I know it has been a terribly long time since I have posted anything on Chop’s Guide to the Galaxy but I do have a good excuse, I am a lazy bastard.
Most of Chop’s Guide has been written during downtime at work, and since being a bondsman, I have worked and chillaxed at the same place, I never really got behind the computer, except to do my reports thus no Chop’s Guide.
Well, I have news, I am no longer a bondsman.
Chop’s Guide may finally start being a guide here soon.
Also, if you are reading this from the area I was bonding in, one… the same number still works, it is just not me answering it so keep calling, two… I also still expect you to go to court, and you still owe me money.
So there was not much besides work and sleep going on for the last year of my bonding.
We moved our office and home together into an AWESOME apartment just off the strip in Lake Ozark, MO. We were right on the water, so it was even harder to get to the computer.
My brother Chris and I have talked about traveling again for years, but the fact that he has kids and hates being apart from them has kept us from this goal.
I do not like being apart from any of my nieces and nephews either but as they are everywhere from Arizona to the Philippines, I do not have much choice and try not to think too hard on it.
I had intended to go without him when our two years of bonding were up, and I often kick myself in the ass for waiting this long when I should have been long gone, I have had the opportunity a few times but talk myself into staying… but alas, things may just turn out alright.
The people we rented the new, awesome apartment from sold our place, which was apparently the plan in the first place as they are horrible cunts and we were just pawns in their chess game to sell the complex by making it look full.
The new owners gave us the option to either move or buy… I do not want to own shit anyway, but those assholes were asking far too much.
So we decided to move.
We have talked for a decade or more about sailing the world, but we did not figure the opportunity would not present itself until after the kids were grown if ever so it was just kind of a dream.
I am not sure how the topic was approached, but somehow it came about that maybe the mother of most of his munchkins would possibly be willing to travel with us on a boat.
Chris asked me if I wanted to go for it and as I am always ready to leave, I, of course, said, fucking absolutely.
And this is how a plan was born.
1. Gather as much money as we could
2. Move to Florida
3. Buy a liveaboard sailboat
4. Learn to sail
5. Leave this bitch!
Short trips out at first, down to the islands, maybe over to Mexico, Central and South America on the Atlantic side and hopefully eventually making a transatlantic crossing.
We spent September and October selling everything we owned minus a few things we need, and we left for Florida on 25 Oct 18 with a short stopover in Poplar Bluff, MO to see my dad and get my old truck back on the road to sell to my nephew.
We left for Florida carrying everything we own between Chris’ truck and my little Escape, including packing shit on top of the escape (a ladder, and a trunk full of my shoes and miscellaneous things including a copy of A Better Life for Half the Price I got for my mom before she died… I pray every night some opportunist doesn’t steal the stuff from the top of my car or if they do, they at least leave me that book. She also left me a few notes for another book about my cousin Jeremy I am trying to work on inside the book, so that makes it even more valuable to me.)
The following is the itinerary of our first dive into the sea life/finding and buying our boat.
25 Oct: After staying a night in Russellville, MO with Chris and his family and having an appointment I had to keep before leaving town, we made our way to our old home town, Poplar Bluff, MO to see my dad and get my old Dodge back roadworthy.
26 Oct: After the morning of dicking off with the truck and heading to Poplar Bluff to have 5 Star and the Wine Rack with dad we set off on our adventure. Ended up hitting up a Denny’s in Oak Grove, Ky and finished the day in Dalton Ga.
27 Oct: Dalton, Ga to Perry, Ga Today started out kind of shitty because Chris blew a tire after hitting a MASSIVE pothole, and after what seemed like an eternity we finally set off again and made it to Florida. Our first stop was Gainesville right as the sun was setting and we were hungry so, knowing my first priority upon reaching Florida, we decided on Cuban food ( I finally got to have a Cuban Sandwich and soup in Florida which is basically Cuba…although I have to do it in Cuba soon). I can not remember the name of the place but they were good and I will be eternally grateful for places that have Cuban restaurants. We kept going into the night some and were able to make North Port Richey before we needed to crash.
28th: Port Richey to Port Hudson Marina to see a Prout Catamaran… then had lunch at Shark Bite Restaurant in Port Richey which is the first time that I remember having shark besides my one and only time having Shark Fin Soup prior to knowing how they got the fins… then down to Tampa to look at a 37 Jeanneau ending our day in Lehigh Acres
29th Oct: Lehigh acres to Port Charlotte to look at an entirely too small monohull then on to Pompano Beach. We had lunch at a Boston market there that smelled like a bag of smashed assholes. We then drove over to Hollywood where we ended the day
30th Oct: Hollywood for a quick shot to the beach so I could touch the Atlantic for the first time (excluding GOM)… over to Divers Direct up to Melbourne to see a Gemini Catamaran with a stupid amount of growth on it, no way to get it out of the area due to the growth and a large amount of Bull Sharks around that make diving to clean it not exactly an exciting thought. I also got to see Cape Canaveral before heading back to Hollywood for the night. Not like any NASA stuff Cape Canaveral but a sign that said Cape Canaveral, so I know I was close.
31st Oct: Happy Halloween… kind of a lazy day, we went back to Divers Direct and hung out in Ft. Lauderdale, stayed another night in Hollywood.
1st Nov: We decided to drive to Ft. Pierce for the night while figuring out what to do.
2nd Nov: Drive from Ft. Pierce back to the 37 Jeanneau in Tampa… to see if we could possibly get ourselves into it… it was a good price but kind of cramped and not enough headroom for me, much less the 3 inches taller Chris. One good thing to come out of going back to Tampa was the Grand Sushi Hibachi Buffet… place was pretty fantastic.
3rd Nov: We took off for the last time from NPR headed to Carrabelle to look at a Mogan Out Island we had seen online and stayed the night in Tallahassee.
4th Nov: We think we may have found our boat so we spent the day discussing it and figuring out if this was the direction we wanted to go. so we just hung out in Tallahassee.
5th Nov: Started getting things lined up for us buying the boat, still not much to do so more being lazy in Tallahassee.
6th Nov: we moved onto the Morgan almost immediately. The area had pretty much been ravaged by Hurricane Michael a few days before we got there. The Morgan was in fine form but the docks were not. We had to build the docks back ourselves but until we did that we had to climb on board which was a bit hinky but we made it work.
We named her the Dauntless out of Osage Beach, Missouri.
That is the story of the beginning of the boring adventure that brought us to Florida, it had been a year in the writing and I am going to try to get back into this and get the rest of the story out amongst others that are coming up.
I hope to get my reader back and maybe one or two more to keep my lazy ass motivated.
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