Friday, November 21, 2008

take this job

There hasn't been much to post as of late, since we've been in a holding pattern for the last few months, but let me catch up on progress, and lack thereof. Josh and I were able to spend some time out on the Chicago Sails boats later on in the summer, which was a nice respite from life on land. I think we ended up going out three times together, though he went out pretty much every weekend with students who want to learn the art of the sail. Once we even took my aunt, uncle, cousin and his girlfriend out and learned that the 22' boats we use are not meant for fog. Yes, it was an adventure complete with seasickness and panic, which as far as I can tell, are requirements for people who have no experience on boats.
Now the boats are out of Lake Michigan, and we are trapped inside our winter coats and trying to survive the bitter winds that blow in from the lake.
The newest thing going on in our lives is Josh's imminent graduation from college. He's 3 weeks away and is completely over it. The last month has found him jet setting back and forth between here and the east coast interviewing for jobs. It's been stressful on both of us, but it feels like it's all about to pay off. In the last week and a half, he's received two job offers and after a second interview today, we're hoping for a third. The first offer that came in is for a company in Waukeegan and would mean Chicago would continue to be home. It wouldn't be so bad because Josh could continue to teach sailing at Chicago Sails once it warms up again and I could keep my job. We would be able to use the boats again, but as this year, I doubt it'll really put us on the water all that much.
The second offer came in yesterday and would put us in Macon, GA for the first year and we're not sure after that. It's for a railroad management position and the first year would be for training and then he'd get stationed, similar to how our life in the Navy was. It has a ton of perks but the down side is that if he takes the job with the railroad, he'd want to put in 5 years, which would push back our departure to a boat. So...we don't know what we're going to do. The possible third job is in Rhode Island and I don't know many details about it other than it's great money and a fair amount of travel. We'll be discussing and making a decision soon, as at least one of the companies wants a decision by Thanksgiving.

Monday, July 14, 2008

that old sweet familiar song of the sea

321 days and counting and it can't come soon enough. The summer is going too fast and I have yet to be out on the water with Josh, so I'm feeling pretty blue.  So far Josh has taught 2 classes (one of which is in progress) and is hoping to complete at least another one before the season is out. The classes meet 2 consecutive Saturdays and Sundays for 5 hours each day. Let me tell you, he is loving every minute of it. I think I'm probably going to play "sick" one day before too long so we can spend a week day out on the lake, as getting a boat on the weekend can be a challenge--and let's face it, my weekends aren't exactly free as of late. 
On another front, we are heading out to Virginia Beach next month to see some friends and to look at some boats in Hampton Roads and Beaufort, North Carolina. Secretly I'm hoping we'll fall in love with a boat that is within our price range on this trip and we'll say "Screw this, we're outta here." long before the next year has passed. Let's just say, I'm anxious to hear that old familiar song of the sea lapping at the sides of the boat.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

home, sweet home

Here she is. The dream boat. Yes, she's a bit on the unattractive side, but aren't we all? Plus, we'd never lose her in a marina full of beige and white vessels, eh? 
Josh found this beauty on and she's out of Beaufort, NC. She's a 29' custom steel cutter with all the bells and whistles that we are looking for.  She has roller furling on the forestay and the innerstay, a wind generator and solar panels, a watermaker, raytheon radar, vhf and cb radios, etc. She has been fully equipped beyond those little tidbits, but much of it still doesn't mean all that much to me. I am learning, though. She's a bit shorter than we were looking for, but Josh has been doing some reading about the benefits of a shorter LOA (length over all) with a longer beam (wider), which means you could have just as much cabin space without the extra length.
The only problem is that she's for sale now, and as we were hoping to start our voyaging sometime in the spring, this is a bit of a problem.  I think we're going to try to see if we can go see her over Labor Day and see what we can do... 

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

only $30,000 to go!

I recently accepted a job to be a full-time layout and design coordinator here in the city. However, I did NOT tell my new boss that I only plan on being in Chicago for one more year. I'm trying my best to keep it on a "need to know" basis (though on a side note, I'm so excited about this new venture that I'm finding that hard to do!). The major reason I accepted this gig is the money. I won't lie. We will need money to make our dreams a reality, and fortunately for us, my money is mostly considered what Josh calls "play" money. And that means that my checks go right into the bank...more specifically into the boat fund. As of yesterday, our fund has grown to $19,999. Yep. That's right! Josh and I have grown extremely used to living a little more frugally in the past 2 years and now we have a wonderfully sized nest egg to prove it. So over the coming year, I look forward to seeing this egg hatch into our dream boat.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

sea legs--okay, maybe lake legs

This summer is shaping up to be one of extremely busy proportions! In addition to all the traditional stuff, (weddings, festivals, reunions, etc.) Josh has found an amazing opportunity for himself and (possibly me too). Chicago Sailing which is a sailing school here on Lake Michigan is looking for crew and instructors to teach wannabes how to get their sea (lake) legs. Josh called the man who is in charge of filling the positions and the man practically jumped through the phone and gave him a job right then! So, in addition to all the aforementioned hubbub and his already bursting schedule, Josh is going to take on a position with the company. He will be paid as well as compensated with the opportunity to take some boats out off the clock (read: us getting boned up on some of the finer points, such as man overboard drills, etc.). Hopefully I will be able to get on as crew for one of the larger vessels to practice the taking of orders :) Hooray for such an opportunity falling into our laps!

photo: taken by myself. mount desert island maine, march 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

new adventures

I'm jumping the gun a little here (as in 377 days too soon) but I think it's time I start to chronicle the journey that will be soon upon us. Josh (my husband of 5 wonderful years) and I have decided to make a major life change. We find ourselves wrapped up in the frenetic goings-on of the rather vapid world of working for "the man" and being held to the expectations of our peers and society at large (i.e. the fact that we've been married 5 years and don't have children automatically qualifies us for some serious "tsk"ing from our if, how dare we not procreate?). Neither of us wants to be just a cog in the machine that is marching us to old age and retirement (why should life only become joyful once you hit 70?) and as a result have decided to set off on a path of our own making. The journey may be long, as we have decided to go where the wind blows us (literally and figuratively, of course), but we feel confident that the path will be full of adventure and excitement. Okay, enough buildup. Drumroll, please...We have made the decision to sell our belongings and buy a sailboat to explore the world. 
Since Josh's unparalleled training as a skipper (he has his offshore skipper qual. and raced J-24s, as well as being a crew on American Promise on a voyage to Bermuda) at the Naval Academy, and our subsequent ownership of a Catalina 22 in San Diego, we feel we are well-equipped to live aboard and sail. 
Yay!  This is a huge step for us and currently the things that are stopping us from going this moment is that Josh is a semester away from finishing up at the university and we don't have a boat! Part of this blog will be to chronicle the steps we'll take to get us where we want to be and the other part will come once we are underway. I plan on posting pictures and insights for family and friends who will be anxious to see where the wind might take us. So stay tuned for adventures on the high's going to be a windy ride. 377 days to go!