We’ve had a whole week now to work on our plan. It’s been the most back and forth jumbled up mixed up mess on top of trying to catch up with work, house showings, research and learning how to start and monetize a blog (which for now, I’m putting on the back burner). But here’s what we do know, in a chicken/egg sort of way:
- Turns out our housing is still available in Key West. For now.
- We still have airfare booked from Columbia to Key West on September 5. It’s on award tickets so dates can be changed, if needed.
- We really need to get back to Key West to get started on our winter events. Most things we can do remotely but there’s a number of face-to-face meetings that need to happen
- There’s not enough hours in the day, days in the week, to get the boat where we need it to be. A trip all the way to Key West would take more than 2 months, without stops. We know when we start the loop we don’t want to be on a strict time table.
- There isn’t a surveyor within 5 hours of Omaha or one willing to travel (without crazy fees) to survey the boat
- The boat has to be surveyed to get insurance (still waiting to see if an in-water will suffice)
- The boat has to have insurance to stay in the slip
- Sean is committed to working every weekend now through Labor Day
- The house still hasn’t sold. And if it sells now on a quick sale we’d be hard pressed to get the contents sold/moved before we need to be gone.
- Moving the boat OTR just to the Lake would be $7 to $10 k; the flybridge has to come down and other technical aspects plus getting it out of the marina without a travel lift would be a real challenge. Moving it to Key West is not even a possibility.
So…we had some decisions to make and some decisions were made for us. First, we knew where ever it was going it had to get there by water. Second, we knew we only had short windows of time in between work and our tickets to Key West. So our plan, Reader’s Digest version, manifested…
Sean got the third weekend in August shifts covered (two of the boats are in the shop so that helped) and we conned my dad into driving us to Omaha. It worked out because the house is AirBnb’d Friday through Tuesday. We left our car at dad’s and loaded his van with as much as we could – everything from furniture to supplies, food, clothes, our new memory foam platform bed and whatever else we thought me might need for a few days of ‘camping’ on the river. We plan to work on and provision the boat Friday (arriving around 2 pm) and Saturday, fill up all the tanks and hopefully get the previous owner on board for a systems review and check in with the mechanic. We’re going to depart Sunday and head downstream 458 river miles to Cooper’s Landing anchoring out 3 nights (if all goes well). That would put us there Wednesday/Thursday. The plan is to let our friends know when we’ve arrived so they can come see the boat and hang out a bit. We’ve made arrangements to fill the tanks and leave the boat docked there for $20/night. Dad and Kurt will bring our car to Cooper’s and I will go back to the house (it’s literally 30 minutes from our place on the river; 15 minutes from dad’s) and Sean will head to the lake to work Friday and Saturday nights. In the meantime I’ll finish moving whatever else we need from the house to the boat. Since we do anticipate the house selling at some point, there’s several things I’d like to keep along with necessities (like fall clothing) that needs transferred. Dishes and kitchen supplies, life jackets, life raft & oars, coffee pot, television, rugs, end tables, office supplies and client files, etc. Everything else will get sold when the house does except for a few totes of pictures and memorabilia that will be stored at dad’s shop.
So Sunday, after Sean gets back from the lake we’ll head back to Coopers and take off 170 miles to the mouth of the Missouri and another 24, upriver on the Mississippi at Grafton to Port Charles. That trip should just take a couple of days. Sean’s made arrangements to have the boat pulled out of the water, the bottom cleaned and hopefully, the survey done. We rented the slip for a month so Prime Time will live there for while without us. We’ll rent a car one way to get back to Columbia and get our car, stop in Jeff City to get the house ready for the Airbnb renters and then head to the lake for Labor Day weekend.
The Wednesday after Labor Day (Sept. 5) we fly the 5:30 am flight CoMO to Dallas to Key West arriving mid afternoon. We’ll stay there until Saturday, September 22 and then fly to St. Louis to hook back up with the boat. The goal is to be back on the water by September 24. Then we have until October 22 to get to Mobile Alabama where we’ll again leave the boat, fly back to Key West to work until season is over.
Best laid plans, right?