Our Trailer to Sailboat Journey

Our Trailer to Sailboat Journey

So we have a boat now . . . I thought I would catch you up because my parents have been busy with boat projects.

After my mom’s last post in Lake Sawyer we went to a campground in Bellevue. It was one of my favorite campgrounds because it had a pool! One day when we were sitting in our trailer, my parents just said, “We’re going to San Fransisco to look at a boat.” So we packed up some clothes and we got in the truck and stared driving (without our trailer.) We stayed at a hotel for a few days and saw the boat. Long story short, the boat sucked for reasons I didn’t understand. Next, we were going to check out a boat in Ventura, which was about six hours from San Franscisco. The boat was amazing. Everyone was really happy about it. My parents put in an offer on it.

The next day, we drove home back to Seattle and started getting ready to drive to Ventura again with our trailer. We packed up all the things in our storage unit and went back to our friend’s driveway for a week to spend as much time as possible with them before we left. During that week, we had a going-away party, which was fun but sad. A few days later we had a very emotional goodbye to our friends that we called “ the commune”. I was really sad that I wouldn’t see some of my best friends in person for a really long time. We drove away and started driving back to Ventura. (23 hour drive all together, that sucked.)

We stayed a month at Ventura Beach RV Resort. It was my favorite campground we ever went to. It had a pool, hot tub, so many places to ride bikes, a beach, and it even had a store that had ice cream! Every weekend it got really busy and there were kids riding bikes at night with lights around their bikes, and everyone had a fire going and it was awesome. I felt like it was really alive and it made me really happy to be there. It made me forget that we were living in a 26’ trailer and Ventura felt like a friendly home to us.

When it came time for the boat survey, my mom and dad got a babysitter for Evie and I for the day because they said that the survey was really boring. A few days later we got the survey results and found out the boat was not good and needed too much work. I was really disappointed. What if we weren’t meant to do this? It took two tries to get our house sold, and then when we find the perfect boat, we don’t get it because it isn’t perfect. What if we were going to live in our trailer forever?

Really disappointed, we waited for another boat to pop up and there were a few boats in San Diego. Two of them sucked, but there was one left to see, and I was sure that this boat would be the one. When we got on the boat, and looked inside, it was amazing! It was really spacious, it had four cabins and three heads, and my cabin had its own head! We put in an offer and waited. I was really worried that the offer wouldn’t be accepted and I really wanted this boat. I wanted to get out of our trailer. Finally after two days we heard that it was accepted. I was so excited. I’m going to get out of this trailer and have my own cabin with a door! Evie and I were sent to my aunt’s house in Phoenix during the survey to hang out with our cousins.

Then my parents said we probably wont get it because it needed a lot of work and the price was a little too high. I was so disappointed and I really thought that living on a boat wasn’t meant to be. We didn’t even know where we were going to drive next. But the next day, my dad woke up and decided that he wanted to get the boat and asked for my mom’s support. Long story short, we got it. The boat was not taken care of for about 5 years and it took about 4 days to clean out all of the junk and move in. And a couple more days to clean our our trailer and sell it. Yaaaaaaay!

It took my parents 3 months to fix her up while living in San Diego. We named her Litha. For my next blog post, I will tell you all about our time in San Diego.

To read other articles about families transitioning aboard click here.
Transitional Thoughts:  From our 2800 sqft house to a 26 ft travel trailer.

Transitional Thoughts: From our 2800 sqft house to a 26 ft travel trailer.

It has been a pretty exhausting road so far to be honest.  Selling our home and everything we own to live in a very inexpensive travel trailer with our 2 young kids.  And now we shop for our perfect home afloat to sail the world.

“Are we doing the right thing?”
“Do you think the kids are ok?”
“Are we crazy?”

I decided to write a pretty informal blog to catch everyone up on our journey so far.

The house sold but it did not go smoothly.  We accepted a full price cash offer right away with a closing date of 2 weeks.  We scrambled to finish the last of our yard sales, and deliver furniture to friends and family who wanted to purchase our favorite pieces.  We took truckloads of items to donation.  We rented a storage unit for all of the items that will fit on a boat, but not in a trailer.  And then we spent days bickering with each other while we loaded up the trailer and finished clearing out the house.

