Friday, March 26, 2010

Trucking Christa Across the USA. An Update

Moored Naples Florida

For my original post on trucking Christa to California click here. Below is a picture from my trucking operation in 2005.

I submitted bids on a website called uShip. I have to say I do recommend the site for anyone needing to ship about anything. It is the ebay of shipping. You plug in the parameters and shipping companies will bid on the job. As with ebay, uShip has a comment section that gives you the warm and fuzzy about the professionalism of said company.

However, I did not use any companies found on uShip. I have developed over the pasted year a working relationship with a fellow named Bob Queen, a shipping broker and retired Marine LT Colonel. His company is Boat Express Specialty Shipping.  He worked me up some numbers almost year ago as I was wrestling on what to do in terms of my continuing to sail or not. Whether I could afford to ship Christa or not, and from which port to ship. He stayed after me for my business. I love that. He came in at $8,496. uShip was all over the place the first week I had the bid up and running. Mostly, well over ten thousand. Bob's quote seemed more than competitive. I sent him the $796 down payment to schedule the truck for the week of May 10th. Bam. But then, a Texas trucking company sent in a bid on uShip for $7,900 all in. Oh Man! $600 is a lot of money. So I called Bob and discussed the situation. He understood, being the old grizzled Marine and he knocked off $300 and that is where things stand. For Shipping, my total is $8, 196.00.

I'm shipping Christa out of Ft Myers Beach Florida and haven't got the rate schedule for the yard yet. I am shipping to KKMI Shipyard in Richmond California and I do have some painful numbers. To pluck Christa and put her back in the water will cost $390.00. I will need to re-step Christa's mast using a crane. Crane and operator is $300 an hour, billed in 1/4 hour increments. Figure 1/2 hour to get the mast stepped. And I will pay $36 each day Christa sits in the yard. This charge is a real bummer, as it puts pressure on me to drive across the country quicker than I had wanted.

I have always been working with the round figure of 10,000.00 all in to get Christa settled in California. This figure seems to be in the ballpark. 

Can't believe how quickly time has marched by since my arrival in Naples. Seems just like yesterday I was running aground in Naples harbor. Time seemingly accelerates when your working 6 days a week.

My next move will be to identify what day I need to sail the 30 miles north to FT Myers Beach, which will depend on when I stop working. Time-line still is for a May 15th departure via the Green Hornet, making tracks westward.

Any questions just shoot me an email.

Capt Chris

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Reminder About Death

Naples Florida
Sunny in the 70's

Last week two friends of mine lost there father to cancer. The Beast strikes again. Although I can't ever remember meeting the man, I was moved by his eulogy posted below.  Clearly a well loved man, a person who surrounded himself with quality people. A tragedy like this is an acute reminder our time is finite and that each individual should strive to live the good life. No regrets in the end. If you want to sail around the world, make it happen. If sailing is not your thing, then figure out what is and get moving!

I feel terrible for my dear friends Dani and Stacey pictured above. Of course I'm in love with both of them which, in my humble opinion should cushion the blow. I may be biased though. They kept a blog chronicling there experience and you can read it by clicking here.

Here is the eulogy. Give it some thought.

"To call Wally’s death anything but a consummate tragedy would be an understatement of monumental proportions.  There is no compensation for Wally’s loss: not to you, Stacey, not to Dani, not to Alexandra and not to Taylor.  You have our utmost respect and our deepest condolences.  There is no compensation for Wally’s loss to other members of his immediate family, and certainly there is no compensation for Wally’s loss to the rest of us - his friends and his “other” families at Harvard and in Boston and Pennsylvania.  All of us in this room and in the community, and countless other locations - grieve the loss of an original and authentic member of our extended families.  Like the rest of us, Wally had his quirks, and like the rest of us, he was not perfect.  But to all of us, he was authentic - he was an original and beloved member of our communities and more than anyone else, he represented a culture which is so unique and which all of us cherish, and which will be forever compromised. 

