The Charted Life TV

Our Subscriptions on Youtube is a veritable who’s who in the Mobile Lifer. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a channel that was devoted to all these creators, that you could access 24 hours a day, from anywhere with a Wifi connections- The Charted Life TV

Our Subscriptions on Youtube is a veritable who’s who in the Mobile Lifer. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a channel that was devoted to all these creators, that you could access 24 hours a day, from anywhere with a Wifi connections- The Charted Life TV

Did you know there are dozens, if not hundreds of sailboats cruising the world with two millenials at the helm, a dog in tow and a half dozen bikinis on board touting the mobile lifestyle on Youtube? Did you further know that there are equally if not more Mobilehomers, Bus Restorationists, Tiny Homers and Van Dwellers doing the same thing in various stages of hair growth and self-removal from society? There are so many that telling the difference between one sun tanned blond twenty something on a beach from the other and one shaggy bearded former hedge fund manager from the next is almost impossible. And YouTube doesn’t do much to help it.

They are all asking for beer money and patronage on the ever growing Patreon and hoping to strike it famous and rich with a steady stream of Vlogs posts about their adventures in paradise and tips to live on the cheap in your RV. Its all pretty formulaic now and you can tell who has had the greatest success by the age of their last video and the 60,000 subscribers on their Youtube Channel.

It would all seem nonsensical if not for the massive following they are getting individually. Most of the posters who have been at it for at least a year or more, have subscriber numbers in the tens’s of thousands and those who have done it regularly for at three years are tallying subscribers in the hundreds of thousands. One my favorites, who I use regularly in the Captains courses I teach to demonstrate life at sea to prospective captains is SV Delos

Way back in 2015 we were releasing 2 episodes a month....The time between when we filmed and released them was over a year! We made the decision to work our asses off and release 1 episode every week until we got "caught up"... Well, THE TIME HAS COME!!!

By far and away one of the more successful Youtube Sailboats , SV Delos boasts more than 300,000 subscribers and by all accounts is living the good life with rum and sun and scantily clad millennials that have cycled on and off the boat over the last seven years. One has to wonder what manner of trust funds funds this adventure, or do they do it with donations from viewers through their Patreon account. Whatever they have done, they have done it with a success that entices hundreds to sell everything and hop on a boat with a camcorder and lap top and head south every year. While some persist, others abandon their Youtube channels abruptly after a 12 to 24 months and presumably return to adulting back on the mainland.

This is in striking opposition to the RV side of things, where unlike their youthful and beautiful sailing partners, The Mobilehomers as I call them, are a decidedly frumpier group made up of mostly younger hipsters or older disenfranchised corporate types who have sold the sticks and bricks life and are taking residence in an RV, Bus or Van that has been retrofitted for comfort as they make a spiritual journey westward, northward, or whatever other direction the wind blows them.

These folks take names like Caravan Carolyn, Wandering Jimmy or The Getaway Couple. and they post their experiences on the road as newbee and experienced travalers much to the delight of office bound dreamers who wish to follow in their footsteps . I know because that is precisely where Jennifer and I got the bug.

These are our top 10 beginner RV mistakes! We're almost to our year mark with full time RV living and you better believe we've made some mistakes. We're giving you the chance to learn from our mistakes so you can avoid them in the future! Happy travels! What are your RV beginner mistakes?

Our original goal was to join the RV and sailing broadcasters and hang out our shingle as mobile bookkeepers and traveling sailing instructors to fund our life as we restored our 1970 airstream, “Tillie” and launched our 42’ endeavour, SV Lost Boys, but alas, I have the upper body make up of a toad and Jennifer is sporting a broken wing. Top that with a hurricane-totaled sailboat and a total gut job of our airstream and we decided our plan cannot be as it were and so we have adapted.

Our plan is now not to join their ranks as we once hoped, but instead now to assist them in their pursuits.

The Charted Life TV will be concentration of mobile lifers on land and sea and will be a targeted collection of all the best videos we can find from the sailors and Mobielhomers past and present who have graced the Youtube world. We are launching the channel on Roku, Apple TV and a bunch of other platforms that will go out around the globe and meet the mental masturbation needs of all those office bound souls who dream of hitting the road when they strike it rich. It will allow viewers a chance to target some of the best mobile videographers free from the Youtube Algorithms and pop ups, slow connection speeds and massive clutter to sift through in the jungle that is internet video.