On March 20th, we moved into our travel trailer at Dash Point State Park.  It is a nice park, but I will say that the vibe in a campground in March, as opposed to camping in the summer months, is very different.  A little sketchy even.  Trailers, campers, and… a school bus with grow lights and questionable plants inside would move from space to space to extend their stay.  It mostly rained (we live in the Pacific NW after all) and people would stay in their tin boxes with the shades drawn.

The day the house was due to close, we were anxiously waiting for funds to deposit.  After many excuses and extensions, the buyer never even deposited his earnest money.  No funds on closing day.  The deal expired.  We still owned our house.  The entire offer was a huge scam.  I’m not completely sure what this guy’s story is.  Not sure if he was mentally ill and thought he truly had money, or if he thought he could hack into someone else’s account.  All I know is that we were devastated.  Here we were living in a sketchy campground, having to re-list our empty home (it was beautifully, professionally staged before).  And we gave away so many valuable items in our home because we were in a rush.  And now we had a mortgage payment and campground fees at the same time.

Luckily, we have some amazing friends who offered to let us park our trailer in their driveway while we re-listed the house.  I can’t express our gratitude to them enough.  They were there for us at a time when we all truly needed to be with friends.  Along with their neighbors, we joked that we were a commune.  6 adults and 7 kids.  We received another offer on our home almost 2 weeks later.  A young couple with 3 kids.  There was a little bit of annoyance with little repairs they wanted done, but everything else went smoothly.  The house finally closed on May 1st, a little over 9 weeks since we put it on the market.  We were strangely unemotional that day, but we bought margaritas and BBQ food to celebrate.

About a week and a half after our house closed, we decided to leave the “commune” and take the trailer to Lake Sawyer Resort only 20 minutes away.  This way we can come over to visit our friends everyday, but we don’t actually live there anymore.  We thought that would be a better transition for the kids.  (And us adults too really!)  We will miss them so much when we sail away.

Now we spend every waking moment boat shopping.  Looking for our perfect home afloat.  The nice thing about boat shopping now that we live in such a small space is that boats feel so big!  When we were living in our home and looking at boats, they felt tiny.  The world will feel like that when we leave.  … From Seattle to the whole world.




Plan to go with the flow

Plan to go with the flow

After attending a few writing workshops at the Seattle Boat Show, I learned that when you hear the same question over and over again, it’s time to write about it:

“When are you guys leaving?”

Short answer:  We don’t know.

Slightly longer answer:

Our house goes on the market in 6 days (eek!), February 25th.  We then cross our fingers and hope it sells quickly.  If we received the perfect offer on day 1, and accepted it, it would be 30 days until closing.  30 days to hold estate sales to sell the rest of our belongings, pack, and be out of our home.

Then, we move into our travel trailer and start boat shopping.  We may find the perfect boat here in the Pacific Northwest, we may find one we love on the other side of the country.  We just don’t know.  Justin might fly somewhere to look at one, decide we love it, and then we drive the truck and trailer (along with everything we own) to the boat, and begin the purchase process. Who knows how many boats we look at before we find the perfect fit for our family.

Next, we prepare our new boat for world cruising and sell our truck and trailer.  Depending on where in the US we purchase our new home afloat, we either begin our journey on the East Coast and spend some time in the Bahamas and down through the Panama Canal.  Or ideally we find a boat on the West Coast and cruise down to the Baja.

Our goal is to cross the Pacific Ocean in February of next year with a rally called ARC.  There would be about 200 other people all making the 3 week jump from Mexico to the Marquesas at the same time.  We’d have parties and BBQ’s in SoCal and meet other cruising families before making the big journey together.

So, summary of our slightly longer answer:  We have a goal to set sail across the Pacific Ocean February of 2019 but we have a long process ahead of us with a lot of variables.

As we transition from land to sea, we are learning how to just go with the flow.



Side Effects of Minimalism

Side Effects of Minimalism

“Does this bring me joy?” I hear that’s what you’re supposed to ask yourself about an object as you declutter your home.  But becoming minimalists for us is just a side effect of sailing away. As we spend our weekends getting our house ready to list, donating items, and having “Sale for Sail”, we are getting rid of so many items that absolutely still bring us joy. However, we understand that we need to let these things go so that we can embrace a life change and find new experiences that bring us joy. And it’s unexpectedly freeing to do so.

