Thursday, April 12, 2007

Big Changes, Few Words

I’ve been pretty tongue tied lately and haven’t been able to blog. That certainly doesn’t mean things haven’t been happening. I broke up with my girlfriend of 3.5 years three weeks ago tomorrow.

She was and is an amazing woman that I deeply loved, but I knew that if I hadn’t committed myself to the relationship in that amount of time, I wasn’t going to. It may well be that I let myself get spread too thin to dedicate myself to making the relationship work. For some reason I quit talking to her about what was wrong and let things lay to the point that, looking at the relationship from a distance, it made more since to me to go separate directions than to continue trying together.

I’ve been using a large stick to beat back the urge to drink, smoke, and rebound may way back to normalcy. Lots of positives have come out of the past few weeks and I want to keep up the trend. The major change is that I now live aboard Romance! That’s right, considering I had moved from St. Louis, MO into my lady’s house I didn’t really have a place to live. I couldn’t even consider moving back into an apartment after living in great houses for the past six years. Too depressing. That combined with the urge to step up the refit of Romance made the plan pretty clear. Move aboard the boat. So that is exactly what I did. This has presented a few problems.

Of no small matter is the fact I cover the west coast of these United States as a sales rep for Thermo Fisher. I’ve got a new boss that looks very promising, but I sure hope they don’t have a problem with my new commute. In reality, I’ve got better access to most west coast cities from Houston than I did from Albuquerque, NM. To make sure my working conditions are conducive to selling, I’ve rented a 300 sqft office space on the water in the Marina next door. This will let me get some separation from living and working quarters while providing a real office from which I can stay on top of my business. Plus it is only a five minute walk from the boat.

The second trick I’ll need to pull off is graduating from my Executive MBA program in New Mexico while living in Texas. I am currently 32,000 feet above ground on a flight from Houston Hobby to Albuquerque for class this weekend. One more biweekly commute for the calendar, but what the hell. It won’t cut into my work schedule any more than it already did and I’ve been racking up the Southwest Rapid Rewards vouchers so I shouldn’t even be out of pocket for the next couple of months.

For those of you who really know me, you probably are wondering what I’ve done with Georgia, my dog. Well, she is safe and sound on the boat with me. We’ve been slowly learning the ways around the boat like getting up the dock step, down the companionway stairs, and with a little help from yours truly back up the companionway stairs. She has really taken to it extremely well. Seeing her paws slip on the nonskid will force me to raise new and more course nonskid up on the project to do list. It will be much more safe for her and me.

I’ve also stepped up the refit in a big way. This week I finally lowered my gigantic dingy off its davits and into the water. She needed a cleaning in a big way, but actually looks pretty damn good after a scrub. The 15 hp Mercury probably hasn’t been started in a couple years and the fact the spark plugs were corroded and crumbling had me a little worried. Amazingly, she fired right up on the fourth pull. I’ll have to replace some of the electrical lines as they are pretty shot, but once I get a battery in and the running lights up, I think she will serve me well.

The next big step hurt the cruising kitty. I used Froogle (this google product is worthy of its own blog) to find the best deal possible on both a set of Lewmare 40ST Chrome winches and Raymarine Autopilot with the S3 Corepack, ST6002 Control Head, and Type 2 short linear drive arm. This is oversized and can easily handle a boat up to 33,000 lbs. Romance is only 23,000. I shelled out about $5,500 for the lot, but should be getting 2,900 back for the Maxprop that didn’t fit and a nice little tax return for 2,900 so by my math I am ahead $500 bucks. (yeah, I know that doesn’t really add up)

In addition to working on the boat on my off class weekends I really want to make an effort to get involved in the sailing clubs around Kemah. I’ve written a few times about the benefits of racing to learn how to sail a cruising boat more effectively. I’ve had a few invites in the past, but living in New Mexico really prevented me from accepting any of them. If you are in the Clear Lake area and need green racing crew, shoot me an email. I’d love to get involved and race as often as possible. Anyone know if there are Wed. night races?

Fair winds, following seas, and new beginnings.


P.S. I am holding a competition to name the dingy. I am looking for funny, smart, and creative so send me all ideas. Not sure yet what the winner will win, but never you mind. Just keep those ideas rolling.

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