Surely the other things we are doing, like the Charted Life Yacht and Motor Club and the nationwide network of campgrounds and marinas will drive down the cost of the lifestyle so many hope to adopt some day so that you don’t have to be a trust fund baby or a retired commercial pilot to afford the lifestyle. And with the lowered costs and the increased publicity of these founding mobile-lifers, we might get a new generation of mobile lifer who produces even more compelling travel footage and takes the medium to the next level. We can only hope to foster that, but wouldn’t it be great if.

So if this all sounds like a cool idea to you, or at least as cool of an idea as we thinks it is, share this, share our webpage, share our videos and share of crowd funding efforts, and if you could chip in a few bucks for gas money at https://igg.me/at/uUwdECyen28/x/20009576

And thanks again for joining one of the fastest growing trends in the New Economy, The Mobile Lifestyle.

Making the Mobile Life for EVERYONE

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Are you a Mobile Lifer? Do you live aboard a sailboat and travel from port to port? Or do you live in an Airstream and cruise the National Parks? Or do you just dream that someday soon, you sell the house, hop in your boat or RV and head towards the nearest horizon? We are with you.

The Charted Life is all about making your home in whatever moves you, whether is a tiny home on wheels in Wichita, a cruising cat in the Caribbean or a Retro School bus in Schenectady - we are with you and we aim to be there for you.

Our goal is to create a series of spots, both landward and seaward, up both coasts and everywhere in between where you, the mobile lifer, can find a place to dock up, stop in or drop anchor.

You see there is so much between boats and RVs that is in common, much more than is different, that we want to celebrate that which we share, rather than that which makes us different. And why? Well because we all want to save money, live freely and pursue life on our own terms. And by working together we can drive down the cost of traveling for everyone.

We are developing a network of campgrounds and Marinas, RV parks and boat yards and every where else you might like to spend the night so that with your membership, you will get free stays at all your favorite spots. We will use your membership to pay for your visits, up to two nights, at any of our participating marinas, RV parks or campgrounds. So that if you want to bounce from hill to dale, it wont cost you a fortune and you wont have to pull out your wallet for anything except gas and cocktails.

And once we develop this network, we will get you discounts on everything else, like tires, fenders, gas, diesel and even turtle wax. Because when we all team up, we have a collective power to drive costs down.

WE need your help though to get this off the ground though. We need people and money. People to spread the word and money to help the people. You can help us build the first club house in a series of club house we aim to build around the nation by contributing what you can at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-charted-life-yacht-and-motor-club/x/20009576#/

And then once you have contributed and you get your thank you gift, share it with the world. Put it on your Facebook page that you just joined the Charted Life and encourage your friends to join too. Or tweet it or Pin it, or do whatever it is you do. Just do it.

WE( Jennifer and Crewman Chris, the rest of the members and I) hope your New Year is going great and that the launch of this idea makes this the year you set out to join the mobile lifestyle and live your dream, but if not and your still in planning mode, we get it, we are planning too. And we need your help just the same. Thanks! and Give what you can, so we can help you make the mobile life a reality for you.

Where to today honey??

Don’t you just wish you could pile all your things into the family roadster, fire it up and head to somewhere where the weather suits your clothes? And wouldn’t it be cool if tomorrow you could head to a totally different place and the only limiting factor would be do you have enough fuel to get there.

Well that’s what we are working on at The Charted Life, a way for you to head in any direction on the compass, by land or sea, and find a place that you want to call home for a night or two, before heading out to the next horizon. And the best part is we are working on a way to do this without forcing you to pull out your visa card every ten minutes along the way with the hopes that you’ll land somewhere that is affordable, friendly and clean.

We are working to create a network of marinas and campgrounds across the North American Continent so that you can bring your boat or RV into any one of our network affiliates, stay for a night or two without ever having to pay for a slip or site and get the peace of mind to know your getting a good deal, in a safe and clean place, that is welcoming to those of your particular mindset, namely the mobile lifer.

Now the question is, how is the Mobile Life perspective different than any other? Well sit down at a seaside laundromat in Beaufort on a weekday in November and you’ll hear all about it.

