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silverybrecht

A land lovers journey to learn how to sail.

Cars and boats

It’s starting to feel like we might be moving forward. We have a couple leads on boats that we might be able to trade our Honda for. Which would be awesome! We’ve had a lot of calls on the car, but nobody has been very serious. So a trade could be nice; a win, win.

Thinking we might need to have a yard sale. It’s not that I want to make a lot of money on my stuff, I just want to make something to put in the boat fund. We’ll probably need to have a few yard sales….One for each down size we make towards cruising full time.me and the honda

The plan is to get a little boat to learn on this summer. Hopefully while learning we can get our finances in order to purchase a nice affordable house. Wait- a house? Yes. Okay, so the idea for the house is to have it as a safety net and also maybe make a little money. I know we won’t get rich or be able to live completely off the rental income (probably won’t profit at all), but it would be nice to know we are building equity.

Once our skills outgrow our little boat (looking at around 26 feet) and we have a renter settled in our new house, we will start looking for a good deal on a bigger world cruising vessel.

It’s pretty exciting to think we might be boat owners soon. Even if is going to be tiny and old, it will be our boat. And it will be our ticket into the “club”. Mentioning that, I’ve just realized; it’s most certain that our boat will be older than me. Maybe we will name it something like Mama Bear or a more mainstream option such as; lil’ mama…

Well, it’s been awhile.

Long time no see. It’s already April, I don’t know where the time has gone, but somehow I haven’t written a post since summer time…Last year. So it’s no longer 2015. 2016 is here and already flying by. Not much has happened in the way of getting off land. We’re still committed, but it’s taking a lot of time and patience.

Over the winter we were lucky enough to have work on the coast. So, we were able to get acquainted with the beautiful and very angry Pacific Ocean via the Oregon and Washington shore line.

We are currently in search of a small, sailing vessel with a trailer. Something cheap and easy to learn on. Hoping for something we can fix up as we learn and hopefully make a profit on when we sell it, to put towards a larger boat we can live on.

We lost one of our kitties over the winter. Fat Loui our little black and white bobtail had cancer and was suffering from kidney failure. I would say it’s been quite with only one, but our other cat has been so sad, he just wonders throughout the house crying.

I’ve been trying to learn Spanish. It’s one of my New Year’s resolutions; to work on myself everyday. So far it’s been going pretty well. I usually feel very confident until we listen to a Spanish speaking radio station…..then it is clear I KNOW NOTHING!

Signing off, with the promise to sign on again soon.

Some thoughts as we drive.

Montana is so beautiful. Softly rolling planes meet in the distance with prominent white capped navy blue mountains. The sky is both sunny and dark. Areas of dark red, mingling with black storm clouds, sun filtering through fluffy white clouds while rain beats down harder than imaginable.

Sometimes I feel jealous of people able to sit complacently in the same town their whole lives. How easy and relaxing it must be to be satisfied with what you have and where you’re at. Other times I just feel sad for them. If they are never unsatisfied they will never seek out anything new. They will never see or experience anything new. Never see all the wonderful places this world has hidden away. Notice the different way people treat strangers, some are so friendly others weary and stand offish.
I love seeing the different types of trees and plants. All the different colors the roads. Smelling the ocean so strong you could be sure it’s moments away. I enjoy the way Montana just rips up the whole highway when they do construction. Leaving only a rough single lane pothole filled dirt road for forty miles. One minute you’re cruising along at 65 mph, next you see a sign that says pavement ends.
We’ve been listening to a trilogy of audio books that follows five families through the events of world war two. The Century trilogy. Why have we always insisted on killing one another. It feels like we’re getting closer to another world war. If we aren’t unknowingly in one already. Money and God. If only we could all just be seen as humans. No government, no territory lines. Just people who mind their own until they die.

