Setting the Stage (September 2011)

To say the past month has been turbulent would be an understatement! In the aftermath of the lightning strike, we have done a more detailed damage assessment (click here if you are interested in seeing the details). The insurance company sent a marine surveyor to the boat to evaluate the damage – yes, it IS covered by insurance! The repairs will be done in several stages. The first order of business is to get the engines operational. Although they are diesel engines, they are controlled by various electronic components (like the computers in modern cars) and those components are seriously damaged. Replacement parts have been ordered and the diesel techs are scheduled to arrive in Colonial Beach with those parts around Sept 19th. We’ll also need to get some basic navigation systems operational so that we will be able to move the boat to a location where additional work can take place. We expect that it will take at least 2-3 months to get the boat back in safe operational condition. We are also aware that damage from lightning strikes often does not show up immediately. It can be months or sometimes even years before the full extent is known!

Simultaneously with this effort, Bradley and I have been busy getting ready to close on the sale of our house in Oakton, VA, which I am pleased to say occurred on September 7th. We are very happy with the new owners, Dan and Marilyn, who we think will love that house as much as we did during our 14 years there. They have also been wonderful to deal with – we feel very fortunate with how the whole process has worked. Even though we had done a lot of divesting of “stuff” to prepare to put the house on the market back in May, there were many decisions to make and many more things to part with. I can say that Freecycle and Craigslist Free Stuff have been a big part of my life the past few weeks! I am now staying with a neighbor down the street along with our dog Jordan, who will be moving to his new home in North Carolina later this month. It has been raining furiously all week and yesterday serious flooding in this area wreaked havoc on the roads. The new owners of our house called me to say they were stranded and could not get back to the house due to closed and flooded roads. Dan asked if I could go down and turn off the Crock Pot they had left on. They also had planned to have their furniture delivered and it had been loaded on a truck but they had no idea where it was! I headed down the road for what I though was a quick trip to turn off the crock pot and make sure everything was OK at the house, only to find that the moving truck had arrived! So I spent several hours overseeing the move of the new owners things into our old house. Unusual, to say the least, but Dan and Marilyn finally made their way over around 10pm. We all agreed it would make a good story someday. So, everything has not gone completely according to plan, but at least everyone is safe, if perhaps a bit stressed. The cruising life demands the ability to adapt and to deal with the unexpected, so we are getting some good practice at that! Sorry there are no good photos to post this time, but take a look at this video of a guy tubing down Lee Highway in Fairfax, a major local road!

  1. #1 by Anonymous on October 14, 2011 - 12:25 pm

    Corbett and I had the unexpected job of overseeing a large home in Oakton that was struck by lightning just prior to settlement and the owners had already moved to SC. At least we did not need to have the house lifted in order to assess the damage. The entire electrical systems were damaged plus repair to the house where the lighting struck.
    What an undertaking you are going through.
    I hope you are nearing the end of repair and that all is well.
    Really enjoyed reading all of you updates.
    Thank you for sharing all of the news. I had no idea you were going through all of this trauma while closing on your home.
    Enjoyed the goodby video of Jordan also.
    Enjoy your tours around the world and keep me posted.
    You are both special people to me.
    Best – Shirley


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