Rewarded with a sunset

All afternoon on Sunday, all day and most of the night on Monday it rained and was very windy. I was happy to find that there was only one leak letting some of the rain water in. The leak is in the companion way. I actually kind of expected it partly because of what I have read and partly because of how its designed. Its basically a big piece of plexiglas screwed into some wood rail sliders. They make a companion way canvas to mitigate this issue, that is on the list of things to get done.

Today it was sunny and warm, I opened all the hatches and let the breeze blow through. It was a gorgeous day. Also, the internet installer guy came out and hooked me up with some highspeed internet! I can’t believe that they can run it right to the slip, but also the signal is exceptional. I figured it would be flakey just because of the salt water and related corrosion.

Rubio and I took in the sunset tonight, seemed like a fitting reward after contending with all the wind and rain. 🙂

Let’s make sure we don’t sink

Before I bought Latro, I had it surveyed to find any and all things that are wrong with the boat. This is a lot like a home inspection only a bit more thorough as it requires a sea trial as well. The surveyor goes through every inch of the boat, looking for leaks, malfunctioning equipment, missing equipment/functionality etc…

After the survey was completed on Latro, one of the findings revealed that the packing gland required replacement. What is a packing gland? The gland nut allows packing material to be compressed to form a watertight seal and prevent water leaking up the shaft when the tap is turned on. The gland at the rotating shaft of a centrifugal pump may be packed in a similar way and graphite grease used to accommodate continuous operation.

The previous replacement resulted in the wrong sized material and the gland nut being tightened too tight. This causes everything to heat up which could lead to scoring of the prop shaft and other very inconvenient failures at the most inopportune time. Below is a video showing how to replace it. Enjoy!

I was told there would be no winter in San Diego…

I’ve been staying on the boat now for about 5 nights. Each night I sleep aboard, I hear a new noise, I learn something new about the boat and I get a little bit more adjusted to my new space. The past couple of nights, with the exception of last night, I learned that it can get pretty cold in the marina on a boat with no heater… Since I am bascially camping, I’m not sure why that didn’t dawn on me. But it finally did when I woke up in the middle of the night with my dog begging for entry into the blankets and with me shivering like I’d just walked a mile in the frozen tundra. Yesterday afternoon, i fixed that little problem. I picked up an electric indoor space heater, set it on the navigation station, set it on low and let it run. That provided plenty of heat through the night and into the morning. 35 dollar fix! Making it sooo much easier to climb out of from under the warmth of the covers.

I am surprised at how much space there is aboard this boat. It’s really incredible. I packed nearly all of my kitchen from my apartment into the galley on the boat. Granted, I don’t have a LOT of dishes and/or pots and pans but I have enough that I could comfortably cook and entertain 8, and it all fit on the boat. Amazing.

Today I’m working on finding an efficient way to stow my clothes so that they stay clean, and dry. 🙂 It shouldn’t be much of a challenge unless we get a ton of rain. It takes a little creativity and some spatial recognition to figure out how to make it all fit but its totally doable!

All a man needs…

“All a man needs is good rum, a good dog and a good boat” Not sure who ‘actually’ said that but I’m using it! Hahaha!

Today I  finalized the deal on the boat and took possession of it. I’ve renamed it from “Riches to Rags” to “Latro”.  Latro apparently has many, many meanings, of those meanings a few stuck out (highway robber, Bandit, Mercenary), but none of those actually suited me…at least not yet! One of the other meanings is Nomad. I chose that name for obvious reasons (for those of you that actually know me). Being this is a new chapter in my life, a new life style and something that keeps me mobile the name seemed fitting.

Tonight is the first night on Latro. I spent a couple of hours this afternoon getting familiar with all the little nooks and crannies the boat has to offer in terms of storage, tried to get a solid understanding of the breaker panel and how to check to see if the boat is leaking…or sinking. 😐 Fortunately, there are no leaks and it does not appear to be sinking, so I think we are off to a good start.

Rubio, my faithful dog, is taking his first steps onto the boat. He was literally more nervous about walking the docs at the marina than he is about being on the boat. That may chance when we take it out sailing…in any case, he’s super comfy now. I brought along his little dog bed, a couple of his toys and some treats to help him have some kind of personal connection. He seems to be doing just fine.

Rubio didn’t get any rum…he is to young.



3 years already?

So, I guess its been a while since I’ve updated this…nearly 3 years? A lot has happened since then. I’ll try to briefly recap the time gone by, then update on my latest adventure.

I left Bend, OR. with the intention of making my way to Colorado. I remember as i was crossing into Utah along the way that I really didn’t feel like going all the way to Colorado. So as was crossing the state line, I took the first exit off of the highway and headed back toward Oregon. I made it to Newport and stayed there for about 6 or 7 months. While I was there I rented a place and sold my RV and trailer.

It was a good stay, I started working out at the local gym and really getting into good shape. Though I really did like it there, the travel I needed to do for work was getting pretty difficult as the closest airport to Newport is in Eugene, OR. and its about a 90-minute drive (on the best day) to hop a flight. When the Oregon Ducks are playing, well, IF you can get a flight, they are double and triple the price. The next option is Portland, that’s 3hrs one way from Newport.