East of Helena MT

Trucking through Montana

We’re headed out on one of our longest runs yet. By the time we get home we will be at 1926 miles. I’m leaning more and more toward a trimaran, but if it comes down to it a little monohull will do just fine. I’m hoping this weekend to take a dive lesson. I want to get my PADI certificate. You cannot rent dive equipment or get your tanks filled on your own unless you are certified. I’m thinking of doing hull washes as a way to make some extra money too, so being certified would be a must. You can earn $2-$3 per foot, and according to my research it only takes about a minute per foot. However I have also read that it is a good upper body workout, which to me translates to hard work. I’d rather work hard for me than sit at an easy job earning money for some corporation, though. I wouldn’t mind doing some treasure diving either, wouldn’t it be so cool to find a bunch gold and jewels. Wreck/search diving can also be a good way to earn some money.
I’m thinking we will sail mostly in the winter. In the summer I’d like to buy junky houses and fix them up. Depending on the type and location either sell them, or rent them. I’ve always had an interest in flipping houses. Plus if we live in the house while we fix it up we won’t have find somewhere to live when we are inland.
I read about a program where you can pay money to help build straw bale houses (yes-you pay real money to build someone else’s house). I’m thinking when we build on our property that’s what we’ll do. You just need to contract a knowledgeable contractor who is willing to do a little teaching. You can either split the profits with your contractor, or pay a flat rate. Even if you don’t make enough money to cover the cost of construction, every little bit helps. Plus what’s better than free labor, labor that pays you.
Watched a film recently on Netflix called “Maiden Voyage”, it’s about this girl, Laura Dekker who’s 13 years old from Holland who circumnavigates the globe all by herself. She became the youngest person to sail around the world alone. It’ a beautiful movie. I would suggest it to anyone. I believe she is 20 now.
I just hope one day to sail across the Atlantic. The transatlantic takes about 3 weeks to a month. I think I would join a group to go over though. Safer and more sociable than doing it alone.
I was thinking about buying this little 25’ buccaneer that was for sale in Olympia, but the guy never got back to me. It was all ready to sail and sitting on a trailer. I figured we could pop it into Cour de’ alene lake. Would have been a good boat to learn on. Oh well, I read that the buccaneers are not what the serious sailor buys and that their roly poly shape earns it plenty of giggles and makes it harder to sail. Something else will come along. I just need something that’s quality it doesn’t need to be pretty or even finished. Sea worthy would be a plus too.
I wonder when the best time to buy a sail boat is.

Entry three on our journey to living on a sailboat.

Headed to Seattle today. We’ll be working through Friday (today’s Thursday). Hoping to convince the husband to stay the weekend. Would like to head down to the docks and do some drooling. After the last article or page I wrote ( see “The Sailing Catatmaran ) I’m kinda leaning toward a catamaran rather than a monohull. The problems I’ve encounter with the catamaran, is they are more expensive and harder to find.
We’re driving a straight truck today. At least that will make it easier to get around down town Seattle, even if it is super cramped and a much rougher ride than the semi-truck
I’ve been doing a lot of research on sailing with cats. It seems they make good ship mates, but you have to make sure you know the regulations and laws for the places you are traveling to. For instances, I read the south Pacific doesn’t allow cats at all. O_o
The standard seems to be that you need to have a copy of your feline’s paperwork, a vet’s clearance, and you must send in a registration form to the places you will be traveling to in advanced.
Apparently they make a kit to help you potty train your cats. It’s some kind of tray you put in your toilet and if you follow the directions it’s supposed to potty train your cats. I’m somewhat dubious about this, but wouldn’t it be great to eliminate the litter box. I can’t stand litter boxes, even in our house. I imagine the litter box can completely over take a boat. Perhaps I will try to potty train Fat Louie and Soft Paws before we hit the water.
I’m thinking for our first voyage we will stay close to the states. Starting from Seattle or maybe out of the Columbia, we’ll cruise along the south western coast of America down to Mexico. Head through the Panama Cannel to the Gulf of Mexico and follow the coast to Louisiana and Florida. After we make it to Florida next would be the Bahamas and Cuba.
Hawaii and Tahiti are also on my list, but for a maiden voyage that seems like a lot of open water.

Second entry on our journey to living the cruisers life on a sailboat

We drove from Spokane Washington through Idaho, had breakfast in St. Regis Montana made drops in Ronan, Kallispell, and White Fish Montana. Drove through Glacier national park and are now headed to Great Falls MT. Montana reminds me of the ocean; vast and wild, diverse and dangerous.

