Friday, 11 July 2014

Day 343 May 31 and beyond-The Wrap up of the 17 month odyssey

May 31st 2014 .........

Well to wrap up the blog on our travels, we made it safely to our home in Sudbury, Ontario on June 1st, unpacked and returned the u-haul.

Now we start the exciting part of selling our house, starting new job(s), and buying a house in Toronto.

In summary of our trip(s), we drove over 10,000 kms driving west via the northern United States to Alberta and British Columbia to ski and hike in Feb. and March of 2013, returning via Canada to Sudbury and Sarnia,  and we then flew 17,000 kms to Santiago, Chile via Peru, the Amazon, and hiked the Inca Trail to Macch Picchu with our good friends the Patrick's followed by sailing over 5000 nautical miles which is about 10,000 kms. During the 17 month practice retirement we took off and landed 17 times in airplanes which also included a trip out to Newfoundland August 2013 to visit Kevin while Jazzebelle was getting outfitted with new canvas.  We lived on the boat for 11.5 consecutive months sleeping elsewhere only during our 9 nights while in Newfoundland and our 3 night trip driving to the Annapolis Boat show as we did not make it there by boat.

We spent the recent month of June preparing our house for the real estate market and shopping for a new home in Toronto.

It has been wonderful seeing friends and family, as well as attending our son Ross's graduation from University, (although he is returning for a masters and his 5th year of running eligibility so not done yet)!  We had a lovely reunion with Julie's family at Ross's season opener where he performed a personal best in the 1500m race.  Mom, niece Alicia, and brother Dan made the journey to Guelph which was wonderful.  Hard to believe it has been almost a year since we saw everyone.

Thanks to all our supporters and followers who encouraged the writing of this blog as it will be a wonderful keepsake of our adventures.

Julie and Dawson

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Day 342, Friday, May 30th

Day 342, Friday, May 30th - return to Canada

It is time to put the blog to bed.  After 16 months of non stop travelling we are heading "home".  We have worked very diligently to get the boat ready for sale.

We wake up in a normal bed as we stayed the night at Brad and Laura's in Crownsville near Annapolis. We are all loaded and ready to go, with 1 stop needed at the boat and a final good bye to Jazzebelle.

Packed for home
Boy this uhaul points well.  We can go in whatever direction we want which is a treat, and not worry about anchors dragging or storms.  We set out by 8:00 for the 10 hour drive to Port Credit.  Julie contacts Diana and Paul to see if we can crash at their place overnight as we want to catch Ross's season opener in Guelph the following evening.

The drive north is uneventful.  Roads are good, traffic is light, and the speed is incredible. We can't believe that what took us months to accomplish by boat we will do in 10 hours.  Originally we crossed the border at Fort Erie to Buffalo by boat September 7th 2013 and got to Annapolis about October 23rd, and now in 10 hours we will travel from Annapolis and go over the river we navigated on our way south.  Wow, a lot of effort to get that boat south.

As we cross over to Canada there is a feeling of excitement being back in our homeland.  There is nothing like Canada, snow, bugs and all!

We make it to "Noel Hotel" by early evening and have a visit with Diana, and Paul and their dogs Alice and Toby of course.

Julie and Dawson

Monday, 2 June 2014

Day 341, Thursday, May 29th

Day 341, Thursday, May 29th

We wake up for the last time aboard Jazzebelle.  The reality that we have achieved our year of sailing is slowly surfacing.  We are very proud that we were brave enough to leave our jobs and head out on a lifestyle not quite as luxurious as we were used to, more stressful, and far away from our friends and family to discover what life aboard a sailboat would be like.  The trip has met our expectations, lots of downtime, but more highs and lows than our “normal” life.

One thing for sure is friendships are numerous and strong in this nomadic life.

Tim the broker meets us at our boat to review the boat itself and provide some advice on how to best leave her so she is appealing, clean and well aired out.  After the meeting Tim gives Dawson a ride to pickup our u-haul as we have a pile of stuff loaded under the boat, as well as the load at the Sitler’s house.  Amazing how much stuff we have.  We may not have fit it all into a cargo van.  The u-haul rental establishment only had a 10 cubic foot truck as its smallest self drive vehicle but we know we will be able to fit everything it in.

