2020 – The First Year of COVID

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Why did we choose this cruising boat life in the first place? Well, there were many things that just came together. In 2020, we were living in a large house (5 bedroom) that we had built in 2007-2008 in Northern VA / DC area (Nokesville for those that know the area) on a 10 acre wooded lot. We built it this big because we knew we’d have family coming to live with us at some point, and we did. Over the course of our time here, we’d had Brownie’s two nephews, Lee’s sister, Lee’s mom and step-dad, Lee’s friend Colin and many of Robin’s friends come live with us.

When COVID hit in 2020, Robin and her fiancé along with their dog, Lee’s sister and mother and their two dogs, and our three cats were all in the house with us. Robin and her fiancé decided to move to Williamsburg to be with his family. Lee’s sister and mom got a house in Florida, but before they could move, mom’s dog had a stroke and had to be put down. So she took one of the cats. That left us all alone with two cats in our rather large house with a large mortgage.

We had also been discussing what our retirement options were going to be out of this house. One option had been to go to the Philippines and create a new home there. Another was to get or build a camper that we could use to drive along the southern coast and hit all the diving spots as well as the Habitat for Humanity build sites. To that end, Lee actually bought a 16-foot trailer and had it 80% kitted out as a camper.

Meanwhile, Lee had been watching all these You-Tubers doing what they do, and some of them laid out what it cost just to cruise. The math came out such that we could retire early and we started looking around at boats.

In the meantime, our house sold in one (1) day–we were expecting it to take at least a month to find a buyer, especially so late in the season. Suddenly, we needed to make new living arrangements, down-size and move in less than 30 days, so we could turn the house over to the new buyers.

We found a 3 bedroom townhouse in Centerville, closer to Lee’s office, that we felt would work.