It’s been a few months and I haven’t posted at all! So here is a quick run down. More detailed posts will hopefully follow, but I have to admit- I have been busy!
At the end of May, we packed up the boat and headed home to Idaho. We love being home during the summer to visit with family and friends. Family comes every year from Maryland to visit and the cousins love being together during that time, so we always plan to head home for Summer. We were sad to leave behind the beautiful Islands we hadn’t yet seen, and the gorgeous calm waters. So with that in mind we planned to return to the boat mid august to take advantage of the calm summer weather- even in the heart of hurricane season.
During the summer, the winds die down, and the waters are calm, which makes it so much easier to island hop. We spent 2 extra weeks in BVI’s waiting for the winds to stop blowing in March, we loved it there, but we were excited the winds had died down, and sad to leave behind the ease of being on the water at this time of year.
So we booked tickets to return in August. About 2 weeks before our return we arranged with the Marina to have RCabin moved up to Rodney Bay Marina and Boatyard, to have the boat hauled and the bottom painted. A quick 2-3 day job. The short story-- the boat is still out of the water, 6 weeks later.
After hauling the boat out, the yard noticed some cracks in the hull. After photos, discussion, a surveyors report, we decided the cracks could be repaired by the yard. In addition to the repairs, we decided to have the yard also soda blast the bottom, down to the gel coat and start with fresh paint, rather than add to the few coats on there. The yard still hoped to get the work done in the remaining 10 days before we arrived.
Well, island time, is an interesting thing. It is doesn’t always work so well, when you have concrete plans and 8 plane tickets to St Lucia. Yes, Island time. Those 10 days flew by, and the boat was not ready, in fact they hadn’t even started painting yet. They were still soda blasting to get all the pain off. So the question was-- Do we fly out to St . Lucia and rent a house for who knows how long till they’re done, or do we just stay home and change our tickets. After pricing it out, it was less expensive to change our tickets and the kids were excited to spend more time playing with friends. Our trip home had been really short, so it was nice to spend more time there.
We literally changed our flights the night before we were to leave, so we were all packed and ready to go. We re-booked our flights for 3 weeks later, thinking this would be more than enough time to get the boat work done. We left all the bags packed and the kids wore the 3 outfits they had left in their closets over and over, for 3 weeks. We had lots to do at home, but it also felt like we were at a standstill, and were putting projects off until we got to the boat. (such as catching up on the blog)
A few days after changing our tickets, more news came from the boat yard-- they finished soda blasting, and found the boat was weeping in several areas and there were also blisters to repair. So more work was needed along with more time. Off came the gel coat, but time was needed to let the wet fiberglass dry out. A few days before it was yet again time to leave, we had to reassess. The yard was not sure how long it would take for the wet spots to dry, and our itinerary for fall was getting more and more compressed. We had promised the kids we would come home for Christmas this year, to see the snow, so if we wanted to be in the ABC’s by early December to fly home to Idaho, that was crunching our time in the rest of the islands. So we decided it would be best to just cancel our fall trip, and stay home till January.
We had a few consequences to deal with from changing our plans…again. One was we had paid to change our tickets once already. The airline was great! We had asked before we changed them last time if we could just cancel and rebook when we knew the boat was done, but they had told David twice (2 separate phone calls) that we had to rebook before our originally scheduled flight departed. So we rebooked for the 3 weeks out, and paid the change fee, for 8 tickets. It adds up. So I told David, I was going to ask again, it couldn’t hurt. And the CS rep said the same thing David had been told-- “Your tickets are non refundable, you can’t cancel and get your money back, you have to rebook” So I rephrased my question. “Can I cancel my ticket and will it keep a credit, so to speak, on my account, that I can call in later and re book my flights?” “Yes, you can do that” was the response. That made David a little frustrated. The kind lady triple checked she was giving us the right info, because the tickets are the return portion of a flight, and international. Then came an even bigger question-- We would have not rebooked last time, but we were told we had to, so what can you do about the change fee we paid for each of the 8 tickets? That required the involvement of the supervisor, but in the end, they waived the change fee for when we are ready to rebook our flights back in January. We were very pleased with Delta. Hopefully it all works out when we actually do rebook!
Consequence #2, we had hired a new awesome nanny to travel with us this fall. She had a semester off from college and was excite to come with us. She did not live nearby us, so she had now been living with us for a month, waiting with us, to head to the Caribbean. We now had bad news- we’re not going. Together we decided she would head back home to Utah for the rest of her semester off. We really enjoyed Amanda, and she would have been great to have on the boat with us… Maybe next fall?
Consequence #3, David’s cousin and family were going to stay in our house while we were gone and house sit for us. They had packed a storage unit, given notice at their rental, and were waiting for us to leave. Now we had bad news for them- we’re not going. Which put them in a tough spot, with their things packed and no where to go.
After a night of some thought about what we would do with our fall months at home, we decided it was time to take a cool road trip. Every summer when we are home, David spends hours looking at RV’s and thinking about all the cool places we could go in one. I haven’t jumped on board with the RV idea—we have a boat, I can only afford one crazy toy at a time. And I don’t like the idea of driving an RV, but a road trip I can handle. In fact really enjoy. So we looked at all the places we want to go, and the list is crazy long-- North America has some AMAZING sights to see. It was hard to pick and choose. So we came up with a route that would have us gone for 32 days. That of course included at least a week at Disney World- best way to get the kids excited in a road trip.
32 days, that would definitely get us out of our “standstill” phase, and get us going. And it would leave our house open for a month, for David’s cousin and family to house sit and time to find a place for the rest of fall. We are excited for September Adventure. It will be a mixture of tenting and hoteling, and timesharing. This way it keeps it economical, and I can avoid the RV issue a little longer- maybe. Or it may convince me we need one. We decided to leave our 2 littlest ones with Grandma and Grandpa. I was hoping we could make 2 trips with a a few days at home to see my little ones, but it didn’t fit in with the drive to Florida. Grandma was happy to keep them, and they love being at her house. They are both so little they won’t even remember that we were gone. But we will miss their sweet smiles and laughter while away. Thank goodness for Skype!