Funny how the beginning of this trip started with a u-haul full of Toronto stuff heading up to Lively, and now it is a truck full of stuff moving up to Lively again.

Dawson spends a couple hours coordinating a few minor repairs as well as changing out the bow navigation lights and changing the thruhull fitting for the watermaker.  We decided to hire a company also to compound and wax the hull.  We are tired of cleaning!  Time to go home.  We thought we would do it but when you realize all our buffers and rotors, electric extension cords, and ladders are not on the boat, it makes sense to pay someone to do it.

By late afternoon we check Yachtworld and see that Jazzebelle is listed now.  She looks great.  Hopefull she sells quickly.  It will be much easier that way.

We head off for a Thai dinner at a restaurant recommended to us by Lynn and Ian from Windward, and they are correct, it was excellent. 

Cole and Alexandra before bedtime!
Tonight we are spending the night on shore in a house.  Sleeping in a real bed at the Sitler’s.  We get to their house around 7:00 but Laura is not there yet.  We knew that Brad had left teh country to go to Scotland, but Laura had thought she would be home by 6:30.  We spend the time organizing the back of the truck and before long, Laura and the kids arrived.  Dawson spent the rest of the night loading the truck with the rest of our stuff out of their garage, and Julie got to visit with the kids.  First it was dolly, then Julie got to read bedtime stories.  A nice change from King’s cribbage.


Julie and Dawson

Day 340, Wednesday, May 28th

Day 340, Wednesday, May 28th

As usual we are up with the sun.  First job is a pump out and cleaning the holding tank.  What a way to start the day.  Oh well, can’t be all play. 

Jazzebelle being hauled
We are second in line for the haul out and we need to move the boat over to another dock.  First we launch the dinghy and motor so we can use it later to access downtown Annapolis.  We pack another 3 bins, and we are ready to move.  The fairways are narrow, there is very little wind so with a bit of planning it is no problem.  When we dock however the dockhand wants us to do it differently than Julie has planned so there is a bit of confusion, but Julie goes to her plan C and we end up on the opposite finger dock which is fine, as there is a haul out slip there too.

We watch the boat being pulled out with mixed feelings as she has been such a major part of our life and we know we are saying good-bye to her, possibly forever.  We loved the Caliber 40 and will return to the waters and the Calibers in the future.  After all our time shopping for her, she was the right boat and kept us safe in some scary weather (although we mainly timed the weather perfectly to avoid storms).

Watching with smiles
It takes only an hour for the boat to be all blocked up safely, and we are allowed up on her to continue working away.  It is more difficult now to offload her and we need to be very careful not to fall off as we climb up and down.  The biggest sadness is the toilets are no longer useable.  Now we have to walk over to the marina wash house to use the showers, and toilets which is a real pain.  No late night drinks tonight!
Back to cleaning, stuff comes out of everywhere.  Boat puking is the term we use.

At about 5:00 we head over to Davis Pub via dinghy.  We have to take a couple stabs at finding the dinghy dock, lots of private clubs that won’t let us tie up the dinghy.  Finally we find it and join another couple outside as there is a table shortage.  It starts getting cold, so we transfer inside where it is also cold, but at least no breeze.  The rain has held off for most of the day, but it is now starting to drizzle.
Back at the boat we do manage to make some coffee with our fingers crossed hoping we won’t run out of propane. 


Julie and Dawson

Day 339, Tuesday May 27th

Day 339, Tuesday May 27th

Today, we meet with the new broker, Tim in morning to review the listing.

On the way back to Crownsville from the boatyard, where we met Tim the broker we stop at Enterprise to return our rental car.  IT is not due until Wednesday, but it would be too complicated to get back to where we leave the car when we transfer the boat, so we are just returning it early.  Renting cars in teh US is easy and cheap.  We sure have enjoyed having the van for the week.
Julie taking out the battens from the main sail
We say good bye to Brad, but he is on a business call so it is just a wave and a whispered “thanks”.  Within minutes we have thrown the lines and we are on the last cruise down to the boatyard.  We are able to fly the jib for a portion of the trip.  Once we get to the harbour there are all sorts of dinghy sailboats racing and we end up kind of in the middle of them which is not so good, but not a big deal.   The clouds are getting bigger and it looks like there is a thunderstorm heading our way.

