Tag Archives: Leap Of Faith

Overwhelming Thanks!

Have you ever completely upended your life to try something completely different?

We call that a Leap of Faith, and we’ve done it twice. This past summer we moved from a boat in Florida to a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Talk about a life change, but it has all worked out.

It’s hard to express how thankful we are for all of the blessings we’ve received. We have a sweet new home complete with peace and serenity. We bought a new car, new clothes (didn’t have winter wear), even a new fridge. We sold the boat and put some money in the bank. We’ve got great kids, all grown up and doing well. My grandkids will be coming to visit very soon.

We sit on the porch and watch the creek babble by, amazed by our new life and good fortune. Truly this is a time to give thanks.

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I also want to thank you – folks who follow this blog, our Facebook community, and those who purchase my books. Without your support, none of this would be possible. I once had a dream to be a writer. Now I’m living that dream. Kim has the home she always wanted. We are thankful every day, but today, on this Thanksgiving, we express our gratitude to each and every one of you who has helped us along the way.

It is our sincere wish that you find thanks for your own blessings on this day. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

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DIY Bottom Paint

Our vessel was in dire need of new bottom paint. The choice was to pay someone to do it, or do it ourselves. After getting a few estimates and comparing them to the cost of doing it ourselves, we decided to take on the challenge. Estimated savings; $1000

There are two boatyards in the area that will allow you to do-it-yourself. Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage couldn’t take us until November. Safe Cove (formerly All-American) could take us right away.

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We paid an extra $100 for pressure washing and it was well worth it. 95% of all barnacles were gone before I touched the hull. I had to scrap and poke at the nooks and crannies of the running gear. I chose Trilux 33 for the metal parts. Here’s a before and after of the prop, shaft and rudder.

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Sanding the bottom was a horrendous job. It was hot, dusty and downright miserable. I started Friday afternoon and worked until dark. On Saturday I started work again early and finally finished at noon.

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I wore some old tattered clothes that I should have thrown away a long time ago. When I finished sanding they went into the dumpster. It took about 8 hours of total labor to sand the hull. I was exhausted but thrilled to be done with that part of the job.

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We washed it all down and took a break to let it dry. The 95 degree heat shortened the drying process. I chose Micron 66 for anti-fouling. Practical Sailor constantly tests and studies the performance of bottom paints, and Micron 66 is always the clear winner. It’s also the most expensive. Retail is $299.99 per gallon. I bought 3 gallons.

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The heat made paint application difficult. It dried up so fast I couldn’t spread it out. It took two full gallons to finish the first coat. I was going to need another gallon. This is when I discovered “Brush Ease” from Interlux. It’s a thinner for Interlux bottom paints. You can dilute by 10% and it makes rolling much easier. I wish I had known before-hand. I used up all my West Marine ten-dollar coupons and got another gallon for $200. This cut our overall savings on the job down to $800. Still alot of money.

The second coat went on much smoother. A third coat was applied to the water line. I had the yard move the jackstands and those spots got two coats. We’d have a full 24 hours drying time before relaunch.

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We hauled out on Friday at 1:00 p.m. and took the tape off on Monday at 5:00 p.m. It was non-stop manual labor in the Florida heat, and I’m glad it’s over. We launch today at 2:00 p.m.

If you ever wondered why it costs so much to have your bottom paint redone, I can tell you. Because it’s a nasty job. It’s pretty much the most miserable work I’ve ever done. I’m not afraid to work hard or get dirty, but I’m seriously considering paying someone to do it next time.

Our Last Tie To Land

  Since we took our Leap of Faith and Quit our Jobs to Live on a Boat, we’ve held onto one last tenous tie to land. We kept our truck. Where ever we roamed, however long we were gone, we always knew we could return to Punta Gorda, hop in the truck and run to Walmart for essentials. We could drive out Kings Highway to visit the Navagator and listen to our favorite singers. That is about to change. 

  Of course we had to keep it somewhere while we cruised. We played musical truck for a while. It was parked at Fisherman’s Village for a few months. Then we moved it into their overflow lot. We kept it at a friends house for a time. We relocated it to the parking lot at Laishley Crab House, where it is now. 

  We also had to pay for insurance, feed it with gas, change the oil, buy new tires, buy new brakes, etc. It has been the one wildcar in our budget, and the one inconsistency with the lifestyle we’ve chosen. It is time for it to go. Our plans involve leaving Punta Gorda for a very long time, maybe forever. We want to sit out at Cayo Costa and decompress from our time in society. We want to make it to the Dry Tortugas. We really hope to cross to the Bahamas and explore the Caribbean. That depends on our money situation. Losing the insurance payments and upkeep costs will help, as will the cash we get for it. 

