Since we are closing in on 2016, we figured we’d go ahead and share our six most notable memories of 2015.
Our First Night On The Hook
In May, we spent our first night on the hook on the SV Slurricane after having finally completed the brand new fiberglass deck and reattaching all of the deck hardware. This was an awesome moment for us since neither of us had ever spent a night on he hook, let alone on our own sailboat. This experience just continued to build the dream of spending more than half of our year in different anchorages on the hook!
The Purchase Of Our Westsail 32
We experienced what would probably be considered by many sailors to be extremely cramped living conditions in the last few days of our 2014 December and through January and February when my wife and I, two to six children, and a dog lived aboard our 30 foot Cheoy Lee Sailboat during what ended up being two very wet and cramped months. It shouldn’t be difficult to understand why we decided we needed a bigger sailboat if we were going to survive the cruising lifestyle without at least a few of us getting keel hauled so by the end of February, we had decided to start looking for a large project boat.
While looking at sailboats, a Westsail 32 quickly became my dream boat for our eventual circumnavigation plans but they were priced way out of reach of our humble finances. It would have to wait. After praying for some guidance, aa good friend of ours told me that he thought a Westsail 32 might be for sale the next marina over. We decided to take a look, figuring it was far outside of our budget. We were wrong and a week after our first look at the boat, we owned our own unfinished Westsail 32 kit boat!
Lo and behold, the SV Rad Mode!
Sale of the Slurricane
The only difficulty in finishing the Rad Mode was going to be funding the project. We had to sell the Slurricane to fund the project and after a lot more work on the Slurricane and having many buyers out that seemed mostly like jackoffs, three different offers (two were refused, the other withdrawn), and a lot of conversations about whether or not it’s in God’s plan for us to sell the boat, a family member that was staying on the Slurricane on weekends while working nearby, decided he was going to purchase it, finish the work on it, and chase the cruising lifestyle as well! What a surprise and an awesome moment!
Injustice Of The Law
We’ve never been on the wrong side of the law but we have both been targeted by law enforcement and “taught a lesson”. My wife was even sued by the Reno PD at 17 years of age after they beat her up during a routine traffic stop that went bad when a power hungry Officer wanted to flex her law enforcement muscles to a citizen using her rights. Needless to say, that Officer was desked while a frustrated Judge forced my innocent wife into 80 hours of community service because of bad decisions on the part of a court-appointed lawyer.
This year, two close family members that also happen to be two of the best men that I know, found themselves in the cross hairs of the law.
One of them was charged with multiple felonies by lazy law enforcement, put in jail, released on his own recognizants, and had to return to the court over and over only to have his court date continually pushed out over the last 6 months because, get this, the DA has NO EVIDENCE TO CONVICT HIM and needs more time to come up with something. During all of this time, he has not been allowed to see his son.
Seeing the injustices that both of these men have endured at the hands of the law and our “justice” system has served as a stark reminder that us Americans, living in a country with the world’s highest prison population, are anything but free regardless of what we are continually told, taught, and chant.
Our Awesome Mexico Travel Plans And Their Subsequent Annihilation
We do our best to work our butts off during the warmer months of the year and travel to warmer climates during the cold months. Last year was a bust but 2013 was highly successful. We found ourselves camping on BLM land in multiple States, fishing, living off of the land, and having some of the greatest experiences of our lives. This year, we planned to spend 5 months in Jalisco, Mexico, on the coast, spear fishing, helping the locals, relaxing, improving our Spanish, and of course, drinking margaritas. All of this was destroyed when a vengeful ex did everything he could to pull the plug.
After signing for passports for the kids and having numerous conversations about the planned trip, he suddenly pulled his consent in an effort to blackmail us into ridiculous demands. In an effort to be good little slaves (citizens I mean), we filed with the courts to get permission to travel with the kids to Mexico. The court date is now scheduled for March. Needless to say, most of our winter will be spent here instead of Mexico but that also means the SV Rad Mode will be sailing that much sooner!
Rebuilding A Subaru In The Park
Shortly after purchasing it, we lost all compression in the number 4 cylinder on our Subaru Forester. We diagnosed it down to an exhaust valve in the head through lots of Google research and some conversations with friends and family that are much more mechanically savy. After looking over the costs of rebuilding a head and doing all of the other labor by ourselves, we decided to tackle this project in the part portion of what is our marina.
Not being much of a mechanic, this initially seemed like a fairly daunting undertaking but come to find out, it wasn’t to difficult and after having done it, I feel much more confident in my ability to deal with mechanical issues with all kinds of motors. Suddenly, they just make so much more sense!
Even considering the disappointments, this year was super awesome for us! We are on track for a much better one in 2016 and I can’t wait for my next 5 month winter vacation!