People from Maine to Martha’s Vineyard, New Jersey to New Brunswick and every where else in between pass through on their way down the ICW and they will tell you, finding a good spot to charge your cell phone is key when picking a port of call. Other factor, how far a walk is to the Library? What about a good laundromat or restaurant. You see the things that you need when you come ashore are very different than the things you need when your on a vacation cruise.

And those are the things we want to know for both Mobile Homers and Live Aboards.

We are creating an evaluation survey that we will be distributing to marinas and campgrounds across the US, Mexico and Canada who might be ideal candidates as Charted Life Yacht and Motor Club affiliates. We will ask them to evaluate themselves and we will score them based on their answers. Only the highest scoring facilities will be part of our network and you the Mobile Lifer will gain the confidence in that network to know that when you pull in to that campground or marina, you will get what you expect because you helped us write the evaluation.

So tell us, what do you think we should be looking for in the best marinas and campgrounds? Comment below or send us an email at Info@thechartedlife.net and tell us what qualities you like in a marina or campground and what you think should be on this evaluation survey!

For all those who make their home Aboard!

Black Rock Harbor Bridgeport, CT

Black Rock Harbor Bridgeport, CT

The notion hit me like a ton of bricks late one afternoon as I struggled to come up with the cash to pay rent, “Why don’t I live on a boat?” It was late February in 2006 when I was living in a third floor walk up in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport. My roommate was a late 20’s drama queen with a passion for complaining and pension for prescription drugs. And once again I was wondering, as she whirled around the living room after being up for three days straight without sleep, why I paid rent to live with such a person when from my window over looking Black Rock Harbor I could see a fleet of boats bobbing on their moorings. Why didn’t I just buy a boat and live on it instead of struggling to live the life that was prescribed to me by social norms that came with all the bills, conflicts and contrivances of life on land? And that was the afternoon I decided that my boat would be my home and I started the process of buying my 1976 Cal 34’ named “Mystique”.

These are two of my chickens we used for tick and insect eradication at the Landfill. They were prolific egg layers but I was hesitant to eat the eggs from a Bridgeport Landfill.

These are two of my chickens we used for tick and insect eradication at the Landfill. They were prolific egg layers but I was hesitant to eat the eggs from a Bridgeport Landfill.

I could now go into all the adventures I had living on that boat which eventually morphed into me living in an office trailer way off the grid as an Urban Pioneer in a landfill complete with a flock of chickens, my dog Buxton and a living array that would have made the Professor on Gilligan’s Island green with envy. But yet I digress. This blog is going out to all those who wish to, are working to or already have made the choice to live the live aboard life on their own. You don’t need to hear about my live aboard life, half as much as you need to hear why we (my wife and I) are starting a club for those who share a thought to make the live aboard life their own.

This is Buxton during our Luau at the Landfill. You can see the boats behind her in the Harbor

This is Buxton during our Luau at the Landfill. You can see the boats behind her in the Harbor

The why is so much more important as so many think they want to live in a boat or in an RV and so many more have already attempted to cast off the sticks and bricks existence only to find themselves back in two bedrooms and a bath before long on a cul de sac in Suburbia USA.

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Modern America is downright hostile to the those who chose to make their home in a boat or a RV. Don’t believe me? Look to my now hometown who just made anchoring a crime . Or look to Florida or Connecticut who also claim the bottom lands as their own as if deeded to them through the ages from Poseidon himself. It used to be that what lies beneath belonged to everyone, but as the steady stream of Big Brother America has washed over the modern age, now to attach ones boat to the sand of some harbor or river is to sin against the waterfront property owners and by extension the politicians they pay to keep the common man out of their multi-million dollar views.

And what of the Motor Homers who rumble across the highways and by-ways of North America bouncing from Walmart Parking Lot to Walmart Parking lot, unable to stop for any period of time for fear that they might grow roots or the grand kids might catch up? What used to be the right of every American to stop for a spell on the highway to have a sandwich and catch 20 winks has turned into a contrived cat and mouse game where you fight truckers for space at rest stops and are looked down upon if your trailer is anything other than a carbon copy of the latest and greatest assembly line rolling Clorox bottles. Where are the tiny homers, the Bus Reclaimants and the Airstream Resurrectionists supposed to stop to fill up, wind down and kick back before rolling on?

