Whew! Thanks to my friend Tim – enormous thanks! – the interior of my boat is now empty, clean and in presentable condition. Photos below. The exterior needs to be power washed and it will look at LOT better, then.
“Inspiration” is 13 meters long (42 feet), sits 2 meters (6 ft 4 in) deep in the water (to the bottom of the keel), and weighs 11,566 kgs (25,500 pounds). I am 1.9 meters tall (6 ft 3 in) and can walk anywhere in the interior without bumping my head.
The interior is looking so nice I’m seriously considering keeping the boat, putting it back in the water, and using it as a second home for when I’m in the USA. The issue is money, of course. It is MUCH more expensive to keep a 2nd home, even a boat, in the USA than it is to keep a home in Namibia. I am still considering the options. I start travelling “for real” the first week in August, and will be in a better position to decide come the end of August or September. COVID is so bad in Namibia right now that I’m not in a hurry to return and, fortunately, have options. But I will go back home to Namibia at some point.
For those of you who have been wondering about this boat/home I talk about so much – the following will give you an idea of what “Inspiration” is like. It has been out of the water (as you see it here) for 6.5 years while I’ve been in Namibia. It needs a lot of work to the rigging before it could be ready for open ocean sailing again.
And the interior – before and after/now:
Finally, it’s a (poor) photo of the boat photograph above the nav station, but for the moment it’s the best picture I have of “Inspiration” under sail in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco Bay – 1989.
This was my home for 25 years, and may be again when I’m in the USA.
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This is an update – minimal photos and clarifying some things.
I was a bit surprised to hear that “word is out” I have left Oranjemund for good. Not true. I am gone for a minimum of three months (through August, now probably September) and plan to be back to Namibia at some point. A friend is living at my house for the duration. Why would I leave permanently just as I was given Permanent Residence Status? Odd that I didn’t hear from anyone directly asking.
My goal for June and July is continuing to move forward. I’m attaching a few photos of my boat/home for the 25 years before I moved to Namibia in 2015. These are “Before/After25/Now” photos. By the end of July, I plan to have it listed for sale and then will have nothing in the USA that I own other than a few items of memorabilia in storage with a friend.
Before- When I bought the boat in 1989, it was named “Inspiration”.
After25 – “Inspiration” prepared to go into storage in April 2015 filled with literally everything I owned.
Now – as of 11 July. All the household goods stored on the inside are sold or otherwise disposed of. I’m still cleaning and prepping the interior, and the exterior will be cleaned before the end of next week most likely.
I’ve also been visiting friends and my daughter, and taking care of loads of stuff that can only be done here in the USA.
Starting the first week of August I depart this area and start travelling in earnest.
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I have been back in the USA four weeks, today. And it has been a busy, tiring, emotional, relaxing, and very worth while month. I think I have been able to isolate one, possibly THE one, reason I don’t post more often. I feel like I need to write a complete history with all context bringing me to this point before I can say what I want to say. Those of you who have spent any time conversing with me will recognize this (unfortunate?) tendency. Seems overwhelming.
This last month has been largely about adjusting to my change in conditions with the overriding goal of getting all of my non-Namibian household goods out of my boat/home for the past 30 years and sold or otherwise disposed of. Yesterday was the target day – and it’s done! There was a Marine Flea Market at Napa Valley Marina in California (my boat’s dry land home for the past six+ years). My daughter, Lara, her mom, Dana, my friend Tim and Lara’s friend Quinn, all showed up at ungodly early hours and helped with the selling and displaying. It was a LOT of stuff! Naturally, taking a picture didn’t even occur to me until I was collapsing onto the bed after we all had a nice, late, lunch as a thank you to them, and I got back to my BnB “home” in Vallejo.
With the exception of one car full of minor stuff I’ll drop off at Dana’s house tomorrow, I now own almost nothing still in the USA other than my boat – and that will be taken care of in July. Lara and Dana, and Tim, took a LOT of stuff home most of which will be sold at a flea market in Sausalito by Lara and Dana but they wanted it that way because they can possibly make some money out of it. And I hope they do. It is no longer my issue.
Also on my agenda for June was taking care of my health. I’ve been the Veteran’s Administration hospital about eight times, mostly for routine checks but I also had cataract surgery on my right eye about 10 days ago. Things are going well, and I’ll have the left eye done in about 3 weeks. The VA is being absolutely fantastic! They want to get me all fixed up before I leave the USA again, wherever I go. So they are pushing the surgery scheduling to make sure I’m in good shape before leaving the area.
