Winter Plans: Land Ho!

coffeeIt was coming down to crunch time, there was a crisp coolness and a hint of panic in the air when things sort of resolved. I can’t say things are totally resolved. Things are only ever completely resolved in fiction. Anyway, onward to the specifics of what the heck I’m talking about.

I’m writing and editing this blog post from the comfort of a couch. A couch I’ll occupy for the next six months, It is one of four couches in the house I’ll care for. Yep I got a house-sitting gig that will keep me high, dry and gleeful from the end of October to the beginning of May. In short, I scored. Big time.

I’ll not have to worry about buying a boat, renting an apartment, slapping together a temporary and ugly “band-aid” for the Islander to stop the rain from coming into my home. Instead I’ll welcome in the fall and winter while living someplace that comes equipped with a gourmet kitchen (it has two ovens!), several bathrooms, a dedicated laundry room, and a 3D television. Right, this paragraph essentially says I’ve gone to the dark side. Or the dry side. However you’d like to categorize it, that’s up to you.

I know that the above has disappointed many of you, all who have encouraged and urged me to perservere and find another–perhaps better–boat and continue on with the liveaboard quest. After a mediocre summer I just didn’t have the right attitude to spend another long, wet and cold winter aboard a boat. Last winter was full of expectations of cruising the Puget Sound aboard my new adventerous home. This winter…not even close. I just couldn’t do it. Winters here are dreadful, and the thought of spending another one docked here…well it held no romantic appeal, I can assure you.

Some folks I know suggested that I try house-sitting, and since Western Washington is replete with snowbirds I thought it would be an easy gig to find. For several weeks nothing happened toward this idea, just a lot of head-banging. One does not simply put up an ad on Craig’s List to house-sit, after all. I informed some people of my intentions, but the best help came from a relator, who really went to work for me and later found the perfect fit.

Many land-dwelling plans were concocted during the lull of time, the most promising being renting somewhere in Seattle, specifically West Seattle, which to use an old phrase is “hip to the jive.” I’ve never lived in a city before, and thought heck, might as well now! I looked at several apartments, but none grabbed hold of me and proclaimed themselves home. It was while looking at the fourth complex that I got an email from a couple interested in having me house-sit over winter while they lived in Arizona. The timing was too perfect to be ignored.

After meeting with them and discovering they were great people (they are sailors, by the way!) with a beautiful home decked out with genuine nautical decor, including two schooner models in the back office, it wasn’t a hard decision to make. Riley, who is loved by all who meet him, would have a fenced yard in which to play and romp, and the two of us would have plenty of space to be comfortable over winter. It really was a no brainer. Being in the house has put me into quite the domestic mood, and I’m eager to try out some great Paleo baking recipes in the kitchen, start some crafty projects, and get ready to send out Chirstmas cards (which I haven’t done in years!)

Boat Racing

I’ve not given up boats! In fact I’ll be doing more sailing this winter than last. I’ve already been on two races (Trans-Puget and The Sloop Tavern Yacht Regatta) and I’m scheduled for at least one more, the Round the County race in November. If your in need of crew and don’t mind that I’m still figuring out the spinnaker, please contact me. As a solo sailer I never flew the spinnaker, so it’s still new to me.

What about Libby?

A few people have expressed interest in buying her as is, and I’m exploring that option. If you’re also interested in acquireing her, please contact me. The reason I still have the boat is simple: I kept trying to figure out a way to have her repaired. But, as with the first time I tried out that plan, the numbers didn’t add up. A few people have opined and said all I’d need to do to get her fixed is x, y and z, but since I don’t know how to do x, y and z, I’d have to hire someone to do it, and that’s where the prices start soaring! What I think will happen is someone who knows how to fix the boat, someone who isn’t crunched for time, will take her and make the repairs and have themselves a good solid boat. At least that’s my hope. Now that I’m off the boat, I’ll be able to sort this all out.

Will I live aboard again?

Hard to say, but I’m loving the land thing. I can certainly see owning another boat one day, but whether or not I’d liveaboard is still a question mark. I could write several pages and posts about what I’ve learned about myself while living aboard, but if I do it’ll come later.


  1. Bruce Blumenstein October 26, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Riley has a good life with you! I hope he gets to be inside too within reason. Maybe get to have his foot of the bed at night. We hope to see you around at times and give our best wishes perpetually. Very cool Courtney!!

    1. Courtney October 29, 2012 at 6:52 am

      Oh Riley has it made. He’s always with me, sleeping on the rug right now as I’m on the couch. Usually he’s not up this early…and I guess he’s still not. Fast asleep.

  2. Jerry Armstrong October 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    The universe is looking out for you. Just like I said.
    Jerry (the perfect stranger, more strange than perfect)

    1. Courtney October 29, 2012 at 6:52 am

      That it is, Jerry. Hope you and Mis Hap are doing well!

  3. Pingback: Winter Plans: Land Ho! | Courtney Kirchoff

  4. Fred Facker October 28, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    It hit 55 here this weekend, and it was too cold for me. I couldn’t imagine spending an entire winter in the ice and snow on a boat — unless you can take it someplace warm. (I might be a wimp.)

    It would have been great sailing here Saturday, but the north wind pushed all the water out into the bay, and nobody could get their boat our of the marina. I think I have to bit the bullet and re-budget for a deeper marina when my lease is up.

    Congratulations on finding a place.

  5. rawthul November 8, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Which boat are you crewing on for Round the County?

    My family’s Islander 30, Emoyeni, will be racing. Wave or say hi if you spot us, we’re a friendly bunch…

    1. Courtney November 8, 2012 at 11:41 am

      I’ll be on Beltane, so we’ll be in a different division. See you there!