This is the problem we aim to solve. And how do we solve it? We Unite.

We think boaters and motor homers deserve a soft place to land when their eyes grow weary and their clothes begin to walk by themselves and we aim to create a network of places to serve them. A place to have a hot shower, get a good meal and a warm spot to spend the night where like minds will welcome you with a smile and see the same beauty of the rising sun when they set sail for the next harbor or hit the road for Akron on Monday morning.

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The Charted Life Yacht and Motor Club will spread out across the North American Continent, starting with a club house we aim to build in Beaufort, NC on Radio Island at the Cross roads of the North Atlantic in 2019. We are launching an effort to create a series of facilities for Boaters and Motorhomers that will stretch from sea to shining sea, all the way from the Panama Canal to the Yukon Territory and every where in between. At each of these facilities, those who who wish to live or are living the mobile life whether they make their life on land or sea, will find a smiling face, a helpful hand and a spot to call home for a few days or up to a few weeks. If you need a place to do laundry, we aim to serve. Need a spot to get a water pump delivered? We’ll be there. Or you just need a spot to tie up to get out of the storm for a few hours that is affordable, safe and friendly, we want to help. The Charted Life Yacht and Motor Club aims to welcome boaters and motorhomers to join our fleet from all walks of life regardless of what you call home. And we aim to do it for a little more than a gym membership will cost you.

If the mobile life speaks to you and you want to lend your hand in helping to grow this club, give us a call at 252-617-3792 or shoot us a message. Thanks.

The Charted Life Yacht and Motor Club

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It occurred to me this past week that we need a course change. The hurricane took our big boat and the Hunter fleet grew. The sailing education side of things has long since proven to be less than profitable and the idea that boating and RV’s have more in common than in difference is a growing trend.

That combined with the success of our new Live show, “Conversations at the Helm” and the influx of interest in our unlimited boat usage and membership signaled the need for a new tack.

And to top it all off, a piece of property is on the market on Front Street in Beaufort, NC that screams for a new use other than just rentals.

I give you The Charted Life Yacht and Motor Club.

It is a club of like minded souls who think that life beside the drive way is not all that its cracked up to be.

That’s not to say owning a sticks and bricks house is bad, but the time spent sailing to some far away place or driving across far a field, is so much more appealing than weekends spent in a lazy boy watching the world go by.

And so we call to all those who live the gypsy life and yearn for that next adventure. We call to you to join us where we will toast the miles traveled and celebrate the life lived more deliberately.

We invite you to join us whether you have attained the dream to live aboard or simply dream that one day it may be so. Whether you cast off the bonds of “stuff” and paired your world down to a few key belonging that may all fit in a ruck sack or take great pride in donating that one small bag of extra stuff you don’t need any more to charity.

Wherever you are on your path to the mobile life, we invite you fall in and immerse yourself in crossing those items off your bucket list. By joining our cause and our club, we invite you to join our growing fleet of member boats and motorhomes as they set across seas and nations to live The Charted Life in an armada of freedom to live life how we want to live it. That is the Charted Life Yacht and Motor Club and we are setting sail today!

Checking in from the Charted Life

The SV Lost Boys just prior to launching in Bradenton, FL

The SV Lost Boys just prior to launching in Bradenton, FL

I have been a bit remiss in posting to this Blog this summer. After all, there are boats to rebuild, Airstreams to restore, people to teach sailing and miles of Oceans to cross. But while I have been radio silent on the blog, I have been broadcasting feverishly from Facebook. Have a look at my latest Live Feed from Facebook

Maybe you saw some of our other posts on our way back up from Marathon with the Endeavor 42 or maybe you've been catching us as we make her beautiful once again. If you missed em, please head back for another look cause its kinda fun sharing our progress and we've had a blast shooting them. 

In other news, we are launching a bunch of new efforts to put wind in our sails. Our membership program has gone live (both annual and monthly options available) and we are rolling out the Awe Gee's Shop, a online market place dedicated to serving the needs of those who seek to live the mobile lifestyle sustainably.  WE also are now offering $300 custom charters aboard the Endeavor for up to six passengers to help introduce all you sticks and bricks folks to the mobile life. 

