Sunday, August 08, 2010

When You Can't Sell, You Sail

Comrades in Drumming
Comrades in Drumming
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
Don Quixote has now been for sale since the beginning of the year. The news on that front is pretty grim. It's not her fault, beautiful boat that she is. The problem is a combination of the horrible market and the horrible state of the banking industry. It is just about impossible to get a mortgage on an expensive boat, let alone a boat bobbing in foreign waters. So there you go. No sale for the sail.

In our case, simple mathematics tells us that if we can't sell her, we have to live on her. Why? Because to pay the mortgage, maintenance and insurance on Don Quixote is about the same as owning a standard suburban home and more than renting the same. We can't really afford to maintain two households. Don Quixote needs to be our home, or she needs to belong to someone else.

This is actually a rather interesting exercise in decision tree logic.

1) Can you sell the boat? YES | NO
- If yes, all the world is your oyster. Go have fun.
- If no, you must move aboard. Go to 2.

2) Can you live aboard without making money? YES | NO
- If yes, move back aboard and go cruising. Have fun. See you in a few years.
- If no, you must find a place to live aboard and make money. Go to 3.

3) Make a list of cities to which you can sail in the amount of time you have money left in the bank account and in which you can both live aboard and make more money:
San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland.

4) Branch each city and ask the following question: Do I wanna?
- If no, remove from list. Remember that saying no to some cities is politically dangerous with friends and family so be prepared to deal with the fallout.
- If yes, apply for jobs. Whichever city comes up with the best money/lifestyle choice, go there.

It feels like a bit of a rinse and repeat action with DrC once again applying for jobs abroad while I continue more or less in vain to find technical writing contracts which I can undertake from the deck of a boat any time any place. Those who play Brain Age and are on the sharps have already noticed that San Diego, San Francisco, and Seattle got booted from the list since DrC is only applying for "jobs abroad." I'm afraid we are just not ready to go back to the United States. Part of me wonders if we'll ever be ready for the U.S. again since every time we're given the perfect opportunity to repent our wicked ways and return to American soil, we run screaming in the opposite direction. While this requires some introspection and probably a series of blog entries, navel gazing will have to wait.

Scenic Smell
Scenic Smell
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
There is a strong probability that DrC can renew his existing contract at a clinic near Auckland. We like this idea. It's simple, it's familiar, and it's almost a lock. But in this world of shaky economics and in the face of a dwindling supply of ready blunt in the Don Quixote bank account, "almost" is just not good enough. So we are also working to secure positions in Sydney, Brisbane, and possibly even in Samoa or the Cook Islands. All of these are attainable from the west coast of Mexico, all of these locations periodically hire American trained eye doctors, and in all of these places we can live and work on the boat. New Zealand is at the top of the list, however, mostly because our eldest child has reached that stage in life where she has a Plan of her own. This Plan is ambitious and would result in her being qualified to attend New Zealand universities before her family sails away again. And as painful as that separation is to contemplate, the strength, sanity and sheer ambition of this Plan is impressive and inspirational to the rest of the family and worthy of going a bit out of our way to enable.

Though, I'll grant you that another 2,200 miles south from Tonga is probably more than a "bit out of our way."

So as we fast approach our first spring Halloween (which is just Wrong, by the way), it is increasingly clear that s/v Don Quixote is going to join the Coconut Milk Run. Yesterday, I listed our boat with the Pacific Puddle Jumpers 2011. It's time to start ordering parts.

1 comment:

jomamma said...

This will be exciting.