Moving Again (July - December 2002)
We somewhat reluctantly leave Tierra Verde.

Those of you who follow these logs on a regular basis know that this update comes over a year late. Several people have even asked if we still own the boat. Yes, we do -- it's just that our lives have become much more "normal" over the last year and a half, so sailing has become more of a hobby. At first, we felt really guilty about this, and we tried to force ourselves to take the boat out every chance we got, but we finally realized that by forcing ourselves to go sailing, we were ruining everything that makes sailing fun.

In the spring of '02, our housing situation came to a head once again. Our lease was up at the end of July, and this time, our landlord really DID decide to move down from New Jersey. We had intended to buy a house when we finally moved out of Tierra Verde, but (having been through all this the previous year) we didn't think that our landlord would really move, so we were caught flat-footed. We didn't find a house that we liked in time, so we moved into an apartment. (A really nice townhouse apartment with a garage.)

In truth, we liked the new place better than Tierra Verde anyway, but it left us with the awkward problem of where to put the boat. I called the Tierra Verde dockmaster a few months after our move, and he told me that I needed to vacate the slip. (Apparently, there's some kind of restriction in the homeowners association documents.) Uggh! I had just been through all this the previous year when I thought we were going to move, so at least I had a good idea where to look.

By this point, though, I was feeling overwhelmed by the constant worry about the boat, and we hadn't taken her out in months, so we began to question whether we should own the boat at all. After agonizing over the decision for months, we reluctantly concluded that it made the most sense to sell her. I created a really nice HTML page and listed the boat for sale on a number of websites. As soon as we got our first serious call about the boat, though -- sparking visions of someone else sailing her away forever -- we realized that we just couldn't part with her. (Thus emotion triumphs over logic.) We decided that we'd just keep her and take her out when we felt like it, even if that meant that she'd sit unused for overly long. The sooner we stop feeling guilty, the sooner we'll enjoy using the boat again.

Meanwhile, our neighbors from Tierra Verde had also moved out, relocating to Jacksonville. They put their boat in the local marina, then started making plans to bring her around the tip of Florida. I offered to crew for them if they did the move themselves (I even drafted a whole plan for the trip), but they ran into scheduling problems of their own and decided to hire a delivery captain instead.

I had continued beating the bushes to find a new slip, but without much success. We were nearing the top of the waiting list at the enviable Clearwater Municipal Marina, but there was no way of knowing how long it would take for a slip to come available. I found a decent slip near our apartment, but it was temporarily occupied by a big fishing boat. Fortunately, Theresa found an ad in the paper for a private slip a bit farther north on the Gulf side, at John's Pass. We drove up there after Thanksgiving to check out the slip, and it looked deep enough and really well protected, so we agreed to rent it.

We had planned to do a big New Year's trip down to the Keys, but we didn't have any time left before then to move the boat up to her new slip, so we rolled the slip move into the plan as well. With everything else going on, this turned out to be far too ambitious. I was driving myself mad getting everything ready for the trip and scheduling all the rest of the Christmas season around it, and we finally realized that this was becoming more work than vacation.

So, we cancelled the trip, moved the boat up to her new slip instead (a day trip), then took some time to actually relax over the holidays. Thus ended our year.

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