  Yup the time is right for us to lose that final thing that keeps us tied to one homebase. The world is out there waiting for us. 

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  It’s been a fantastic vehicle since the day I bought it. Never a breakdown, never a major repair. It’s been very lightly used for a long time now, sitting in various parking lots waiting for our return. I vowed I would never buy another truck it’s been so good to me. I suppose I’ll be a bit sad to see her go, but she’ll make a fine vehicle for whoever buys her. I won’t need it in the Bahamas and I’ll be happy to have one less thing, one less expense . . . and one less tie to land. 

  So who’s looking for a truck?! $8500 and she’s yours. Located in Punta Gorda, Florida. Contact us at       Kimandedrobinson@gmail.com

 

 

Working On My Next Book

This is a work of fiction. Real people and actual places are used fictitiously. Although some of the events described are loosely based on my true life experience, they are mostly products of my imagination.

  I leave it to the reader to sort out truth from fiction.

 Here is the working synopsis:

  Be introduced to a new anti-hero. Meade Breeze lives on the far outskirts of society with no visible means of support. He survives on his wits and a meager income derived from selling home-grown dope to suburban housewives and home-brewed rum to bums in the park.

  He’s also on the run from his past misdeeds. He fears it will all catch up with him someday, so he stays on the move aboard his classic trawler. Explore the Gulf Coast Islands and the Florida Keys with Breeze, but keep one eye over your shoulder.

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  The plot is outlined and the story is mostly finished in my head. I’ve completed several chapters and I like where it’s going. 

Feels good to sit down and write. Look for the finished product in a few months. Look out Randy Wayne White. 

Facebook Resources for Liveaboard Boaters

  I live on a boat. I blog about life aboard sometimes. My Facebook page is about living on a boat, but there are some other really great places on Facebook to learn about the lifestyle and gather up all sorts of good information. If you already live aboard, want to live aboard, or simply have that dream; check out the following communities and pages that are all about the lifestyle.

 

Liveaboard Sailboat

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https://www.facebook.com/groups/111039125633053/

This is a community you can join. It’s not all sailors. There are folks with motor vessels as well. It’s very active and chock full of useful information, pictures and stories for liveaboards. 

 

LIVE ABOARD BOATS

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https://www.facebook.com/groups/272008542958008/

Another fine community for you to join; Welcome aboard, this room is for all that live aboard, or hope to one day. We are here for fun, facts and camaraderie.

 

Seven Seas Cruising Association

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https://www.facebook.com/groups/191122128313/

The Seven Seas Cruising Association is the oldest and largest worldwide organization supporting the liveaboard cruising lifestyle. Founded in 1952 by six liveaboard couples in California and now headquartered in Florida, today’s SSCA remains true to the traditions of its original members: sharing cruising information, fostering camaraderie, and leaving a clean wake. 

 

Active Captain

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https://www.facebook.com/groups/activecaptain/

Active Captain is an online nautical resource providing marina, anchorage, hazard, and local knowledge data. The data is integrated into more than 20 navigation products and can be accessed on the ActiveCaptain website. There is no cost for using or contributing to ActiveCaptain.

If you don’t know about Active Captain and their Interactive Guide map, you should…

 

Wally Moran

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Wally runs the popular blog “Live Bloggin the ICW”. Find him on Facebook and have his blog posts delivered to your news feed. All about the ICW and tons of boating news. 

 

The liveaboard community is a great one to belong to. Boaters are nice and quick to make friends. They are also quite willing to share their experience or expertise with fellow boaters. Someone is always there to lend a hand. Join these groups, and follow Wally and you’ll find more info than you can process. Jump right in and ask a question, or several. Discussions are almost always productive and questions get answered for you. 

While you’re hunting down these groups, feel free to stop and give a “Like” to Leap of Faith/Quit Your Job and Live on a Boat.

https://www.facebook.com/quityourjobandliveonaboat

 

Also feel free to share this blog post with your boating friends! 

Expired Documentation!

  Our vessel is documented with the United States Coast Guard. Each year they mail out a renewal notice. One simply needs to sign the form and mail it back in order to receive a new document. Well I waited and waited for my renewal notice. It never arrived. Today I looked at our document and discovered that it expired two days ago. Doh!

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  Looking for the correct phone number leads me through the myriad of governmental alphabet agencies. The US Government / Department of Homeland Security / National Vessel Documention Center (in West Virginia of all places). If you have an issue with your vessel documentation the number to call is 1-304-271-2400.