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And finally, we're feeling the winds of change blowing with our efforts to Ban the Bag Worldwide. We've ruffled a few feathers in Beaufort and more and more businesses are committing to go going green and getting rid of plastic straws and bags from their daily operations. Black Sheep Pizza, The Coastal Community Market, Beaufort Pet Provisions and of course our friends at Old Beaufort Farmers Market have all committed to doing their parts to keeping plastic from our Oceans.  So kudos to them and Thank you for doing what you can to make turn away from a single use plastic world. 

So that's what's happening in The Charted Life this week. Lots to do and we'll get doing it if the rain will ever let up. So stay dry and keep the warm wishes coming and Thanks for checking in to The Charted Life

The Charted Life - Is it the journey or the destination? Maybe its the Adventure that matters

Yesterday marked the end of an era for my family. In fact in many ways it was the end of my family. I said Goodbye to my memories, my sister, my aunts and everyone else in my family whom took a part in the resentment and the anger that has clouded my soul for the last 40 years.

It came in the form of a sale of a piece of property left to me by my Grandmother more than a decade ago, but was deeded to her nearly a century ago. In fact it was part of the clan that I can only lay partial claim to as the son a half sister who was born to a single mother in a Baltimore cold water walk-up just after the close of WWII.  

My Grandmother, a judgmental, head-strong 19-year old woke up pregnant and married with an Armistice Day hangover in 1946. Early the next year, that hangover would become the bane of her existence, a reminder of poor judgement and a jail bird husband who lit off at the first news of being a Daddy. 

My Grandmother, making the best of bad situation, dumped my Mom on her Grandparents in Baltimore and took up residence at the end of Aunt Rose's Bar in Annapolis. She did so to drink away the pain, she did so to stay young, she did so in the hopes of catching a better post war husband then her last without so much shrapnel in his soul.  She quickly found the man I knew as my Grandfather, a decent yet hapless Army vet she could dominate and berate into submission.

His name was Ben and he worked at his Aunt's Bar in 1947 fixing and renting row boats to the newly released GI's back from the war. Aunt Rose's Bar, a local back water beer and crab house situated on the other side of the Naval Academy would become the hottest crab house in Annapolis, when Aunt Rose eventually sold the property to Cantler's and gave the opposite side of the creek to my Grandfather and Grandmother in exchange for a grandson named after the most prominent member of the family  in history, Grover Cleveland Pumphrey, county sheriff.

Ben, just back from Italy was taking the summer of 1947 to collect his thoughts by working the docks of Aunt Rose's Bar in Annapolis while the rest of the family was back on the farm raising horses. He met Kitty one evening over a bottle of beer and some steamed crabs as she was down from Baltimore at the summer place just up the road from Aunt Rose's Bar.  She was young, and pretty with dark hair and a well endowed frame. We always joked that it was clear my Granddad was not a leg man when you looked at my Grandmother and that must have been what caught his eye amid the piles of young ladies and horny young warriors scarred from battle, drunk as lords and riding high on an American Victory. 

The two married in a hurry, and built a house with 1.5 baths and  a finished basement on the newly acquired 2 acres across the Creek from Aunt Rose's Bar. This would eventually be the property that anchored our family and would also be the property that tore our family apart. And this was the property that was sold yesterday for $1.5 Million dollars, a decidedly grander figure than a name like Grover  Pumphrey. 

I thought I wanted to hang on to this property as it was the root of what I knew to be my family, but after living on this property and in this house and learning a story that has haunted me and will continue to do so until I can lay the spirits to rest, I decided it better we were done with it. 

But it has launched a mystery I need to solve and that is what we will be doing this weekend with the Charted Life. I have client who needs lessons in Michigan and to get there I have to drive past the ancestral town of My Grandfather. Not Ben, but a man who was really my Grandfather, Charles Joseph Franz.  The Jail Bird War Vet who may or may not have punched an officer and wound up in federal prison. The man who lived in a apartment in Covington, KY and died from lung cancer in 1991 in a Cincinnati VA Hospital bed alone.  The man who fathered my Mother and disappeared never to be heard from again or so we thought. 

You see the house in Annapolis, gave me the clue that has launched this mystery. A letter in my Grandfather's hand from 1949 begging for info about his daughter. He wanted to know her. My Mom lived her entire life thinking her mother hated her and her father didn't want her. And one night, on My Mom's birthday, I discovered a box of old papers in the basement of the house and in that box, I found that letter and my Mom discovered she had a Dad who loved her yet never met because my Grandmother would not let her know him. 

