Friday, August 27, 2010

Life Aboard Island Eclipse!

Another adventure is underway. It has been a very busy few weeks. Andy has been a man obsessed with finding us a bigger boat. He has travelled as far as Maryland and Florida in search of the perfect new home, and has spent countless hours on the internet researching and reviewing virtually every prospect on the market. Once we had decided on the boat for us we needed to sell Sassy II. At last our plan has come together.

Sassy II sold a little over a week ago, and with the money in the bank we packed up all of our things (some in storage, some into a van) and once again set off for a great adventure. We left Toronto on Tuesday, August 24th at 12:00pm. Andy, Henry, Buddy and Charlie and I all climbed into our friend Doug's van, along with Doug and all of our belongings for the trip. Doug drove us to Buffalo, where we had a car rental reservation to take us the rest of the ten hour drive to Annapolis, Maryland where Island Eclipse, our new Gulfstar 44 awaited our arrival.

The trip was a little rough. Our rental car was an SUV with an incredibly squishy suspension. The constant roll made Henry car sick. The poor kid couldn't keep much down. With his budding vocabulary we were hearing a lot of, "sick!". Unfortunately, for one of the first times ever, we were very organised before embarking on the adventure and we prebooked a hotel room online through the inexpensive, but non-refundable Hotwire. This meant that we had to press on to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania the first day despite Henry's car sickness. With added stops for fresh air and clean up we didn't arrive at the hotel until almost midnight! Poor kid!!

Wednesday was a better day, as we only had two hours left to drive. With a continental breakfast in our freshly showered bellies we were feeling rejuvinated and ready to go. Henry got sick, yet again, but he is such a trooper that we were able to press on and arrive at the boat yard before noon.

Island Eclipse had been out of the water for three months, ever since we told her owner George that we wanted to buy her. He had a fresh coat of paint applied to the bottom following some blister repairs, and there she sat on her jacks looking pretty.

Three months worth of dust and dirt, combined with a bachelor's housekeeping habits left us with quite a load of cleaning to do. We spent the next two days working nonstop, between scrubbing and shopping for our trip we fell into bed each night!

Today the work was finished, Island Eclipse was dropped back into the water, and we were able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labour. She really is a lovely boat. Sassy II was great, and I loved her, but she was pretty small for a live-aboard. I didn't realize how small until now. Our new home is just that, a home. We have two bedrooms, not just two beds, but actual rooms! We have two bathrooms, ensuite to each bedroom. Andy tells me that he'll share Henry's so I can have my very own! Wow, living with a man, a boy and two male dogs on a boat I never dreamed I'd have a ladies' room! The kitchen is much larger than Sassy's, and the fridge is a dream! If there was one thing I hated about living aboard Sassy II it was the itty bitty little fridge! My new fridge is 4x the size and so much more accessible! If you live on a boat you'll understand the luxury of this. I also no longer have an icebox. No more ice, no more drainage, no more smell! Hooray!! The main salon (livingroom) is quite large, and quite cosy at the same time. As you may have noticed, I'm extremely happy with our new home.

We did have one minor hiccop today, though! It could have been major had Andy not been the smart and resourceful problem solver he is. About an hour after being launched this morning we noticed that we were taking on water! The bilge was filling quite rapidly, and the bilge pump wasn't coming on...yikes! Andy was able to find and solve the leak and install a new bilge pump within a very short amount of time. Thank goodness, sinking our new boat on day one was not an option!!

Henry seems very happy with his new home. He has slept with me for way too long now, and so a couple of weeks before we came on this adventure Andy and I started to tell Henry all about it, including his very own new room! We took him shopping on Tuesday and bought his Cars bedding, then set all of his toys up on his shelves. We installed a bed rail and a monitor for safety, and Henry was all set to have some new found independance. His transition into his own bed has been unimaginably easy. It has only been two nights, but he has slept right through, not missing me a bit, both nights! Hooray! I'm finally back where I belong, with Andy! The dogs have been kicked out of the bed for good, too. Our bed is too high for them to jump onto, and so we've been able to easily enforce our new 'dogs in their own bed' rule. Life is good.

Tomorrow George is meeting with us to go over all of the boat's systems before we embark on our two week journey home. I don't know how often we'll have internet access on the trip, but whenever I can I will give you an update, and failing that I will have plenty to tell in two weeks when we get back to QCYC.

So for now, signing off from Island Eclipse.