The Plan

We started this blog on March 1, 2010 after purchasing s/v Nirvana, a Catalina 30 sailboat, in November, 2009.  On tax day, April 15, 2010 we took Nirvana out of the water for a haul-out.  Two and half long, hot months later our sailboat had a freshly painted hull and bottom.  The summers of 2010 and 2011 flew by, but we spent some of it in Lake Pontchartrain (New Orleans) learning the basics of sailing.  The summers of 2012 and 2013 were dedicated to selling our house and doing some random projects on Nirvana .. not near enough time on the water!

After trying to sell our home for two years, we finally sold it in October, 2014.  We signed a one year lease on a two bedroom condo that ended in October, 2015.  We then downsized again to a furnished one bedroom condo for another year.  This forced us to sell our bedroom set, dining set, lamps, barstools ... all sorts of stuff.  We stored sentimental items at my Dad's place, and we got rid of even more "stuff" (mainly a bunch of clothes & kitchen items) when we finally became liveaboards in May, 2017. It's been a very long journey!

During this time, Nirvana was again in the boatyard during the entire year of 2015, and we worked on her while trying to make a living.  Our hopes of "splashing" before the New Year were dampened (pun intended) with a very wet Christmas and New Year's.  We finally got Nirvana out of the boatyard in March, 2016.  After another year of boat work including painting the non-skid, re-bedding most of the deck hardware, painting below the settees, creating & replacing companionway trim, replacing the handrails with Plasteak, making our hatch easier to slide, creating & installing a couple of new bulkheads, refinishing all of the interior teak, building shelves, redoing the plumbing, and all sorts of other fun stuff ... we finally moved onto Nirvana in May, 2017. 

Two weeks later we moved her to a local marina. After all that work, we're finally ready to start prepping Nirvana for cruising, which means putting the sails back on, replacing all of the lights with LEDs, adding solar panels, buying a big anchor & ground tackle, installing a propane tank, installing an auto-pilot .. etc. We're hoping to have Nirvana "good enough" by the Spring of 2018 and start heading towards Florida .. after the birth of our first grandchild February, 2018. We're so excited!

Once we leave the dock, our cruising route will start from the Louisiana coast then along the Mississippi, Alabama and West Florida coast until we reach the Florida Keys.  We'll then head to the Bahamas and then who knows.  Possibly the Virgin Islands, Cuba (any sponsors?), Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Panama.  Basically, the perimeter of the Gulf of Mexico.  Maybe our thoughts will change when we become more experienced, but long passages are not in our plans.  Perhaps a one or two night passage, but not anything more than that.

Since we began our cruising plans. we haven't bought anything that won't have a place on the sailboat.  It's amazing how once the decision was made our whole thought process changed when thinking of a purchase.  We've always been frugal, but now it's even easier.  Every penny not spent is another penny for our cruising budget.  So, that's our cruising plan!

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