Cleaning House

You can't be a hoarder and live on a boat. Well, I guess you can and if I think about it, I have seen it done before. But it's an extremely small space to be a pack rat in. There are some things that are necessities, like spare parts, tools, and food storage, but other than those things, you don't need much else to keep your boat running and you surviving.

Brenda would argue that last sentence and say that you need to look cute, so bikinis, flip-flops, skirts, shorts, tank-tops, and various other outfits are absolute necessities of survival. I've learned to keep my mouth shut about some of those things and just nod and say, “yes, 18 jackets, 22 pairs of shoes, and 128 different shirts are very important.” Because some battles are just not worth the effort, and more than that, I've learned that I always lose those battles so I should save myself the embarrassment of defeat and just let it go.

If Brenda were here talking to you about this, she would probably tell you that I have just as many clothes as her and she would probably say it with fire in her eyes. All I can say to that is a boy has to look cute too.

When we get out of the Northwest and make it to Mexico and even further on to the Tropics, clothes are going to be much less of a necessity. At that point, I would be amazed if a pair of pants or even a pair of shoes will ever be worn. It will be shorts and flip-flops for everything. If we go to a fancy restaurant, it will be clean shorts and flip-flops with dress socks.

We've been doing our best to be realistic about what is needed for our upcoming journey. In a few short weeks, we'll be sailing out of our home waters of the Puget Sound and headed down the coast to Mexico. I don't know if you are aware, but Mexico is hot. It's so hot that we probably don't need all 8 of our down puffy coats anymore, our 24 pairs of long john's, or our toasty warm mittens. We aren't going to be sailing where the water is only 52 degrees in the summer and the air temperature just barely gets above that for quite some time. No sense in keeping stuff that won't be used.

So, for the last couple of weeks, in between building our mast and various other boat projects, we've been going through everything we own and asking ourselves, “do we need this?” You would be surprised at what we seem to need and what we don't.

We've donated bags of clothes and we've become friends with Craigslist and sold our bikes, some musical instruments, and now our home on wheels. Yep, our camper is now sold and we are officially homeless vagabonds. And since our boat isn't ready to go back in the water yet, we are moving in with my mom for a couple weeks. Woo Hoo!!! I'm pretty sure it's every 40 year old's dream to move back in with their parents (I'm actually looking forward to hangin' with my mommy for a little bit).

Some things were pretty easy to let go of, but others have been pretty tough for us. We put all of our backpacking gear and our climbing gear up for sale and instantly had people line up who wanted to take that stuff off of our hands. But for some reason, we both panicked and couldn't part with those things. If we look at both of our bucket lists, we still have peaks we want to climb and backpacking adventures that we hope to someday take. All of that gear represents freedom and adventure to us, so even though we aren't going to realistically be using it for years, we just couldn't part with it. So, it's going to be stored in my mom's garage for as many years as it takes for us to sail the world.

We've taken every single thing out of every single locker, compartment, and cabinet on the boat and decided if it was staying or going. Everything that is staying got entered into a spreadsheet so we know what we have and where on the boat it lives. There are a lot more storage areas on our boat than you might think, so this was actually a big job. But the good news is that we now know where every doo-hickey, doo-dad, and widget is on the boat and in the event of an emergency, I'll actually be able to find what I need to hopefully prevent a catastrophe.

We went through this same procedure when we originally left 2 years ago. Only back then, we had a lot more stuff to get rid of. I'm sort of surprised at how much we had to get rid of this time around. I guess it's still pretty easy to accumulate junk, even when we are traveling around in a little tiny home on wheels. Most of the things we accumulated in the last couple of years was gear of some sort or another. A lot of it was gear that was purchased for us to safely complete a specific climb, a specific canyon, or just because it would make me look cuter than I already do (I know you are thinking “that's impossible Jeff! You are the cutest boy ever already! How could you get any cuter?” Thanks. Sometimes you think the nicest things).

Pretty soon we'll have no car and no car insurance, our cell phones will be shut off (they won't work in Mexico or in the middle of the ocean), and traffic will be a thing of the past for us. Just the thought of it all sounds pretty nice.

It's a strange feeling to be rid of all frivolous possessions. We currently own less things than we ever have before and most likely than we ever will again. I kind of like it. It's life simplified to the max.

Since we just sold our RV and it is now the end of an era for us, I thought I should put up a few pictures of some of the places it's taken us.  I had a pretty hard time deciding which pictures to post, mainly because we have thousands to choose from, but also, because we just have too many good memories from our time on the road.  These aren't necessarily the best pictures we have, but these are some of the places that stood out as spectacular for us.

Another peak in the bag at sunset in Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Parks

A mighty waterfall in Yosemite National Park

Almost to the top of Mt. Lemon in Southern Arizona

Another peak in the bag at Joshua Tree National Park

Death Valley National Park

Brenda dropping into "the Hole" in a slot canyon in Southern Utah

The Oregon Coast all to ourselves.

Page Arizona

Brenda looking back at another slot canyon explored in the Escalante National Monument

Good Bye little'll be missed.............


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