While I was doing all the business travel, one of my trips landed me in San Diego, CA. I really liked the area and made a couple of trips down there. On the last trip, I planned to stay a couple of extra days over the weekend to try to find an apartment. I found one and set up shop in San Diego. The place I rented was a one room place above a residential garage. A ttwo burner hot plate, microwave, a dorm style fridge and a murphy bed… pretty tiny but it was a good place to be for the price.

I was there for about 8 months. I left because my landlord was starting to involve me in his domestic issues and trying to borrow money for booze. I decided I could find a better place, sI i located a spot downtown and moved it. It was awesome, 1br, 1ba place in the heart of the city. So convenient to the airport, groceries, and restaurants. It really was great. I was there for 1 year. I ended up moving out because the rent I was paying was pretty high, and when my lease renewed it went up nearly 8% which pushed it way outside of my threshold for peace. 🙂

I moved into a place about 10mins from downtown, still in San Diego. I’ve been in this place now for 13 months in March. It is a great little place with a garage included. Though I found out after asking the main office in October, they are raising the rent when my lease term is up. Apparently, this is the latest craze in rental property ownership. Whatever, I can’t seem to get my head around paying the amount that they are asking.

With the news of the pending increase, I decided to look at all of my options. I thought initially it would be a good idea to just buy a place. I contacted a realtor here and toured a ton of properties. Finally found one and put in an offer. When the appraisal was completed on the place, the value came back at less than the asking price for the property.  I offered the seller the full price that came back from the appraisal, but they refused to come down and rejected my offer. So I backed out of the deal.

I took a couple of weeks to think about my next move and what other options I had. I still though that buying a place was the right answer. I spent countless hours scouring the web for properties in all of the western states. I researched income tax rates, sales tax rates, property taxes, as well as other living expenses and made a list of places that I was interested in, then started looking at properties in those states.

I chose Nevada (Reno and Vegas), Washington state, Oregon, and California. I even considered moving back to the midwest near Chicago or even in Atlanta. No matter where I looked, nothing felt right. The values on the homes were inflated, the areas weren’t right…etc. I just couldn’t get a good ‘gut feeling’ for a place.  I then repeated the same process in looking for apartments to rent instead of homes to buy. Same result. I just couldn’t seem to find a place that I liked and made sense.

Next, I considered moving back into an RV. There again, I just couldn’t seem to find the right one, or RV parks that were priced right in the areas that I considered RV’ing to. I knew that the leasing office was going to need my decision by the end of February and all of the effort I put into considering the ‘next place’ led me to the end of December.

At Christmas, my brother Jason, came out to visit for a couple of weeks. Recent life events have placed him in a favorable position to pursue some of his dreams, of those dreams, he is planning on purchasing a sailboat and sailing around the world. While he was here, he and I decided to look at some boats to get an idea of what he can expect when its time to buy one. As we started looking, it started dawning on me. “hey, you could actually do this too…” So, he and I talked about it, I tried to understand all the pros and cons associated with a decision like that and got back on the googles to research. 🙂 I checked slip fees, types of boats, costs, how-to’s etc… and decided that this is the right thing for me.

I’m not in a position to sail around the world right now, however, all the info I researched showed me that if I did decide to live on a sailboat in San Diego I could do it for 1/2 the cost of what I am currently paying for rent and even less than the proposed rent amount if I renew my lease. So I really started digging in and getting serious about finding the ‘right boat, in the right harbor’. I found one and am a couple of days away from actually owning it. I will be renting a slip in the Chula Vista Marina ( and living aboard the boat.

Today, I did the sea trials and had a surveyor come out and check it all out. Those guys are great, he checked every square inch of the boat. Then we took it out of the harbor to get it hauled out of the water. This is so they can check the hull, prop, and paint to see if there are any issues or maintenance required. It all checked out, no issues at all! We put it back in the water and headed back for the marina. We put up the sails, ran the engine, ran the auto pilot and just generally sailed. I was at the helm and alternated between that and running the rigging, truly a blast! I’d never sailed before so it is all new to me. It seems to be coming to me very quickly though.

I’d never sailed before so it is all new to me. It seems to be coming to me very quickly though. I just can’t believe how excited I get when I hear those sails starting to catch wind as the main is raised and the jib is unfurled. Incredible! The feel of the wheel and rudder as the wind pushes the boat along… its been along time since I’ve had that kind of exhilaration. I simply love it! As I learn more, do more, experience more I’ll update this blog for anyone still following. After 3 years, I would actually be surprised if anyone is – hahaha! Here she is… 34′ Hunter. 4 berths, 1 aft (sleeps 2), 1 vberth(sleeps 2), one at the sette(sleeps 2) and one in the salon (sleeps 1). If you are doing the math, thats room enough for 7 down below.

As I learn more, do more, experience more I’ll update this blog for anyone still following. After 3 years, I would actually be surprised if anyone is – hahaha! Here she is… 34′ Hunter. 4 berths, 1 aft (sleeps 2), 1 vberth(sleeps 2), one at the sette(sleeps 2) and one in the salon (sleeps 1). If you are doing the math, thats room enough for 7 down below.


So come on out and visit – we’ll go sailing!