We spoke with one of the shop owners in White Fish, he said that his brother just got a really good deal on a vessel in Porto Rico. “The market is crashing in Porto Rico” he reports. “At least browse the market before spending too much in the US” he advised. I suppose he is right, but at the moment we don’t have any money to spend on a boat. Wouldn’t it be miserable to find a deal of a life time and miss out on it? It almost seems less painful to avoid looking at all.
I have found a few decent deals on Ebay and some on Craigslist too. We’re hoping to purchase a sailing vessel that’s no smaller than 30 feet and no larger than a one person crew could manage (Yes, we will be sailing together, but you never know.) I have also read that it can be hard to get slips for boats much larger than 40’. We will either buy a clean slate type of vessel of a fixer upper.
I plan on purchasing an industrial sewing machine and learning about sail repair. I figure I can make some money repairing sails for other boaters, and we’ll be able to repair our own sails. Surely Phill will end up being our diesel mechanic. I like the idea of being both self-sufficient and able to earn money. So the more we know the better!
I haven’t told any of the family yet. I’m not sure if I should come out and tell them. Maybe something like; “Mom and other various family members; we plan on drastically changing our lives. How you ask. We will be selling most of our belongings, quitting our jobs and moving onto a sailboat. So…the weather lately, right?” does that sound good? You’re right, they’re going to freak out. I could just vaguely tell them to read this blog so they can figure it out themselves. Yes, I think that’s the route to take. I might not even tell them to read it. I’ll just add a link to the blog onto my other social media sight! Well, either way I’m sure I will hear plenty of horror stories. Just as long as they don’t tell any about sharks (eeep!), I will persevere.

First entry of our journey to living on a sailboat.

We are trucking up Highway 93 somewhere in Northern Montana headed to drop of a load of mattresses. My husband is the truck driver. I was working at a Primary care medical building as a perfectly respectable Medical administrative assistant/Office coordinator (Yes, that title is so boring I fell asleep writing it, I can’t imagine what it must have been like to read it-Sorry), and Phill (for mentioned husband) was working has a local truck driver. It was all well and good, that is if you like to spend your whole life at work and only get paid half as much as you deserve and for what feels like is only half of the time you are there. Oh, as I was saying. We both had nice normal jobs; home by 5 off on the weekends, but craved something less monotonous. So after Phill accepted a good offer from a local mattress factory, I decided I would ride with him. We deliver the mattresses to warehouses and furniture stores all over the West. I love seeing all the sites.
Sometimes it can be hard to get him to stop and smell the roses with me- “I’m here to work” he says. What a poopy pants! When I can convince, batter, bargain or plead him into stopping it is always worth it. “See I told you we should stop” he says with a sly smile my way. Last week we went to the cutest little Italian restaurant in Kallispell MT. Phill had the yummiest looking plate of spaghetti and meat balls with the largest meat balls I have ever seen and I had the chef’s special of the night: Scallops around a mound of cheesy mushroom risotto topped with grilled asparagus and drizzled with the best huckleberry and reduced balsamic vinegar sauce. What a treat!
We’re actually headed to Kallispell now. It’s not that I don’t like to work. Or, that I’m lazy. I just like to be in charge. I cannot swallow someone telling me what to do, when I have to be at work, when I can have time off. Might as well be a child, but with a ton more stress! YUCK! Deciding to leave my job was scary. I’m still employed on an occasional basis, so I can go back if I want. I was ready to quit altogether though.
We have had a really great time so far. In Ronan MT at one of our drops is the nicest German Shepard named Buddy who was a little stand offish at first, but now is always just as glad to see me as I him. While the men unload Buddy and I sit in the shade enjoying each other’s company. Although we drive all over the West, we are able to be home every weekend and usually one day in the middle of the week, which is great. Gives us chance to see the cats (Fat Louie and Soft Paws) and take the horses (Huck, Mira, and Gazira) out for a trail ride or two. We usually force ourselves to do some house and yard work (boring).
Being out on the road is what really inspired us to pursue living on a sailboat. As a child I believed I could either have horses or a boat. Since I already had horses it seemed right to honor that commitment and continue on. Now, I am determined to pursue both. We are currently renting with the option to buy. We hope to buy our house and rent it out while we are cruising. After all you can’t go wrong with real estate. When you’re truck driving you really do get to see so much of America and meet a lot of really cool people (you meet some total (excuse me) ASSHOLES too, but you can’t let those types bring you down). Seeing what we have as only made me want to see more. More ocean, more people, cultures, islands, all of it.
Do you ever stop to think why you do what you do? Is it because you want to? Or because you’re supposed to? I have decided to live my life the way I want. I want to eat, so I have resolved that I’ll still need to make money somehow, but I will be the boss.
I miss my co-workers. I miss being a part of a team. Thinking about it though, Phill and I are a team and when we get our sailboat going and begin cruising we will be a part of a ragtag community of ocean goers.

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