Packing, Provisioning and Saying Goodbye

So what’s it like selling (almost) everything you own and packing up your family for an adventure?

Exhausting. Exciting. Thrilling. Humbling.

It has been a challenging, exciting time the last couple of months. First we had our initial three week trip to our boat for the first time as a family. (Read part 1, part 2 and part 3) There was so much to do to get ready, everyday I felt overwhelmed by something, whether making lists, packing or knowing what to say to family and friends about our trip. But the trip itself was amazing and fulfilling, despite it’s challenges. We grew as a family and witnessed the bond between our daughters grow so much. It was completely rewarding.

Right before we left for our three week trip – Hannah inside the trailer!

On the two day road trip back to Houston (my husband had only taken vacation time off from work) my husband and I talked it over and both agreed- we didn’t want to wait to return to our boat, “Gromit.” Our rental house had already sold, and the house we lived in was in the process of being sold, so we simply asked ourselves, what are we waiting here for? The answer was clear: we would finish up the sale of our house and pack up the rest of the items we wanted to take to the boat with us and say goodbye to family and friends. We wanted our adventure to begin! For some it seemed crazy, others I think were disappointed to know we were leaving, many others were excited for us, but we would go back to Virginia where Gromit was docked in just three weeks. Three weeks to pack up our life and begin our voyage!

Getting ready to leave has been a very exhausting process, but one I would not want to trade. It’s been so freeing simplifying our life and holding on to what we truly value.

We can’t wait to get back to this beautiful place

So how do you get a family of five ready to leave land and live on the water?

One of many lists

The first thing we started doing was online shopping for things we knew we need and also things we anticipated we might need. We knew it would be easier to receive mail while still having an address on land. We double checked we had all the major safety equipment like tethers, jack lines, and life jackets, which we had most of from our first trip. We bought other items like chamois, bungee cords, dry bags, winter clothing and new sheets for the mattresses. I shopped for homeschool workbooks for my 5 year old (from the dollar store), field guides for the area I knew we would be in first (the southeastern Atlantic coast) extra paper, pens, colored pencils, coloring books, stickers, and puzzles. I knew I wanted enough material to keep us busy with homeschooling/unschooling but also for the times when my husband and I would be busy sailing the boat and they needed to keep themselves occupied. I also shopped for things like protein powder and green powder for making quick and healthy drinks.


Essential books

We made sure all the equipment we were brining was in good working order. My husband fixed our iPad’s cracked screen and it was like new!

I gave the girl’s new haircuts, and they loved it! It was my first try at cutting their hair (I have cut my own for a couple of years) and it was not as difficult as I imagined. This will be the first of many haircuts we will be doing ourselves!

Hannah’s new ‘do
Marlee loves her new haircut

Then there is the packing. We decided not to take a trailer with us this time and that has been so freeing. For many that may seem terrifying because that means all we are going to take with us has to fit in the back of our truck. But knowing we only have to pack and unpack what can fit in the back of our truck is liberating! There is so much more energy for living life when you are freed from all your things!

We want to take time for what matters

Tomorrow marks the last day of work for my husband. His “two weeks” is up. Everything is almost packed and we are seeing family tomorrow for one more hug and goodbye. I am SO excited to see what God has in store for us next!



5 thoughts on “Packing, Provisioning and Saying Goodbye”

  1. What an awesome adventure! Can’t wait to see what all you encounter and experience along the way. May the Lord bless you and keep you on your journey(s)!

  2. Godspeed! Safe travels, fair weather, and many new friends! You will be in my heart and daily prayers. Love in Christ, Brad

  3. Michael….I have subscribed under my personal email, looking forward in keeping up with you adventure and experiences. Always keep in touch. Thoughts and Prayers to you and your family!

  4. Hello Family At Sea,

    I just started following your site after seeing Gromit yesterday when I stopped by to check my bilge on my Catalina 30 (on B dock). I remember seeing the boat before (maybe when it was the previous owner’s or quite possibly y’all have been here for awhile now and it just registered in my head yesterday), so I googled it and found your site. How long will you be in Norfolk? My GF and I would love to talk to you, as we intend to go south in a few years. If y’all need any local help, let me know.

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