Pre-purchase jitters

We are potentially a week away from purchasing Secret Water. I’ve seen the boat twice. It’s a new feeling to be so close to buying a boat, at least a good boat. At the beginning of the summer we were so close to purchasing an abandoned 51’ Aleutian Ketch. During the haul out our surveyor found a massive section of delamination on the Starboard hull. Massive like an 8x12 FOOT section of the hull. I’m thankful we passed on the Aleutian Ketch. I was certain we were going to buy that boat.
And now we are even closer to buying the 54’ Maple Leaf. Last week Annie and I travelled across the 2 borders to get to Secret Water at Point Roberts for the survey. On the way North we picked up our surveyor, Les Crosby, in Bellingham. We hired a surveyor outside of Point Roberts to dodge the nepotism that pollutes a small town. Since Point Roberts is so isolated, a place like Bellingham seems far enough away to be free from bias.
Besides small items like old batteries and too many wires connected to the terminals, the boat is in good shape. She definitely needs plenty of TLC and Annie’s clever eye for design to make it feel like a home.
Leaving for a new home. We haven’t moved in 8 years. 8 years ago we moved 10 miles South, although we have new neighbors we kept all the same Central Coast friends. Annie and I moved to the Central Coast around 2001, so it feels like we haven’t moved in over 15 years. Moving on a boat is shrouded with excitement and concerns. I think some of the concerns come from the feeling of moving away from our Central Coast home. As part of moving away from our house we’ve remodeled the addition and updated the backyard a bit. Leaving our newly remodeled house feels a little counterintuitive. With all the concerns we are terribly excited. Excited for travel and adventure. Excited for the new. I wonder how much of my inner voice is the language of my small circle of experiences.
The boys school started about 2 weeks ago and they haven’t attended once. In anticipation of purchasing a boat (hopefully Secret Water) we didn’t enroll our kids in the new year. Annie has been making time for our kids to hangout with their friends. Josiah’s good friend Finn (another Finn) slept over last night. These moments where we connect with friends while knowing that we’re moving on a boat and sailing South is like a good steak where the meat is the joy of being near friends, and the marbling is the sadness of leaving. At least that’s the feeling for now, I’m hopeful we’ll be able to stay in touch and even have visitors on our boat while voyaging.
As a teacher I’ve some strong opinions about education and how kids should be treated, this trip is a chance to design and build the education for my own kids and maybe even inspire others along the way. It was easy to test new ideas at school when the kids aren’t my own, there’s a freedom in knowing that if I completely screwed up in the classroom another teacher would be able to fill in the missing pieces. I think the fear of screwing up is what prevents some teachers from redesigning their classes. I’m more afraid of stagnation.
Teaching our own kids is going to be a multi-year version of the Engineering Design Process. In a great ongoing cycle our kids learning will be a process of asking, researching, dreaming, designing, building and iterating. I think one of the most important things for our kids to learn is how to learn. We definitely don’t have the boys education all worked out, but I’m confident in our ability to learn and develop a sort of boat school. We’d love your input and ideas on how to make this the best boat schooling experience. For now our textbook will likely be the book How to be Explorer’s of the World by Keri Smith One quote Keri shares stands out as I write this post “One is unable to notice something because it is always before one’s eyes” Ludwig Wittgenstein.
Between leaving our house, proximity to friends, and starting a new life in a manner unknown to us, I’m giddy with excitement. Of course I’m nervous but I’m only nervous about the unknown which I refuse to let determine our direction. Wish us luck and please pray that our new life will be one full of purpose and helpfulness.