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About Our Journey
Becoming Re Metau
2005
Anna Maria Island Historic Pier
~ Anna Maria Island Historic Pier ~
Moving South
Down Sizing for Down South
I'd spent the last several months clearing the house of most everything not boat worthy – which is to say most everything. Many special things were given to family members, and it was nice to be a benefactor from this side of the dirt. Being between contracts, my full time job became selling our household goods on Ebay, a website that allowed anyone to auction anything. Though it was a great deal of work, it beat the heck out of having tag sales, and it was fun to watch the bidding wars break out over the most mundane things. I made a pretty penny and put it all towards the boat fund.

Whatever didn't get bestowed or bought was donated, or kicked to the curb.Before long, the walls of the house

In early July of 2005, I packed up my car and left Ohio for that long drive south. My aunt and uncle's generous neighbor, a world traveler who rarely inhabited his Anna Maria Island home, provided me with a free place to stay while I looked for a marina in which to live. Departing from Don, putting so much distance from my daughter, and moving out of my home of 17 years was probably one of the hardest things I've ever done.

One of the catalysts for making the live-aboard leap was my need to find work, so I was interviewing for jobs in the Tampa Bay area. Thus, it made sense for me to go ahead of everything else, and there was so much else that had to happen. Don needed to find work in Florida. The house had to sell. The boat had to close. It was restless times indeed, but the beach just across the road did much to sooth my anxious soul, and watching the sunset across the beautiful Gulf waters each night raised my spirits as well.

Bradenton Beach Marina
~ Bradenton Beach Marina ~
Where to Float Our Boat
Finding a place to plop the boat was not as easy as we had first imagined. When I made calls to the facilities listed in the phone book, a little known fact was quickly revealed to me. Live-aboards were often not welcome. Too many dispossessed individuals bumming around in neglected boats had clogged the waterways of Florida, and made it difficult for those of us who wanted to leave a clean wake.

I discovered it is best to visit the marinas in person, talk to the harbor master, let them know that we had a ship shape vessel, and that we were conscientious sailors who would be reliable tenants. I threw around our boat's make a lot, and saw the power of the words 'Hans Christian' translate to well-built, expensive, and wealth in the minds of the slip-lords.

Besides a monthly slip rental fee, I also discovered there were lots of extra fees for being a fulltime boat of which I'd not conceived; live-aboard fees, As well as a monthly slip rental fee, , parking, and pump-outs added to the water, electric and cable. I considered things like whether the docks were fixed or floating, the cleanliness of the shower and laundry facilities, and what all the added fees were; live-aboard, electricity, parking, pump-out.
Happy Birthday to Me!

After a lot of research, I narrowed our choices to 4 marinas and waited for Don to arrive. I signed the contract for our boat on July 19th – Happy Birthday to me!