So maybe “Does this bring me joy?” is the wrong question for those on this trendy minimalism kick. Maybe ask yourself, “What lifestyle change could I make room for if I didn’t own this item?” If one of your life goals is having a clean, organized kitchen so that you can host weekly dinners with friends, this would bring you more happiness than having drawers full of kitchen gadgets. You realize that cooking doesn’t matter. Spending time with your friends in your home matters. Even if that pineapple corer brings you joy that one time you use it for a summer BBQ, it will bring you more joy not to own it.

For us, if our dream is to sail around the world, then it’s time to let, say, our bicycles go even though we love them and would continue to ride if we weren’t making this change. The closer we get to becoming nomads, checking items off of our to-do list, and selling what we thought was important to us, the more freeing it feels. We are realizing that joy has nothing to do with our possessions. What can you clear out of your life to make room for your dreams?



Fear of living your dreams

Fear of living your dreams

Our blog is called Life off the deep end because we are embracing crazy.  But I think we’d be a much different kind of crazy if we didn’t have fears about our plans to sell everything and sail around the world with our kids.

Fear sneaks up on me when I least expect it:

When I’m at the grocery store looking at the abundance of fresh produce.
A little feeling of anxiety pops up as I realize that soon I will not have easy access to this.  Why am I doing this when I have the ability to feed our family such nutritious food right now?  Will my picky kids eat different foods from different countries?

When I send my kids downstairs to play.
I love our house.  It’s big and spacious and the kids have so much room to play and grow.  That little bit of fear sneaks in again.  Why would I want to cram all of us in a tiny boat?  Are the kids going to drive us crazy?  What happens when I need alone time?

When I’m scrolling through Facebook and memes about Fall start popping up.
Fall is my absolute favorite season.  The crisp air, colored leaves, sweaters, coffee, Halloween.  Living in New England for a few years gave me a deep love of all seasons.  Winter snow too.  Fear rears its ugly head again.  Am I going to miss the seasons?  Am I going to get tired of white sand beaches and crystal clear water?

When I’m cooking dinner in my kitchen.
Will this gadget work on a boat?  Do I need plastic dishes?  What happens if I need to know how long to bake something and I have no internet to google it?  Do I need to bring an old fashioned Betty Crocker cookbook?  Again, what am I thinking?!

When I’m driving down the street with the kids.
How will my kids learn to drive a car?  Am I screwing them up by homeschooling them?  Will they miss out on a “normal life”?  Will they hate me for not experiencing teenage milestones like picking up a date to take to the movies, going to prom, etc?

What is a “normal life” anyway?  As quickly as those fears pop in, they just as quickly disappear.  I remind myself that what we want to experience as a family in this world is worth every little fear along the way.  I heard somewhere that everything in this world is either love, or a call to love.  So if you have a fear of living your own dream… love it more.  

Love, light, and sea,

10 Frequently Asked Questions about our dream of sailing around the world

10 Frequently Asked Questions about our dream of sailing around the world

Hi!  Welcome to our new blog, Life off the Deep End!  We hope that a little bit of our crazy rubs off on our readers and we inspire you to live your dreams too!  Life is short.  Jump in!

F.A(Y)Q- Frequently asked (or yelled) questions we received when telling friends and family that we plan to sell our house and everything we own, buy a live-aboard sailboat, and circumnavigate the world with our kids:

#1  Q: “Are you crazy?!”
A:  Yes.  Yes we are.  We are entirely bonkers, nuts, weird, strange, bananas, out of our minds, … and completely going off the deep end.  But for us, that’s the best way to be!

#2  Q: “How long have you been planning this?  Do you even know how to sail?”
A: We have been visiting every boat show; reading every book, magazine, and blog; watching every sailing YouTube channel we can find; and dreaming about living aboard a boat and sailing around the world for almost 20 years now.  We have our ASA 101/102 sailing certifications and we own a little J24 right now and just spent two weeks sailing around the San Juan Islands.  We are taking ASA 103 and 104 in September.

#3  Q: “Did you win the lottery or something?”
A: Unfortunately, no.  But thanks to the boom in the Seattle housing market, our home has increased in value so much since we purchased it, that we should be able to finally make our dream a reality and trade our home for a sail boat.

