I’ve read a lot of cruising blogs.  Most of them start as folks are leaving for their trips and end when the trip is over.  Who wants to read about live back on the hard and how much those folks miss their boat and adventure lifestyle?

We’re not doing that kind of blog.  I started this blog three years ago with the idea to build a group of friends and followers now,,,like when me and my wife are still working full-time, have very young children, just bought a sailboat and have not germinated that be all do all cruising plan yet,,,,,cause we’re not there yet.  I’m not yet retired, my wife isn’t yet retired and my kids are still very young and very in school.  We’re literally still working toward our goals.   The blog will continue  in an effort to take you through our loooong preparation phase, our actual trip and probably continue after we get home,,,,simply because it’s a fun outlet to bring you info and advice on travel and sailing.

So what are we doing now, to prep for cruising then:

I read a lot of blogs and books on cruising, sailing, adventure travel etc.  They all have advice (like my blog does) about how to get started, keep going and how to reintegrate. I’ve taken it to heart and both me and my wife know we need to do some things now to get ready to go,,,,,but we’re also not the types off the deep end,,,like we don’t always have singular focus.   We like a bit of moderation so we can still have options?  Does that make sense?   So,,,what have we done already and what are we doing right now,,,at least two or three years from sailing away:

1.   We bought a boat,,,,three years ago.  We decided to put her up for sale a year ago,,,,she’s still for sale.

2.  Taking a promotion in her job,,,,my wife moved onto our boat, which is 3 hours away from where we live.  I stayed here with the house, dog and kids to give them a stable lifestyle (for now) and until I retire.

3.  Like most of the blogs and the books say,,,,,we’re trying to eliminate or reduce our debt load,,,,,quickly.  We’re paid off my wife’s car, we paid off all of our credit cards and reduced our credit card usage from 3 cards to 1.  And,,,,we’ve decided to only use the one card that gives us airline miles, to start saving those miles up for when we need them.

4.  In the vein of reducing our debt load,,,we’re putting our house up for sale 9 months before I retire to force ourselves to get it up to par for sale,,,,and because the area we live in is kind of remote and we have a better chance of selling if we can get it on the market during the right seasons.

5.  We’ve started looking at the boat for things to make it more livable,,,,like a new canvas dodger that doesn’t leak, new mattresses and clean water tanks.  It’s nice to have clean water that tastes good.

6. Lastly, I put a lot of effort into looking for high quality, inexpensive stocks that pay monthly or quarterly.  If we can keep buying them consistently and roll those dividends back into the purchase of more stock while we’re in the US and working, the snowball effect works.  I also look carefully at penny stocks in developing sectors that I can buy very cheaply,,,,then hold them until they go up.  There are several great developing areas in the US and Canada right now that are actually starting to pay dividends, go up quickly in value and may offer a great opportunity for someone like me to make more money.  But we’ll see.  I use 80% of my small amount of investment money for the dividend stocks that pay monthly or quarterly and the other 20% for developing industries.  I’ve also found that Peer to Peer Lending (like on Prosper) has potential for higher interest rates on earnings and you have monthly payments.  But,,,,like most people, I don’t have enough invested anywhere to actually live off,,,that’s a bit of a pipe dream right now.

I got bored with our current stickers and shirts and have redone them to become a bit more up to date and simpler, looking forward to getting those in soon.  Also get to get back onto the boat next weekend and see the new mattresses and see how the canvas project is going.  We’re getting new matching sunbrella dodger and updated cockpit cushions.  Boy,,,,,do we need them.  I’m convinced the cockpit cushions and dodger are originals to the boat,,,which means stuff is 17 years old.  I know the mattresses are original, cause they are the same spec as came from the Hunter Factory.  Time to update! Can’t Wait.

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