Speaking of schedules, as of now it looks like I’ll still take the California Zephyr (train) to Chicago the first week of August, then run around visiting friends in Wichita and Milwaukee for about 10 days. Then a high school friend with whom I have been in sporadic contact for the past 54 years will meet me in Chicago and we’re taking the Empire Builder (train) from Chicago to Seattle. I’ll bang around Seattle for a while, then go back to the San Francisco area to have my left eye surgery checked and take care of some other stuff, then depart SF again around 27 August to go back to the Northwest and either cross Canada W-E (train) if Canada will allow visitors by then (unlikely from my current viewpoint) or I may take a ferry to Alaska for a few weeks. I’m not sure what will come after that.
Friends in Namibia are being seriously, and directly, impacted by the COVID spike there. It’s really sad. I’m glad I’m not there at the moment, but wish I could be closer for my friends who are suffering. It is seriously not good in Namibia right now.
Trying to make sense of the world, and of humanity, is so challenging. Oddly I feel I’m reaching a place of peace with it all in spite of the disruptions, struggles, and tragedy. It all seems to be coalescing into some changes in how I’m approaching life that feel deeply like they are going to end up in a very positive space.
Rather than try to explain what I mean by that now – and be on the keyboard for hours – I’m going to post this, and (now that my household goods and major doctor’s appointments are dealt with) try to post more often.
For those of you who wants photos, here are a few. Fair warning, however, I have always tended to value personal experience more than photographs, so I’ll do what I can and try to be better and more visually interesting as time goes on!
Until next time!
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I’ve been in the USA two days and I’m exhausted! Most of today spent getting a car, basic food for my BnB, and driving 45 min to Sausalito to get my PO Box contents. Driving on the right side of the road is weird! And it’s just wrong to sit on the left side of the car with the steering wheel in front of me! I’ve already bumped into several friends and set up times to get together. I’m very happy to be here because of the connections to so many people here. But things are so EXPENSIVE! Aisch.
My BnB host, Curtis, is great. The location is very quiet, suburban, and perfect for what I need for the next two months. I took a few photos for my Africa friends but will post them tomorrow when I have some energy in the morning!
I feel like I’m letting things slide (how typical is that!) but then i remind myself I’ve only been here for two days! I have my African playlists on Spotify in the background and feel a little homesick for Namibia. It feels nice, actually.
I was getting ready to call friends Bev and Steve (21:00) here, and I realized they were no longer six hours behind me but three hours ahead! It was midnight their time in Maryland! Glad I realized it before I dialed! I did call and talk to Tim who lives just north of here and we decided to get together when he recovers from an uncomfortable case of Poison Oak! That’s what he gets for playing Boy Scout in the brush!
I do think I’ll have images, stories, etc. tomorrow. I’m still battling jet lag and too many things to do (now done) to get settled.
Day 1 (from after my post on Day 1 noon(ish) through midnight) was being on a flight or on a layover in Cape Town that was really hectic and confusing – I’ll write about it soon.
Day 2 was flying from midnight through 13:40 California time (add 10 hours for the time change from Doha). The last leg was 15.5 hours in the air! Blargh. Then about an hour to clear immigration and customs, then my daughter picked me up and we talked and ran errands until she dropped me at my BnB in Vallejo.
Day 3 was not quite enough sleep but a quiet morning getting over jet lag, then a really nice afternoon running around with my daughter, and meeting her mom and grandmother, and the grandmother’s care taker, at the gravesite of grandmother’s grandfather, buried in the National Cemetery at Daly City CA. Now I’m back at my Bnb, ready for bed at 21:00, and just jotting off a quick catch up post.
I should be able to add some detail and hopefully interesting descriptions tomorrow. There was just not the time, or energy, to post until now, and I needed to just get this up so people would know I’m here, OK, and having a delightful time catching up with my daughter.
Much on my mind, and I made audio notes during my trip for blogs later, but just no energy tonight. Thanks to everyone who sent WhatsApp (which still works) and email contacts. Small note: My long standing USA cell phone number (1-415-246-2839) now rings through to my new, temporary, number. Anyone in the USA can call me at that number any time. (I don’t recommend you make a note of it because my USA direct mobile number is temporary: 1-415-910-4741 and may show that number if I call you.)
I’m working on getting a routine for posts and photos. More to come tomorrow.