In the past two uneasy months, we’ve all commiserated with each other about this pending and incomprehensible event.  How? Why?  The inexplicable randomness of it all.  The consensus thought is that we all figured Wally was indestructible and we never gave full consideration to his mortality.  It was a given that Wally would always be here - always full of energy, a constant and visible and, yes, loud and passionate presence.  And that indomitable spirit is what all of us will most miss about our friend.  His relentless determination to not just participate but to lead, coordinate and arrange and, yes, rearrange everything for us and most of all include all of us - made us all better.  Who can forget the countless trips: football games, reunions, birthdays, anniversaries - any excuse to have a get together among his family and wildly diverse and inclusive range of friends.  Born to lead with the willingness to undertake any endeavor and to be the center of any activity became the constant with Wally. And in that sense and in every other sense, he was consistent, he was always reliable and he was always doing for others.  That is what I loved most about Wally, no veneer, no pretentiousness - he was authentic and unvarnished.

Wally was one of those rare birds who succeeded at everything he tried, and did he ever try!  Wally was the classic overachiever, if it took 100% effort to be great, Wally gave it 150% - didn’t matter if it were sports, business or being a dad.  He was good at anything he cared about.  Most of all he cared about his kids and was he ever successful at that!  How he loved you kids - you were his favorite subjects and he was immersed in whatever you were interested in and as importantly, what he thought was best for you.

It’s obvious that Wally was also a great businessman.  He was a relentless researcher and a natural entrepreneur; he had a nose for the transaction, but in his own unique style, he downplayed his role in the business world.  I used to tease him about how he was involved in just about everything from shoes, to condos and all sorts of other investments. And he was generous, nearly to a fault, contributing huge amounts of money to Harvard, the Joey Fund, Cystic Fibrosis and a myriad of other charities and institutions.

And, of course, Wally was unsurpassed in his natural athletic ability, enhanced even more by his relentless determination and fierce competitive spirit.  Football was his favorite - All-State in high school, All-Ivy in college; but he was also an outstanding lacrosse player and later a tremendous tennis player.  We met in high school playing in a basketball scrimmage against each other.  Both of us were on the team as enforcers and we beat the heck out of each other.  After the first half, exhausted and bruised, we both started laughing at the absurdity of it all and from then on we forged a rock-solid relationship which continued through high school, then college, and all the way through last week – 48 years later.  In many ways, sports were a metaphor for Wally’s life.   How many times did he get the extra yard through sheer determination and desire.  This quality was true not only in sports but also in business and with all of his family and social relationships. 

Like all of you, I fell in love with that booming infectious laugh, that gap-toothed, ear to ear smile, even those enormous calves which were the envy of all of us on the football team, and most of all that indomitable spirit. When you were with Wally, you were always laughing.  When you were with Wally, you always felt as though you got your nickels worth.  There was no challenge he backed away from, yet there was fragility, a sweetness even, to Wally that became even more pronounced over the past two months as he opened himself up to many of us.

Over the past few days there have been countless Wally stories and observations.  There are too many of them to repeat but one of my favorites happened every day at Harvard football practice.  At the beginning of every practice the coach would call us together and tell us to take two laps around the goal posts.  Always, Wally would shoot out ahead of everyone and lead the pack.  After a while this irritated all of us who were not inclined to sprint around the goal posts.  So we all met with Wally in the locker room to tell him he was a ‘rate buster’ and he had to stop showing us up; he agreed. The next day and thereafter, same thing – he just couldn’t help himself – it was his nature.  And being Wally, we all understood, and for the next three years, Wally sprinted around the goal posts, fifty yards ahead of the rest of us.  Classic Wally.

You’ll note a familiar theme throughout any Wally story.  Wally was a serial over achiever, a natural, genetically engineered even, to live at 150% - he always got his nickel’s worth. 

Yes, there are many great Wally stories from these past decades.  Especially the past few troubled months we’ve all witnessed the love, friendship and support which Wally earned over so many years, payback for so many acts of charity and for becoming such a respected member of our community.  It was our turn to say “Thank you, Wally.”  So many of you did so much and none of you thought of it as a burden.  And that is the true measure of a man.  Wally made all of us better.

