physical mail these days, we still need to have an address and a place to receive important documents and checks. For this, we’ll turn back to our friend Angela Brosius who owns and operates Dockside Mail at Shilshole Bay Marina in Seattle. Dockside is a personalized mail scanning and forwarding company that caters to sailors, travelers, RVers and those working overseas. Basically, they get our mail, scan it, put it into a Dropbox folder and then we get to decide what to do with it.
Next up, finances. A wise cruising friend once told me that one of the things he loves most about the lifestyle is that when you leave the comfort of the dock for good, the bleeding stops (mostly). Whether we like it or not, modern life ashore is centered around forcing people to bleed money. Which brings up my least favorite topic: BILLS. I absolutely hate bills. Who doesn’t? But, this is actually becoming a fun one for us because we’re dropping them already. Winter cabin rental and associated utility bills: Gone. Slip payment: Done. Car payments and car insurance: Done, just need to toss them the keys. And there are others I’m probably missing — you get the point.
Essentially, the only regular monthly bills we’ll be left with when we cast off in May will be boat and health insurance, and cell phone and satellite service. Expenses will then be food and drink, diesel and gas, marina stays, and boat maintenance. Now that’s bleeding I can handle!
4 Replies to “Streamlining for re-entry to the cruising life”
The anticipation is palpable. Can’t wait to see where you go. I hope the wind blows you in my direction. Your family always has a place on Decatur Island.
Thanks, Chris! We’ll keep you posted on our whereabouts as we move south and will definitely stop by if we are in the area. Hope you’re doing well!
HCI offered a plan with ‘everywhere but USA’ coverage for Emergency Plus with $2k deductible for bigger stuff – and includes a small chunk of life insurance for each, too. Little stuff was so much less it just wasn’t even significant for doing out of pocket — (for example a doc visit for infected leg cost less than lunch out for 3). We were happy with HCI and a family DANboater.org plan for Mexico & S Pacific. Fair Winds
Great info, thank you Julie! We’ll look into it.