  I dialed and listened to a five minute recording that assured me my call was important. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and that they are short on staff at this time. Then I got the automated menu. I pushed “7” for documentation renewal questions. I listened to a little muzak, then finally got a nice lady on the line. I explained that I never received a renewal notice. She informed me that my documentation was expired. I already knew that. She quoted the fine print on the back of the document, “Renewal is the responsibility of the owner.” I already knew that. I wanted to comment on the fact that a division of DHS can’t even mail out a simple form on time, but bit my tongue. 

  She was quite helpful though. For five bucks I could pay the late fee and she would send over my form to the renewal department. I thought, “What? You aren’t in the renewal department?” Anyway, we settled the matter over the phone and hopefully I’ll get new paperwork sometime this year. 

  When we bought our vessel she flew a Canadian flag. If that were still the case she’d currently be an illegal alien vessel. Maybe we ought to hide out in the mangroves so the NSA can’t find us, at least until our new paperwork arrives.

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  Lesson learned – You are responsible for renewing your documentation. Don’t wait until it’s too late to discover that the Coast Guard did not mail you a notice. You might be forced to hide out in the mangroves too. 

 

  For more adventures in liveaboard boating read Leap of Faith / Quit Your Job and Live on a Boat:

http://www.amazon.com/Leap-Faith-Quit-Your-Live/dp/1478720921/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

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Planning Another Leap

   Forty months ago Kim and I left our old life behind. We sold everything we owned, bought a boat, and moved to paradise. It’s been a fantastic experience. We were chasing happiness and we found it aboard Leap of Faith, in SW Florida. Our boat, the Gulf Coast and the Keys, our life in the sun – all of it is more wonderful than we ever dreamed it could be. 

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  Then I wrote a book. It was all down on big yellow legal pads, handwritten while on the beach or the back of the boat. I needed to type/format/etc. I needed to learn how to get a book published. I needed reliable internet. So after three glorious years at anchor, we returned to civilization and . . . Gasp . . . a marina. We’ve been tied to the slip for six months now. It’s my fault. I wrote and published two more books. I’ve networked and promoted and done radio interviews and became immersed in the world of publishing. It’s been exciting and rewarding. I’d do it all again, BUT – this life on/near land is killing us. 

  The people, the noise, and the drama are wearing away at our seafaring souls. Fortunately we have a plan. We still have dreams. We still have bucket list goals to achieve, places to go, things to see. Our first tropical destination that we want to check off our list is the Dry Tortugas. See those sailboats in the picture below? We are going to nudge right in amongst them with Leap of Faith.

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 We’ll swing by Key West again and up the Keys. Then on to the Bahamas! I wish we could leave today. What’s stopping us?

Well it’s like this; we need to refill the cruising kitty. Book sales are going great, but the royalties are slow in coming. The big checks will just start to arrive in late April and May. All three books are going strong today so some level of future royalties is assured. We hope to have sufficient safe funding for another multi-year adventure by the Fall, or within the year at the very latest. In the meantime, the boat will undergo some upgrades in preparation. Crossing the open Gulf and east coast Gulf Stream are nothing to take lightly. Our first order of business is a new stove to replace our 34 year-old propane range. Then we’ll need new bottom paint before setting off. We’re going to need to replace our battery bank as well. It all costs money. 

  Just knowing that we have a plan, and that we won’t be stuck here permanently is heart-lifting. Soon we’ll start taking off for several days at a time just to escape. Pelican Bay awaits. The beach at Cayo Costa is calling our name. The Dry Tortugas and the Bahamas are out there in the distance, but we can see them. 

  Those books of mine are our ticket to paradise. If you haven’t read them all yet, please consider buying them today. 

 

The one that started it all is on sale for just 99 cents until sometime tomorrow.

It’s currently ranked #5 in Happiness and #10 in Social Sciences.

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http://www.amazon.com/Leap-Faith-Quit-Your-Live-ebook/dp/B00F3PE5W6/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

 

Book number two is still Amazon’s #1 Bestseller in Boating after two months.

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http://www.amazon.com/Poop-Booze-Bikinis-Ed-Robinson-ebook/dp/B00IA7JLFA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1391760279&sr=1-1&keywords=Poop%2C+Booze%2C+and+Bikinis

 

Book number three is currently Amazon’s #1 Bestseller in Physical Impairments, and #19 in Pain Management.

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http://www.amazon.com/Untold-Story-Kim-Ed-Robinson-ebook/dp/B00J44GFKM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1395303122&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Untold+Story+of+Kim

 

Anyone who purchases any of these books is due a free drinking session aboard Leap of Faith. Where ever the wind blows and the sun comes up, that’s exactly where I’ll be.