Seems the closer we get to leaving, the more we have to get done, the less time that is available and consequently the stress increases. In reality, we could hop on our boat right now and leave and we would be just fine, but our ‘to do’ list is quite long and getting longer! And we are ping-ponging back and forth between the house and the boat and though we are making progress, it is sometimes difficult to see the progress while you are in the middle of the mess! It was a messy, glorious week!

Sunday we had a lovely day cleaning up after the shake down cruise and then spending a great Easter dinner with the neighbors parents. Kids got to hunt for easter eggs and all of us ate way too much really good food. It was the perfect way to end a week and start the next.

Monday: House day. It was a day off for AJ–his last day of Spring Break. We all slept in. It was also Susanne’s last day in the United States. She and I left for the airport at noon and she was heading back to Germany on a 5pm flight. It was a great year for all of us and marked the end of seven years of having someone living in our house. Anne Marie, Joanne, Annika, Selina, Anais, Celine, and Susanne all were part of our family a year at a time and it was really good for all of us to have them here sharing a part of their lives in the US. While I was running off to Dulles International Airport, Jan continued to pack boxes in preparation for movers on Thursday.

Tuesday: Boat day. Up early and off to Herrington Harbor North. It is a gorgeous day. We meet a diesel engine mechanic at 0900 and he walks us through our generator for an hour pointing out all the components, what can fail and how to fix and replace. While he is there the generator refuses to start so we get some fun troubleshooting. Turns out there is some corrosion where the starter battery connects to the generator cable so add ‘clean battery cables’ to my list of things to do. We extend the reef rope on the main. Then, since it is such a nice day, we fire up the engines and take turns at the wheel driving around the marina. Jan gets some stick time, docks the boat and NAILS it the first time. I mean that in a good way…not as in ‘she hit the dock.’ After our success we turn to our window screens.

Our windows on the side of the boat originally came with screen to keep the little bugs outside when you are at anchor and have the windows open. The screens were in terrible shape we removed the screens and the frames, and promptly lost the frames. For weeks we have been looking for replacement screens; unfortunately the company that make the windows hasn’t made that model in (many) years. The will make the screens but it will cost between $20-50 per screen (we need nine) and take three-four weeks to produce and deliver. We have two weeks. And I’m tired of bleeding money (more on that below). So we decide to make our own. Tuesday is spend measuring the windows and making mockups and then looking for something plastic we can make into the frames. We stumble on a black plastic garbage can for sale at a local box store that looks like it may fit the bill and take it home to make our first template.

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Wednesday: Boat and house. Take our garbage can screen out to the boat and it works! Fits like a champ so when we get back home we will make the remainder of the screens. We clean battery cables while we are there. Then back home to take down pictures and prep house for move tomorrow.

Thursday: House. Movers (part 1). Four gentlemen and a large truck arrived bright and early to move out most of our stuff. Everything goes except the beds, two TVs, a couch and the kitchen chairs. Everything, in other words, that we need to survive in our house for 12 days. packed upAt the same time the movers arrived, an air conditioner repair man arrived to top off the coolant in our air conditioner—it wasn’t working well. Turns out it didn’t need coolant at all! It was broken and needed to be replaced. So spent some time finding someone that could bring in a new unit, install and be done by closing. New owners are getting a nice new system. Move went well and our storage space appears to have enough room for the rest of our stuff.

Friday: House and Boat. Radon dude arrives nice and early and has system installed by 1115. Jan heads off to boat to take yet another load of stuff and clean in preparation for the open boat. I run errands around here closing out accounts and utilities for our closing date.

Saturday: Boat. We had our ‘open boat house’ and of course it was a super rainy and miserable day. We had about 15 people muscle through the weather and come out to check out our boat and spend the afternoon with us. Fortunately they were spread throughout the afternoon so we could all fit inside our boat because it was cold and windy outside!

Next week. We take a break from the house and the boat next week and head down to New Bern, NC for the Great Loop Spring Rendezvous. It is a gathering of people who have done the loop, people on the loop and people that are planning on doing the loop. Information and knowledge is shared and we get to meet people that we are most likely going to run into again when we start on our trip. Grandpa Chuck arrived today (Sunday) to see AJ through his last week of school and to oversee any work that needs to get done on the house prior to closing.