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 one bedroom condo that's furnished.  This furnished, smaller condo 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 won't have much to get rid of when leaving this condo ... mainly a bunch of clothes & kitchen items.  We're FINALLY seeing some light at the end of this very long tunnel!

The timing seems to have worked out as it should have.  Our daughter, Erica, had a beautiful barn wedding in April, 2014 and graduated from LSU in May, 2014.  Ken finished the construction of the newlywed's house in July, 2015 ... that kept him busy!  We'll be glad to know that our daughter is settled in with her husband, her new job and her new house before we set sail.  Hopefully Erica and her husband will spend some of their breaks with us sailing in the islands!

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.  She's now in a slip with a few other boats.  She's in a small place that allows us to continue working on Nirvana's projects, which include painting the non-skid, installing all of the deck hardware, installing a couple of new bulkheads, redoing the electrical & plumbing, and all sorts of fun stuff to make Nirvana safe.  Yes, we know the boat doesn't have to be perfect and there's no time like the present but ... this is a 1987 boat and we've got some projects to do for our safety.  The chainplates and bulkheads have seen better days, and the electrical & plumbing need a good overhaul.  We're hoping to have Nirvana "good enough" by the end of 2016 and start heading towards Florida.

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.

We've already downsized quite a bit since the sale of our house, and we'll give most of what's left to our daughter when we move onto Nirvana.  That works our pretty well for all of us.

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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