Finally, I was thinking this morning that things will never be the same again in heaven.  Imagine Wally’s routine up there:  he’s rounded up everyone for a touch football game, then he’s planning golf matches, cocktails and dinner.  Perfect.  And heaven will be a better place.  He’ll make them all better.

Yes there are hundreds of stories in this church about our Wally, and yes we all do have to move on and celebrate such a glorious, gifted life.  But none of us will forget Wally and his friendship, his constant and reliable loyalty, his gusto for life and most all his authenticity.  He will live on because we will share these stories until all of us are gone and then his grandchildren will do the same.

And Stacy and Dani and Taylor and Alexandra, what can we say about your heroic devotion to your dad?  We know how terribly you will miss him.  In the weeks before the surgery, he and I spoke openly about everything in great detail.  He concluded he was okay with everything, even dying, since he argued that no, he didn’t just get his nickel’s worth, but he got at least a dime’s worth.  His only concern was that you kids would be okay without him.  I wish I could tell him now that every time I called the hospital Dani or Stacy answered the phone.  I saw all of the children there-keeping a vigil by their dad.  And many of us have followed the heart-wrenching and beautiful account of the final weeks of their dad’s life through Stacy and Dani’s blog. Wally, you don’t have to worry about these kids.  And you kids, when you get sad - you need only to remember that the marks we leave behind have the power to bring us back to life, if only for a moment.  Your dad left many, many marks.  So you’re going to have many opportunities to bring him back to life…if only for a moment – he would like that.  God bless you."

Joe O’Donnell

Thanks for reading everyone

Capt Chris

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Little Touchey Feeley....I Get It

Naples Florida
Weather is rain, temp in the 70's

Yoga is not mainstream. For people who have never been exposed to the practice or know little about, generally consider the yoga crowd kind of a fringe group. I can't really argue with that. Some of the die hard yoga people speak a different language and can be quick to deploy the Taro Cards. I can easily tolerate that type of thing and sometimes am amused by it. I don't know everything and if someone wants to operate from that set of principles, so be it. To stereotype most yoga people into a certain political persuasion would be accurate. That is why people call it a stereotype, due to the grains of truth. But not all.

I was swept into the world of yoga about two years ago, but have not been practicing consistently due to my sailing adventure. Since arriving in Naples I have been attending 2 or 3 times per week at great expense, but with great results. I admit, I'm hooked.

I have been working out and exercising religiously since late 2004, mostly in the cardio realm. I hate lifting weights, just not my thing to go to a gym and grunt up a set of dumb bells. But resistance training is really important and that is where yoga comes in. Ask anyone what they think after their first yoga class and most will gasp at the difficulty. It is funny to watch a big muscle bound type dude being out strengthed by some 5 foot nothing girl. All exercise is cumulative in nature, but in yoga it is especially true. It takes much more than strength; It takes a steely concentration and when your likely one of the only men in a studio full of women in yoga pants, you need to call up reserves of concentration and focus.  All joking aside, I am simply astounded at the amount of effort it takes and the buckets of sweat that pours out of me when trying to hold a pose. I always associated vigorous movement with exertion, but have since learned you can exert more when trying to hold still. Weird. 

The only rub with all this is the money angle. You can find cheap yoga in most places, but not in Naples. I have been paying $160 for 10 sessions, just a little less than $20 a class. And at 3 times a week, it quickly becomes unaffordable for many. It is a financial burden for me, but the benefits for me outweigh the expense. I try and convince myself that the best health care policy in the world in diet an exercise. Each day I feel very healthy with tons of energy. Plus I don't mind hanging out with all the women in yoga cloths.

Capt Chris

PS: I snapped the above picture the other day after leaving class. Two yoga instructors at the office working out next weeks schedule.

PSS: I have some news on the trucking of Christa. I'll update on that major project soon.