The Beginning of Our New Big Adventure

Stephanie came home one day after work last spring and said to me, “It’s time for an adventure.” I smiled and asked her what she had in mind and she said she didn’t know the “what” but felt that we’ve lived most of our lives safely and ‘by the book’ and now it was time to do something different for an adventure.

Together, we’ve raised our four kids, we greatly enjoy time with our 3 beautiful grandchildren and now as empty-nesters we should do something fun and adventurous. We are blessed with good health and are still young (that’s relative). Sign me up!

Stephanie was about to retire from her long and successful career in child care to work for my coaching business. And since I can do my work, coaching entrepreneurs and small business owners, as long as I have internet and a phone line, we were no longer geographically tied to any one place.  We binge watched HGTV and their many shows about beach living and Island hopping and we began to research living in the Caribbean for a year until then one day Stephanie said, “What about living on a boat?” Again, sign me up!sea-ray

Three years ago we bought a 30’ Sea Ray Sundancer and absolutely fell in love with boating and the incredible stress relieving aspects of being on the water. Our current boat, Perfect Timing, is too small to live aboard so we began the journey of looking for our next perfect boat … what would become our floating home!

Long story short we found the most perfect boat that would feel like ‘a home on the water’ at the Annapolis Power Boat Show in October. Only problem was that it was out of our price range, but we sure loved that boat!!

Stephanie snapped this picture of me in the boat with ‘my wheels tuning’ … desperately trying to figure out a way to make this happen, withdream-boatout taking on another big mortgage!

Driving home from Annapolis we came back to reality and our agreed upon budget so I hit the internet in search of this same model boat, only a couple years older. And thank the Lord I found one, and it was only 2.5 hours away! Our soon to be new floating home is a 2006 Carver Motor Yacht. It’s 50′ of pure ‘amazing’ and we wanted it bad! But there was one small detail to be taken care of – we needed to sell our house!

Our beautiful family home for the past 28.5 years was now going on the market. So many wonderful memories, but the time is right. To maximize our return we agreed to try and sell it ourselves for 60 days. If we were not successful we then agreed to hire a realtor.

We hired a professional home stager and house photographer (both truly amazing investments) and after about a month’s worth of packing and putting some of our furniture and personal possessions in storage we were ready to list the house.

I figured out how to get our house on MLS and all of the popular ‘home for sale’ web sites and within 12 hours of our house listing going live our phone started to ring! We showed the house 10 times in the first 3 days and received an offer that same weekend! Given the heavy traffic we decided to turn down the offer and keep going! In the end we sold the house ourselves in 5 weeks for a price we are very happy with.

House Sold – Now Make Offer on Our Dream Boat.

The owner of the boat accepted our offer and we set the wheels in motion to beat the fast approaching cold winter season, when most boats are pulled from the water and stored on land. Our goal was to settle on the house and buy the new boat in time to drive it 3.5 hours north to Chesapeake City, Maryland (our hailing port) and winterize it there. This would make it closer to home so we can visit it often and prepare it more easily for our spring departure.

House Sold, Boat Purchased, Now We Need a Place to Live for Five Months!boat-blue2

We need a month to month rental that would let us bring our 75 lb. rescue dog, Blue with us – no small task! Yes, Blue will be joining us on the boat and our cat, Serendipity, will be going to live with our son Steve. Stephanie took care of that task of finding us a place to live and she found us a great little ‘hideaway’ – a one bedroom apartment on a local farm. And bonus, it’s 20 minutes closer to the marina.

So What’s Our Plan?

So far, Stephanie and I have agreed to an 18 month plan. Starting in the spring, on or about May 1, we’ll leave land and together with Blue we’ll cruise to Providence Rhode Island. We’ll choose a marina close to one of our daughters and two grand kids. This will be a fun summer!

In October we’ll begin cruising south on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) to Florida for the winter. That’s right, no more snow! 🙂 In spring of 2018 we’ll cruise back north to our hailing port in Chesapeake City, Maryland and spend the summer there on the beautiful Chesapeake Bay.