Dawson with the help of Keith flaking the sail nicely

We get landed safely, another of the 150 landings we have done in the last year.  Once landed we start stripping off sails. We get a good lesson from Keith who is also a broker on how to manage large sails and fold them in confined spaces.  The winds are starting to whip up and we get the last sail folded just in the nick of time.  We get shelter in our full enclosure which is great and appreciated.  The neighbour boat had to hide down below in his new boat.

Ugly sky coming, work fast!
We cook up our last dinner hoping to have enough propane which we do, settle into a game of Kings cribbage and also make a list of all the jobs to accomplish in the next 2 days.

We are getting there.

Julie and Dawson

Day 338, Monday May 26th

Day 338, Monday May 26
Cole, Brad and Alex

Alex enjoying the whole boat
Back on our, packing, waxing, staining,......   By 2:00 we are tired but looking forward to taking the Sitler’s out for a sail.  Just off their house the Severn River widens sufficiently to have a little sail around.  By 3:00 we are off, with our youngest sailor yet, Cole, and a possible replacement for Julie, Alexandra.  Alexandra is quite taken with handling the wheel.  Sadly she can’t see over the coach house to know where to steer. 

Will Julie be replaced with Admiral Alex?
The winds were very light which was perfect cause you realize the kids have no handholds.  They can’t reach the high stuff and are too short to brace themselves with their legs.  Lucky it was light winds.  At first we thought we did not have enough, but it was fabulous.  It was one of the few sails we undertook just for sailing sake.  Normally it is always to “get somewhere”, versus just to enjoy.  Before we knew it , it was 5:30 so we  headed in as we had a pizza night planned.  Brad, Cole and Dawson headed off in their convertible for the pickup, while Alexandra, Laura and Julie organized from the inside.  After pizza we enjoyed a homemade peach pie made by Laura.  It was wonderful, her first pie! 
Julie blogging at the Sitler's

We did not stay late as the Sitler’s had to go to work the next day so we headed down to the dock and called it a night.


Julie and Dawson 

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Day 337, Sunday May 25

Day 337, Sunday May 25

It is the long weekend here in the USA and the weather is beautiful, so lots of boats going up and down the river, which is nice, but ..... where we are docked we are not sheltered from the wakes and we are worried about banging up against the pool slide located at the end of the dock that hangs out about a foot.  When we sense a particularly large wake we dash up on deck to help shield the boat from moving about too much.  Luckily it all worked out and we really didn’t have to dash up at all, but better safe than sorry.  Hopefully tomorrow it is no worse.  It is an excellent protected spot, we just don’t want to damage our wonderful hosts dock or toys.
See how clean the boat is!

Mid morning Dawson contacts our broker as he thought the email from Pat had said to give him a call. It did not, however they had a good conversation and Pat indicated that there was not a good match for us as customer and broker and he would pass us back to Tim the owner who we had made original contact with and had been recommended by friends.  We were satisfied that this would be the best course of action for all concerned and shared a few emails with Tim to get the ball rolling on listing Jazzebelle for sale (versus sail).

We continue to apply Cetol to the bow sprit and eyebrows.  Today is the 3rd and last coat, and so we remove the masking tape about an hour after application.  It is now hot and sunny so the masking tape is gooey, so now we have a goo gone job for tomorrow.  One step forward, a half a step backwards.... and we even used the good masking tape to minimize this.  Oh well.

Once this work is done, we head back into town to Home depot to pick up a few more things we need.  This time we avoided rush hour as it is the weekend.  Our last stop is Trader Joe’s for a few groceries and we are back to the boat awaiting the Sitler family return as they are expected back from their family holiday today.  We have dinner, but the Sitler’s have been delayed and it is 9:30 at night before we see any lights on up at the big house.

We head on up to say hello and pass along the few groceries we had picked up for them.  Everyone is tired so we plan on getting together for a sail tomorrow and bid our good nights.


Julie and Dawson