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I'd stopped posting in this forum, and on other TMF boars as well, during the late summer of 2017. The primary motivation behind the decision was my desire to chuck all the world's problems and live in quiet solitude aboard a small boat in the warm climate of a friendly harbor. I've lost my wife of 29 years a couple of years before that, have put my children through college, sold my home in Reno, and readied to reward myself for a life well lived. I've chronicled my progress south with a well received daily travelogue on this board, one of which was this, my second day on the road.

https://boards.fool.com/gone-fishin39-day-2-32800031.aspx

Although it was but one of a series of single day journals, its seemingly irrelevant events turned out to have significant changes to my retirement plans of just go fishin' and live quietly aboard a small boat. It seems that while I was fishing for minnows I hooked Moby Dick... on several fronts, which I'll share in a follow-up post, provided there is interest from others.

Norm
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which I'll share in a follow-up post, provided there is interest from others.

Norm


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More please.
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I often wondered where you went! Last I knew you were in San Diego.
Please update!

John
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I'd stopped posting in this forum, and on other TMF boards as well, during the late summer of 2017. The primary motivation behind the decision was my desire to chuck all the world's problems and live in quiet solitude aboard a small boat in the warm climate of a friendly harbor. I've lost my wife of 29 years a couple of years before that, have put my children through college, sold my home in Reno, and readied to reward myself for a life well lived. I've chronicled my progress south with a well received daily travelogue on this board, one of which was this, my second day on the road.

https://boards.fool.com/gone-fishin39-day-2-32800031.aspx

Although it was but one of a series of single day journals, its seemingly irrelevant events turned out to have significant changes to my retirement plans of just go fishin' and live quietly aboard a small boat. It seems that while I was fishing for minnows I hooked Moby Dick... on several fronts, which I'll share in a follow-up post, provided there is interest from others.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The final chapter — in case anyone still cares.

I’ve been penning my retirement journey for nearly two years, part of which I’d posted previously in this thread. I’d always meant to post a final chapter, but then my notes got 30 pages long and it’s taken me quite a while to pare it down to the bare essentials that might be relevant to previous posts. Here I’ll try to present it in its final format.

For a while my fledgling plans of acquiring a small boat tied up in a friendly harbor to which I would retire at the end of each day, and some days not leave at all, were put on hold. For several months I stayed at a motel while continuing my search. Then one day a friend’s niece called my attention to a boat about to be offered for sale by a couple in Arizona who only spent occasional weekends here. The boat, a beat up 26 footer, had practically no value; its value lay in the rights to the live-aboard slip. I gladly overpaid for the boat but I had the coveted tie-up spot I needed.

I had no intention of keeping the boat. Boats for sale are plentiful and being that I had all the time in the world I looked at a lot of them without finding anything that would ring my bell.

My son came to visit over the (2017) winter holidays and he agreed that I needed to upgrade. One source he suggested was IRS, Coast Guard and DEA auctions of seized vessels.

The opportunity came in March last year when a Columbian drug runner’s confiscated 50ft trawler was offered at government auction. Some called it a yacht. Yacht, trawler or off-shore cruiser meant nothing to me because to me it would be a house boat. The specs given stated it held 800GL of diesel, 400GL water, had a 40GL hold, and 24 tons of displacement. Of course it also had a bullet riddled hull and some fire damage inside, but rehab would be doable. Fortunately it didn’t draw anyone else’s interest and I was able to acquire it at the reserve price, and since I have no license for its operation, had a commercial pilot deliver it to my dock 50 miles north. The increased size of the vessel also doubled my slip rent.

Due to its large deck it became a popular hangout of others tied up at nearby slips for TGIF or happy hours, which was never restricted to Fridays as most people have nothing against being happy on days other than Fridays.

For the first few months my work was concentrated on the hull and engine room, letting the interior wait.

Then one day late last summer, my phone rang.

“Hi, this is Anna,” said the cheerful voice.

Since I don’t know anyone named Anna I rightfully thought it was yet another sales pitch. Accordingly I said, “So, Anna, what are you wearing?” This usually ends any sales pitch, but this time it drew a giggle.

“I’m dressed for dinner,” she said, “if you’re up for it.”

And then I recognized the voice, and realized the name, instead of Anna, was Hannah — the helpful and accommodating motel manager in Cayucos. After our brief encounter we’d exchanged phone numbers with promises of “if you’re ever up/down my way," etc, etc, but as is often the case with two ships passing in the night, neither of us had followed up. Until now.

So I said, “Sure, but what are you doing down here?”

“Why don’t I tell you all about it over dinner?” she replied.

Upon meeting her, I was floored. She had changed a lot, and all for the better. She was svelte and elegant, and looked deliciously younger than I remembered her. Her hair, previously grayish brown was now a silvery blonde. When I asked about it, she said, “My salt and pepper hair was getting more salt than pepper, and one day I said to myself ‘screw the struggle for youthful appearance’. Who am I kidding? I’m 42”. Gotta respect that kind of honesty.

We brought each other up to date. My story was relatively boring, hers entertaining. Seems that a year before we met she divorced her husband of nine years after finding him wonder off the reservation with a 20-some paralegal. Long story short, she’d wound up with most of their assets, their home, the motel in Cayucos, and another in Morro Bay. For a while she was directionless, then decided to liquidate the properties and move to the San Diego area, where, as a hobby, she’s now pursuing a degree in interior design.

When I told her about the boat I’m rehabbing, she immediately wanted to see it. The next morning she came over and after I gave her the grand tour we sat down on the deck and she asked whether I’d be interested in hearing her ideas about redesigning the interior. My idea of redoing the inside was crudely utilitarian, so I was interested. Hannah made some sketches and I liked what I saw. It took eight months to turn the sketches into reality, and now the trawler is a yacht.

People on the dock, most of them retired, genuinely like her, and she was quickly accepted as one of the crowd. As time went by we became an item, and then a couple — an admittedly odd couple, because when she wears heels, she’s noticeably taller. Hannah bought a condo not far from the marina, so we have a choice of domiciles depending on our mood.

My kids came to visit last Christmas, and the connection was immediate. When my daughter (now 24) came to spend this past 4th of July week with me, she asked one evening, “Are there any wedding bells in the wind?” I was surprised by the question so I asked her, “Do you think Mom would approve?”
“Are you kidding?” she said. “Mom would love her. This woman is good to you — so, are there any plans?”
“We’re working on the pre-nuptials,” I said.
Her eyes lit up. “How is it coming?”
“We’re taking it one day at a time,” I said. “We’ve already agreed on monogamy.”

Six years ago, when my wife passed I looked in the mirror, and saw a broken and de-spirited middle age man, and resigned to live my days out as a loner. But fate had taught me that there is a second chance for short, bald and rotund guys too.

https://ibb.co/3yY6Dm1

Norm
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Norm;

I honestly have tears in my eyes. I am so happy for you and this next journey of life. My husband died 8 years ago and I started dating about 7 months ago. I turn 65 this month and changed my gray & brown hair into silver and lighter blond. I feel perkier! I feel more lively!

Congratulations on a lovely yacht and her interior design is perfection! I couldn't be happier for you two!


Robyn
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That doesn't sound very final to me. I think you have some more good story to live.

(Whether you want to tell any of it or not is, of course, up to you.)
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Yowsa!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
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GreenNV is already one of your Favorite Fools.


Norm:

Best of luck with whatever port your new ship ends up calling home!

Good things come to those who act in good faith and allow themselves to be open to new experiences in this life. May you both remain very happy!




BG
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