What happens after that has not been agreed to, but we’re both reading lots of books about people who live aboard boats and cruise the Great Loop. The Great Loop is the continuous waterway that encompasses the eastern portion of North America including the Atlantic and Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, the Great Lakes, the Canadian Heritage Canals, and the inland rivers of America’s heartland.

That might be our next big adventure, but as I say, we have no firm plans yet!

One thing Stephanie and I have learned in this process so far, even before we leave the dock, is that life is truly an adventure and sometimes you don’t know what the next day will bring in terms of both opportunity, and challenge. But you wake up every day and figure it out!

This new adventure is a little outside our comfort zone, but we are both so excited and happy that we both said “yes” to doing something other than what is most described as normal and safe!

One last thing, naming the new boat – no easy task! After much thought and debate with family over Thanksgiving dinner we’ve named our dream boat, Floating Home!

Many of our family and friends are curious about the how, what, where and why we’re doing this. That’s a big reason that Stephanie and I decided to start this blog. We’ve loved sharing the Perfect Timing with friends and family for the last three years, and now this blog will let us share some of our Floating Home adventures.

We have a lot more learning to do and many more things to figure out as life is about to get very different. But we are super excited about figuring it out and doing this big crazy adventure together.

Fun Fact: When Stephanie first proposed doing some big adventure, we of course were thinking or the many reasons doing something like this might not be the safe or prudent thing to do. And the very next morning she got one of those inspirational emails and it contained this quote from Hunter S. Thompson: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” 

We both knew that was God’s way of saying, “Yes, do this!”

Stop back to this blog often as we’ll be sharing stories, pictures and some videos along the way!

We hope you enjoy Our Floating Home!

8 thoughts on “The Beginning of Our New Big Adventure”

  1. Hi Jim and Stephanie,

    We enjoyed your article. That is one beautiful boat. Over the summer we began looking around to move up to a nice size boat to spend a lot more time in, and the Carvers have caught our eye also. You both are certainly blessed. :0)

    My wife Kathie and I have enjoyed many nights, and weekends over the last three years on our boat here on a large lake in update NY; that connects to the Erie Canal. We too dream (Lord willing) of what you all have done, and are now In the process of doing. The winters are much tooooo long up here and I find myself often thinking “there are much more warmer places to be out on the water 24/7, and we need to hurry up and find them” ;0)

    Funny, Kathie and I both have been watching HGTV for quite sometime, and love the tropical and Caribbean “move to” shows. Though Maui spoiled us a few years ago; we have wondered why some couples do not buy a nice live aboard boat instead of settling for just a small portion of their dream. You my friends are on your way.

    How about some photos of the various areas of your boat when you get the time? We look forward to keeping up with your great adventure, keep us posted. Our prayers are with you both :0)

    Kathie & John

    1. Thank you for your wonderful note John! Yes, we will be posting pictures of the interior next! And thank you for your prayers, greatly appreciated.

  2. Hey Jim, I loved reading the details of ur story! I was BORN in the Chicago area, but when I was 21(LEGAL) I got TIRED of the cold weather and moved to Georgia. Been here ever since-40 years! I can’t imagine living on a boat, but if U and Stephanie LOVE IT, that is awesome!

    I think your boat now gives us the FREEDOM to live almost ANYWHERoE there is water. I’m excited for the new adventure for both of you. God bless in all u do and THANKS for being REAL with us, your many readers!

  3. Jim and Stephanie,

    This is wonderful and I am so thrilled and excited for you. Dennis is retiring in March. I’m still too “young” to retire but I’m excited that Dennis is going to retire. We are buying a wonderful van that we fell in love with and will travel with our dog Checkers. So, it’s similar but we’ll still keep our home and return in between our land adventures. I am going to continue working for my favorite clients in my small business, but will cut back so we can travel when the time comes.

    God bless and thank you for sharing your adventure. Will enjoy reading about every day of your adventure along the way.


    1. Hey Patti, that is so exciting about Dennis retiring! Don’t worry, your time is coming too! We’ll stay connected one way or another, I’m not retiring, just not going to have a permanent address!

  4. Hi Jim and Stephanie,
    Your Blog popped up on living aboard page in Facebook. I just finished your first entry and am excited to read the rest. God Bless!
    Fair winds and following seas!
    Melissa and Marty

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