Bad little blogger…bad, BAD!

Dear faithful blog readers, I’m sorry that I’ve neglected you.  I was drinking, partying, thinking about Christmas and New years, dancing, and women.

PS: yes indeed, my friends, that ^ was an Oxford comma.

Life for me lately has been kind of like an old top 100 radio show: “Stay tuned, the hits keep coming!”

I’ve been ‘hit’ lots of times in the past 18 months.  The latest of which happened last week when my landlord said, “oh hell no” to the fact that I was sub-renting my place out on airbnb.  I had told her I was subletting, which she was ok with, but I chose to ask for forgiveness rather than permission on the exact method of subletting (airbnb to vacation / weekend rentals).

I’m not really mad at myself for this, after all when this was going down my baby-dog Katie was dying.  Slack – yeah – and a reminder that I’m only human.  The end result is that I’m choosing to give up my lake house.  This was a very tough decision.  I’ve put in countless hours and probably around $20K to make this house the perfect place for friends to meet, enjoy God’s creation, and become a family.  So many people have found our family as a result of that house. My buddy Chad’s kid Gavin was even conceived on the deck out back (so he says, I’m not the father so I don’t know).

I chose to give the house to my neighbor Matt, an awesome part of our family who I know will let me stay there anytime, and will probably even enjoy hosting our annual Chad’s B-day and 4th of july parties there.  The decision resulted in a strange sort of pressure relief for me.  I haven’t even calculated how much money that will save me per month, but I know the energy drain of having two places / living two lives has shifted now that I’ve chosen to keep only my water-based home.

I’m heading to Panama City tomorrow (well, actually, today, it’s 6am) to pick up my friend Brooke who’s flying in from Austin.  She and I will overnight on the hook near the airport and then cruise to a marina.  I’m flying back to Dallas to attend my buddy John’s wedding and then wrap up selling all my stuff in Dallas.  I then head to New York for a week for a sales conference.  So Brooke will be solo on the boat until I get back on the 24th of January.

Some major updates:

I felt intuitively led to change the intended name of the boat from “Katie Ray” to “Presence”.  This came during a particularly introspective time for me last week.  I realized that Presence exemplifies why I’m here, what I’m doing for others and for myself, and what it is that I’ve been longing for.  I love you Katie Ray, and I know you think the new name is perfectly fitting.  Thank you.

I spent Christmas and New Years Eve on the boat with Kacey (my friend from Canada).  Kacey is a very attractive woman who has a boyfriend back home.  Alas…the boat is still a virgin (of course if it wasn’t I wouldn’t blog about it here).  The holidays were a blur due to being in or near New Orleans, having Kacey there, and visiting my great friends Tiffany and Johnny (Christmas eve with them was epic).

I’m quite sure I consumed more wine in those two weeks than should be possible by a single human.  Thank god I have pictures to remember some of those moments, they were unbelievably amazing.

Yesterday was exciting – when I untied the boat and motored forward in the Palofax Pier and Yacht Club marina in Pensacola I discovered I had no steering from the flybridge!  YIPPEEE!!!!  PANIC!  AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!

Yup – that moment was adrenaline producing fo-sho!  I had million-dollar yachts all around me when I discovered that the steering was out.  I had 50 miles to go and was leaving an hour late already.  DAMNIT!  “Bunch of funky characters!” @#$%@#$%@#$%@!

One of the neighbors says, just use the throttles, you have two engines, right!??  Of course I do – and I’d already thought of that – I just hadn’t acted on it yet because I was too busy panicking.

So I used both throttles and made it safely to the fuel dock.  I discovered that the upper steering had leaked out because this girl I picked up on Tinder had been leaning on the wheel on the flybridge all night that night while we were partying.  Oops.

Oh – and yes the boat’s still a virgin even though I had a tinder date over – just wasn’t a connection there.

I put in some more power steering fluid (the last of it on board), re-pressurized the system, and turned the lower helm all the way right and then left once, then repeated all the way right, then left on the upper helm.  Voila – problem solved (at least temporarily).  I purchased more power steering fluid at Winn Dixie when I went shopping last night in case it happens again prior to me getting a replacement steering unit (which could be a year or more).

The ride over from P-cola to here was a bee-atch.  Cold and windy right in my face the whole way, with waves cresting up to 5 feet straight off the bow.  Took me 6.5 hours to do that 50 miles solo, and my face is sunburned and windburned today.

I have tons of pictures and videos from the last 4 weeks, but at this rate of change I may never compile them into a pretty blog post, so I might decide to just put it together in one collage and post it for posterity.

Today – another 45 miles – this time most of it is intra-coastal in a canal (the ditch).  Thank God!