So that's the mystery- who was Charles Franz? Did he ever remarry? Why did he go to prison? Why did he leave her in 1946 and walk away from a wife, a daughter and a family that would  eventually be complete with grand kids he would never meet? What happened to him in war? Where did he work? Who loved him? Who was my grandfather? The world may never know but then again, it might. 

Yesterday just after the house was confirmed sold, I got a message from a second cousin who lives in Montana. Our DNA matched on Ancestry and she claimed my Mom in her tree.  I asked her how she knew my Mom and she said, her Uncle was my Grandfather. Wow. Jen and I were both in tears when we read that message and now we know what our next destination is- first to Covington, Kentucky on our way to Saugatuck, Michigan this weekend where we will sell the message of UGO and teach a nice young couple to sail their new boat.  Then we plan to hop in Tilly and make our way out to Montana later this year to meet my second cousin once removed once Tilly is finished of course. We also have to head to Florida to buy a new boat with the proceeds of the sale of the house and we need to deliver the SV Southern Comfort and a 44 Leopard to Beaufort all before June 1. We have lots to do. But such is the Charted Life. 

I am not happy about the loss of my family home, but it has started us on a journey that I never thought I would ever make. And so Jen and I were talking about it, and we decided that its not the journey that matters or even the destination, its the adventure that makes it all worth doing.

And so somewhere in this adventure I will meet the man who was my Grandfather and he will know he has a Grandson with a lovely wife and even great grandson somewhere in this world. Maybe I wont talk to him until the next world, but I do hope he knows that in this world, he will be remembered as a the man who wanted to be a dad to a daughter who so desperately wanted one.   

The Easter Voyage begins today.

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Later today we will shove off and make the drive down to Fort Meyers, FL where we will board a 38' Leopard Catamaran and sail it around Key West and up to Beaufort. Needless to say, we are a bit excited (Jennifer and I). First and foremost, we love to hit the road and to spend the Easter Holiday on an adventure makes it all the more exciting. 

The Last Time Jen was there she came home with a pile of amazing beach finds- we are told the Shelling has been good as of late. We shall see. 

The Last Time Jen was there she came home with a pile of amazing beach finds- we are told the Shelling has been good as of late. We shall see. 

She made me promise that we would do a bit of shelling on Sanibel Island Beaches and of course we hope to catch a glimpse of the Green Flash as I have never seen it and she has only seen it once at Sanibel a couple years ago. WE GOT SH@#! to DO! 

Then on Monday a crew of six will join the boat and we will depart for Northern Waters via The Florida Keys. Jennifer will drive Buxton and the rental car back to Beaufort (no doubt stopping for Chicken Nuggets at least once along the way to keep Buxton's spirits high- when Buxton isn't happy, the whole car suffers with the windows down.) I will miss them both and was hoping they would join us for this journey, but alas the cards did not work out that way. 

Jen has a deal with Buxton- whenever they hit the road together and leave me someplace to fend for myself- they share an order of Chicken Nuggets from McDonalds on the road. I am not sure if I should be jealous or not, as always have to steal my nuggets from either of them. 

Jen has a deal with Buxton- whenever they hit the road together and leave me someplace to fend for myself- they share an order of Chicken Nuggets from McDonalds on the road. I am not sure if I should be jealous or not, as always have to steal my nuggets from either of them. 

I will also be missing my First Mate and Friend Matt as he too has prior commitments that he could not beg off of to sail a thousand miles back to home. But of the crew we have we are quite lucky. 

My Friend John was the first to commit to fly down to join us. He is a great friend and a long time student of mine. He stood by me when all the world abandoned me in Bridgeport and he is a good man to know in a jam as he is quite resourceful and has a good head for machines. 

Next to commit was Ryan. He is a current client of mine and a boat owner. He doesn't have a ton of sea miles, but has a good grasp of the concepts and has a youthful curiosity for how things work on his side.  He's looking to learn what he can and I see this voyage as a bounty of learning opportunities. Accordingly I am stocking all the necessary charts and bringing my two sextants with to pass the time and grow the knowledge base. 

