2008 Pre-Departure

January 2008

The sale of the business has been completed and we are now finished working, the next few months will be taken up with selling all our household contents, our Beneteau Oceanis 352, our vehicles and the house, and last but not least finding the right boat for our family, especially one that I feel will have enough space in it so I won’t go insane. Nothing too major!!

When looking through our house that we have lived in for exactly 10 years this coming year, we have accumulated a lot of “stuff” and after having three children the “stuff” has exponentially accumulated after each baby! The thought of having to get rid of everything is truly overwhelming, especially when I don’t want to get rid of anything. I like my dining room buffet made of solid wood mahogany, even though it is scratched and the doors need a knife to open them. I like my dining room furniture and chairs. However having said all of that, I am looking forward to the thought of not running around like a madwoman, constantly driving the kids to their respective schools, their extra-curricular activities, homework, piano etc. etc. throw in a business to run and it was a very busy lifestyle. The house is looking much better as I continue to de-clutter, things that you get used to having around that you would never look at getting rid of if you were not downsizing your family of five into a space the size of your living room. But once they are gone, they are truly forgotten and the house looks bigger and much cleaner.

February 2008

We decided we better sit the kids down for a family meeting to explain what this decision means to them. For Andrea it meant that she would not be returning to her school that she had been going to for four years. She started crying huge tears and magnificent sobs. "I don’t want to go, I want to go to school, (this was repeated about 10 times). Chris and I were just staring at her, we didn’t know what to do. We were so surprised by this reaction. Ryan and Cari just sat there staring at us. So we said to Andrea, "Okay, tell us what is it that you are going to miss about school. HER: “Grammare”, US: “Pardon?” HER: “Grammare.” US: “Oh you are going to miss Grandma!, Well she will come and visit, we can email her, phone her etc., etc., HER: “No, not Grandma, Grammaire, French Grammar!!. Another shocked stare HER: "What about the French craft, Madame Beauchamps does a French craft every Friday. Well we will talk to Madame Beachamps and get a French craft from her and we will do it on the boat every Friday. Well what about movie night (another huge sob). What are we going to do about movie night? Well we are going to have movie night on the boat. Every Friday, just like at home. After a few more sniffles, we haven’t heard one negative word since. The kids enjoy telling all their friends that they are going to go live on a boat and sail around the world (although I usually chime in that we are only planning on sailing to the Caribbean first then we will see how it is going).

Chris went down to Florida for a week, and stayed on a friends catamaran while shopping for us. He came home with the list narrowed a little bit. We have narrowed it down to the Voyage 440, PDQ 42 and Privilege, (expensive taste!). We still believe that a catamaran is what we want. I just can’t see myself sailing all over the place heeled over while trying to make a coffee or lunch for the kids.

March 2008

After a week’s charter in the Bahamas on a Moorings 4200 Leopard catamaran we have decided that even though we do not like the 4 heads, we like this boat. We do not want to buy a charter version however, I would like the kids to have their own bedroom and we do not need or want four bathrooms.

April 2008

We think we have found the boat for us! The boat that we are still interested in is a five hour drive away from Ottawa in Parry Sound. We have been to see it a few times and we plan to put an offer in for this 42 foot PDQ. The drive to Parry Sound is classic Northern Ontario, with tall evergreen trees, camp sites and even moose on the highway.

Organizing the basement

Moose on the Hwy 60

Testing out a Leopard cat in the Bahamas

June 2008

We are now the proud owners of a 2002 PDQ Antares called Stray Kitty

We are still selling off our belongings like there is no tomorrow, it just never ends, thank goodness for www.kijiji.ca and www.usedottawa.com or we would be on our 10th garage sale by now. The house has been up for sale for a month now so we are hoping that someone will buy it soon. We sold Daydream, our Beneteau and the dingy so that was bittersweet, in fact we sold the Beneteau and saw it driving away on a huge truck from the yacht club in the morning and that night at the same yacht club we signed the papers to buy Stray Kitty! Some one came over to us and asked how does it feel to be boatless? Well it wasn’t bad as it was only a few hours!!

We are going through lists everyday trying to be efficient in completing all the tasks that need doing. To read about our shakedown cruise click 2008-06 Shakedown Cruise

July 2008

Only three weeks to go before our departure. The countdown has begun.

July 12, 2008

My brother and sister-in-law had a huge going away party for us. It was so amazing, it was a complete surprise, we thought we were going there for dinner and when we got to their house we were blown away by all the people and party. Thank you Carolyn and Joe.

It is very hard saying bye to all our family and friends, it makes you not want to leave or go anywhere at all! but we are charging ahead with our plan, there is not turning back or stopping now.

July 13, 2008-Good-bye Rhonda, Mark and the Pud Family.

July 14, 2008 Good bye Claudia and Joe, Mario and Leo, thanks for the yummy bunny!

July 16, 2008-Good bye Tuck and Lori, Ryan, Ashley and Lindsay.

Goodbye Grandma!

July 19, 2008

The van is rented and we are starting to fill it with the last load of our belongings. It seems like we are taking way too much but I've already got rid of so much stuff!! The amount of stuff that I gave away, and sold still really boggles my mind, I still can't beleive how much we accumlate over time without really noticing. Whatever I didn't have time to sell was left on our front deck for anyone who wanted it.

Almost there!

Come and get it!


Good bye neighbours! The neighbours had a good-bye party for us. We were so fortunate to live in such a great neighbourhood and have such great neighbours. There are always kids playing on the street, there aren't alot of cars to worry about, we feel safe, there are excellent babysitters right next door. Are we ever going to find a better place? Selling the house was very difficult but we want to be free of as many possessions as possible and don't want the hassle of owning property that will at some point need our attention.

The fear of the unknown keeps nagging at me as I keep asking myself, "Are we doing the right thing?"