No turning back

We started living aboard early this year at Bell Harbor Marina as an experiment. We hadn’t planned to live on our current boat–our initial plan was that we’d eventually live aboard on the new boat. We’d been on the waiting list for Bell Harbor for ages, and weren’t expecting a slip to come available for a few more years. But we popped to the top of the list as James was taking a job in downtown Seattle. The opportunity was too good, so we had to try it.  

We made one big trip from the house with the car stuffed with everything we could think we might need. And in four months, the only thing we ended up needing from the house were international adapters for a trip James made to China. We had previously spent most weekends on the boat, and had been about as close to live-aboards as you could get without actually living aboard. So the boat was reasonably well setup already, and about the only modification we made was to add a couple of towel racks in the aft stateroom.

After a couple of weeks, we were hooked. We loved the downtown lifestyle, and didn’t miss the house at all. And we’d almost completely stopped driving our car. We’d been planning to buy bicycles when we got the new boat, but decided to get them right away that first week at Bell Harbor. We wanted something that would work well around town, but also that we could take on logging roads along the coast. We spent ages talking with Aaron at the excellent Velo Bike Shop in Seattle and left with two Giant FCR 2s. James rides his bike to work downtown and Jennifer rides & buses to Redmond. Parking downtown is expensive, so we kept our car at Elliott Bay Marina, and just biked over there when we needed it. (Bell Harbor doesn’t have permanent moorage through the summer, so we kept our slip at Elliott Bay Marina and have to move around a bit over the summer months. That’s a minor hassle compared to the reward of living downtown.)


Within two months, we had spent a day interviewing real estate agents to start the process of selling the house. We chose Mary Lee and Jeff Shaffer, who did an astounding job in preparing the house for sale, creating marketing material, selling the house, and managing the offer and closing process. We recommend them without reservation. They are real professionals who made the experience efficient, successful, quick, and easy, especially given the current weak housing economy. Our house went on the market on April 16th, we accepted an offer on May 21st and the sale closed on June 23rd. Amazing.

We sold most of our furniture not required for staging on craigslist prior to going to market, and the remainder after. And last week, we sold our car, also through craigslist. So now we’re down to just the current boat and a 5′-by-5′ storage room that is stuffed solid. When the new boat arrives, we’ll empty out the storage room, sell the current boat, and be down to just the boat and our bicycles.

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