Next to call was Alex- a sailing instructor I know from Long Island. We sailed together in a Nor'Easter off Oyster Bay two Novembers ago and he has dreams of sailing into the Sunset.  He's originally from Ukraine so there is a lag in conversation comprehension at times, but he's a good man and a good sailor. He's also brings a captain he is friends with who hails from Fort Pierce and I believe has made this journey around the bend once or twice- why reinvent the wheel when you can tap into local knowledge? 

Finally, First Mate Matt couldn't join us but he wanted to help in anyway he could. So accordingly he called up a salty friend of his who he tips beers with in New Bern who lives on a sailboat he restored a few years back. His name is Jay and I liked him immediately in part because of his "Devil May Care" attitude and in part because one the first things he packed besides his sleeping bag was his guitar. Music makes the miles tick off a lot faster at sea I find. 

I drove out to meet him yesterday and picked up some necessary gear that was going to cost me $1000 but because he had it on his boat and said we could use it, I didn't have to spend the cash. Whilst there, he loaded me down with pretty much every possible piece of safety gear we could need from drogues and jack lines to a Hand Held GPS and a a pile safety lanyards and harnesses. He said, "This Boat has been to Kenya, if we need it, we will find here."  He was super generous and I am very certain he will be a great asset to this adventure. 

And so I am packing the car, feeding the cat and waiting for Jennifer to get off work so we can disembark. I did pretty much everything I needed to do yesterday in my excitement and if we don't have it, we (thanks to Jay) can buy it in Fort Meyers.  But here's a couple tips that helped us save a buck and get prepared properly for this adventure:

1) Type 1 Offshore "May West"-Style Life Jackets- They are required for offshore passages and a good idea as they are guaranteed to float an unconscious person faceup for long term rescue situations. But they are super expensive at West Marine and our boat didn't have any.  But even with my Port Supply discount, they are $50 each and finding six of them proved to be impossible by Good Friday. I stopped in to Anchors Away Consignment in Beaufort and they had Four of them on the shelf with lights and whistles for $20 used. What was going to cost me a $400 I got for $80- Cha Ching! They might smell a little funny but they are USCG approved and serviceable.  Besides as my wife pointed out, May West was not that well endowed and calling them "May Wests" is a misnomer. We should pick someone else- like Dolly Parton to name them after- Jen thought that was a good idea and nearly pissed herself laughing saying,  (In a metro-sexual affect) "Ahoy thar Matey, Get me my "Dolly", the boat is going down!" I have to buy three more in Fort Meyers, maybe we can start a trend and sell them on the idea of renaming them. 

2) Life Boats- the vessel has a lifeboat, but it hasn't been inspected and past its date. It is no longer USCG compliant. With no way to buy one and get it to Florida by Monday, even if we had the cash, we had to make some other arrangements. And a Walmart Inflatable is not a life raft. So we found Aviation Survival Rentals in Tampa. They can get us a boat, ship it to us at the Marina and even gave a return label to ship it back to them from wherever we land, all for $60/day with $25 shipping to us and $35 return shipping. Its more than I want to spend, but worth every dime to  have it just in case we need it.  That is a money and a Life saving tip you want to stow away for future use. 

Finally food. We have to go shopping when we get down there as its not worth packing ice and all the food for two days, just to pack it in a cooler for five more. So Easter Monday at 5am we will be shopping for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 5 guys for five days. To save what we can when we can, we canned a couple gallons of chili this winter which turned out pretty good. We have four quarts we are bringing with us for at least one meal afloat and Jen plans on boiling a few dozen eggs for us to snack on while underway. We are aiming to have a ready supply of high protein snacks that can be passed around on the rolling deck with minimal fuss and less plastic by products. The hard boiled egg and glass packed chili fits the bill perfectly. We also plan on stocking the boat with lots of nuts, cold cuts and 5-gallon water jugs that can be refilled and used to fill reusable water bottles. As Jen says, "we prefer no plastic". 

And so with that I will sign off. I'll take lots of photos and check in on Facebook whenever I can. There is no wifi in the Gulf Stream so radio silence may be kept for a few days at a time. But by Next Sunday, I have to be back on shore to teach a class at the college- so wish us luck and fair winds and lets see if the Gulf Stream can launch us North to Beaufort by next Sunday.