#4  Q: “How are you going to make money?”
A:  Well, we have quite a few ideas:

  • We know there are a lot of cruisers who have YouTube channels and blogs of their journeys.  We realize this isn’t a new concept here, but hopefully we can take what we’ve learned from them and offer a new perspective.  (And we have previous video filming and editing experience so it should work out better than some!)  We’ll be doing this to share our journey with our friends and family no matter what, but we hope that our friends will share with their friends… And perhaps this blog (and vlog) will eventually bring in a little income.  Who knows.  
  • I am moving my business from hands-on to online.  I’ve already started doing that, and I see quite a few of my clients by phone as it is.  Here’s a link to my current virtual services:  https://vitalrestingplace.com/virtual-services/  When we move, I’ll be moving vitalrestingplace.com to seeingfromthesea.com
  • I am moving my workshops, classes, and lesson plans to online platforms for purchase.
  • I am going to do some freelance writing; book(s), pitch to magazines, etc.
  • I am going to attempt to sell crafty items on etsy (or maybe my own website) while afloat.  
  • I am going to bring my massage table with me to offer massage, reiki, sound healing, etc to people I meet on our journey.  And Justin will offer boat mechanic/maintenance services too.

We plan to use savings to help get us by until some of these endeavors pick up speed.  Hopefully this happens sooner rather than later because we aren’t leaving ourselves with much.  Our cost of living will obviously be much lower while living on a boat.

#5  Q: “What about the kid’s school?”
A: Well since I have my Masters Degree in Education, I think I’m pretty well equipped to homeschool my kids.  I plan to start homeschooling them this school year to help make the transition to boatschool (or worldschool) easier on all of us.  We want our kids to appreciate and learn about different cultures, religions, history, etc.  A traditional school would never be able to teach them in this way.  We are very excited about this opportunity for our children to grow up to be citizens of the world and not just US suburbia.

#6  Q: “When are you selling your house?”
A:  We have quite a few projects to finish before we put the house up for sale.  And yes, I know we haven’t owned it very long, but we’ve done a lot of upgrades that we never quite finished 100%.  We are hoping to list it in February (so 6 months from now).  So don’t worry, we aren’t leaving for a while.

#7  Q: “What are you doing with all of your belongings?”
A:  “Everything must go!”  We are selling everything besides a few boxes of keepsakes to leave with family, and whatever we bring with us on the boat.  So if there’s a piece of furniture or some art work or something in our house that you’ve been eyeing for a long time… make an offer.

#8  Q: “Where do you plan on going?”
A: That’s a bit up in the air right now.  Where we begin our journey depends on where we find our home afloat.  There are many world cruisers for sale in Florida, and also quite a few that pop up in San Diego.  If we can find one here in the Pacific Northwest, that would be great, but we’re open to looking wherever.  So either we start our journey in the Caribbean, or sail down to start in Mexico.  Eventually we plan to sail to the South Pacific and keep going from there.

#9  Q: “This sounds so scary!  Aren’t you worried about… Pirates? Hurricanes? Injuries?”
A: We have done a lot of research about which countries are safe to visit (especially with kids) and which areas we should avoid.  We plan to meet many other cruisers with kids and stick together as much as possible.  We are already starting to meet and chat with awesome cruising families on our Life off the deep end Instagram page.  As far as weather goes… “There’s an app for that.”  Really though, we’ll have a satellite receiver to diligently check weather, wind, current, etc, before passages.  Lastly, from what research we’ve done, healthcare seems to be much easier and less expensive in the countries we plan to visit, but we will have catastrophic health insurance (and boat insurance) as well.  We will visit our doctors and work with them to stock our first aid kit before embarking.  We are also planning on taking wilderness first aid training in the coming months.

#10  Q: “How long will you be gone?”
A:  We really aren’t sure at the moment.  Going with the flow… literally.

I hope I answered most of the questions that have been swarming around in your head… And maybe you think we’re a little less crazy than you did when you started reading?  (Just a little?)  If you are wondering about something I didn’t write about, please comment here on the blog and I’ll do my best to answer your burning question!

Whether you know us personally, or you just happened upon us, thank you for reading and being so supportive.  Please tell your friends about us.  No matter what journey in life you’re on, I hope you will find inspiration here as I keep blogging.  Live your dreams.  If we can do it, you can do it.

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(YouTube coming soon.)

Love, light, and sea,