Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Settled on the boats new home

We have searched all of the Marina's in the area we are moving, and have settled on the one that our boat will call home.  It is a relief to have signed a lease and confirmed the details.

There is a fine balance between finding a marina that is going to be so nice, you don't want to leave the dock and finding one that is so bad you have to stay on your boat or leave the slip entirely.  We have been spoiled, as the place where we have our boat now is great.  The marina is nice (good facilities, docks in good shape, large, etc) but the best thing about the place is the people that are neighbors and slip mates.  We have made some of the best friends in our lives in the short few years we have been here. We have talked to other people that have moved and come back to where we are now stating that there is "just nothing like this here"
We had to think long and hard about the new spot.  The condos we will be living in, have their own marina and you get 1/2 price slip rent (that would be under $100 per month to keep our boat there).  That is pretty enticing, but the slips are only decent and not great.  They are fixed piers and that is something that we are not used to, and we aren’t looking forward to the daily "jump" down 3 feet to the top of the boat.  (Worse yet, is the jump up 3 feet onto a 18" wide finger pier)

We settled on Watergate Marina.  This not to take anything away from the others in the area, we just found one that we liked best.  We really liked Seabrook Marina a lot and could get a better price there, but the only slip available was right next to a rock shoreline and we would be attempting to dock on the windward side of it all the time.  If there were any dock line or maneuvering issues, the boat would be on the rocks.  We liked Kemah Boardwalk Marina (in the best shape of the ones we looked at) and you get a 15% discount and preferred seating in all of the restaurants on the Boardwalk with a slip there.  What pushed us over the edge for Watergate were 3 things.  First they had floating slips and availability in a protected location in the Marina.  Second was the Marina facilities (with 2 pools, laundry, restrooms, club houses, a walking/exercise trail, a Shipyard, ships store, canvas shop, boat brokers and more) were wonderful.  Third was the fact that they offered free WiFi to all tenants.  While it was the same price as Kemah Boardwalk Marina, the ability to cancel service for our air card so we have internet on the boat while at the slip saves us about $70 per month.

Decision made!  We are really excited and both of us felt really good about the place after speaking to a few people there as well as a slip neighbor who said most of the boats on floating docs received no damage or only very minor damage during hurricane Ike versus the amount of boats that sank or sustained major damage when interacting with fixed piers in the marinas.

For anyone interested in seeing more about the Marina here is their web link

Friday, December 24, 2010

Slocum on Spray - Good book

I will also post information about books that I am reading and I will give me 2 cents on how valuable or useful they are for someone wanting to learn more about sailing, cruising, or refitting a boat.

I downloaded a free Kindle copy of "Sailing alone around the world" by Joshua Slocum.  It was really pretty interesting to hear about someone that sailed around the word by themselves in a boat that he essentially rebuilt from the ground up.  This took place in the late 1800's and early 1900's so the references and places he visits and writes about are very interesting.  When visiting beautiful pacific islands, the inhabitants are referred to as "savages" because so little was known about these wonderful people.  I do recommend this book for anyone that finds that kind of adventure interesting.

Below is a link to the Free Electronic copy and the physical book copy
Free - Sailing Alone Around the World   
Paperback - Sailing Alone Around the World

The first load was moved today

Since we made the decision to look for a place to live along the south coast, Deb has been packing daily.  She has been my springboard for this journey and I am so thankful for it.  When we started discussing this dream, she would say "If we aren't stepping toward it, we are stepping away".  To that end, we started the search for a place to live.  For some background information, we sold our house in the last year and moved into a much smaller apartment very close to the land locked lake where we kept our boat.  Having the freedom of apartment living and the ability to just move at the end of a lease has made this a bit easier to move.

We started looking in the Kemah, Seabrook, Clear Lake area in Texas.  We found a few places we liked but finally settled on one that had both a Marina and apartments right next to each other.  The good news is that when we were searching on line, this is one of the one that we were most excited about.  The management team in the leasing office were great and they worked with us on a date for move in and allowed us to arrange some of it by phone and other parts when I was in town for business.  Our official lease starts on February 1, so we will be moving early that month.

When I was in this area on business 2 weeks ago, I found a storage facility not far from where we will live and I will be able to set up my wood shop.  While it is not much, it will certainly aid in any work we do on our current boat or more importantly the next one.

Since we had a preplanned vacation at our timeshare in Galveston, we decided to rent a small uhaul trailer and take the first load of packed "stuff" down and put it in storage.  We did just that and just before lunch we had unloaded the trailer into storage and returned the  trailer. As soon as we loaded everything in the unit and pulled the trailer out, Deb said "You know this means there is not turning back now"  She is so right.  We are heading down the path !!