We left Atlanta in September and traveled with our seemingly few remaining possessions in a 5x8 U-Haul trailer to meet up with our new home, Forever Exploring in Newport, RI. Wow, all our "stuff" fit in my small SUV and the trailer. The planned four week boat refit became almost eight weeks as projects usually get extended. But Tony Rego and his team at Portsmouth Yacht Refit Center were great. They worked quickly and completed items on our list each day. Of course as new boat owners, Wendy and I struggled with the necessary decisions. Much of the work was mechanical, but Wendy relished the few décor upgrades (primarily new kitchen counter and bathroom vanity) and I got excited over the new Gamin electronics. Our boater friends were all encouraging us to get out town before too late in the Fall season. We were also both concerned to be novice boaters and to be launching with deteriorating winter weather in the NE. As the weeks pressed on, and with a few hiccups toward the end, we got more and more nervous to head South.
My job was to help all I could with the boat repairs and learn as much as possible from the professionals. I am sure that I was in way of the professionals more than anything. Learning all of the systems on the boat and working with my hands was a challenge. Wendy painted at our Airbnb cottage to restock her galleries. We settled into a routine of sharing the one car, Wendy taking me to "work" some days and then picking me up at the end of the day.
We had trained for a week on the boat in Ontario in the summer and had both read Chapman's Piloting and Seamanship from cover to cover, but our new boating skills were not anywhere near the level to be comfortable voyaging on our own. Nor would our insurance company allow it, so we searched for a training captain to accompany us until we felt better to operate what seemed like a huge boat to us. Carol Vernon from Newport was recommended and with her extensive boating resume she was perfect to lead us on our new boating adventure. Carol was a great trainer for us, a pleasure to have on board and had fun stories to pass the time, including adventures on several America's Cup design teams.
Finally on November 8, 2015 in the early afternoon, we sold my car (no more cars!) and launched from the Hinckley docks to begin our new life and adventure. The last minute details did not dampen our excitement, but we certainly felt an urgency to get underway. Even though we had only been in Newport two short months, we did feel pangs of leaving a great place. Just one year and a couple of months had passed since we had decided to "sell everything" and travel on a trawler. It was an exhausting year, but here we were, on the water officially for the first day.
|Pretty much verything that we have is in this picture.|
|Sold Wendy's Prius to Carmax, and left Atlanta. Of course, Wendy has Mooney.|
|Launch day from the Hinckley docks in Portsmouth, RI. The adventure really starts now.|
|Hauled out for refit and repairs, Forever Exploring was a mess and completely pulled apart.|
|We were at the boat yard a few weeks before I learned about the food truck. The owner was Portuguese and food was incredible, yet very reasonable. No more packing a lunch. I looked forward to 11:25 each day!|
|Shipping paintings used to be simpler. Now we go to the shipping store.|
|On nice days, Wendy could paint outside in the backyard at our Airbnb cottage.|
|Newport was beautiful place to ride.|
|She looks bigger out of the water. Getting lots of attention.|
|The new name is going on.|
|Hauling the boat is always nerve racking, but it's amazing how good and careful they are.|
|The salon looks much better put back together.|
|Reading Chapman's Piloting and Seamanship is very tiring.|
|Like I said.|