Thursday, February 25, 1999. Gentle readers: thanks for waiting. Many things have happened since we last updated this web page. First, Bill got the terrible flu and was among the walking dead for a week. Secondly, we had to move from our home (since we sold it), and on to the boat. So you will understand the context, we've purchased a unit in a high-rise condo which is under construction in downtown St. Petersburg on the waterfront. The condo will not be finished until about April of 2000, but we figured that it will take a long time to sell a big house so we put our current home on the market. Well, it sold in a short time (same good economic times) and the new owners want to move in; so we're moving aboard the Interlude.
The move is particularly complex since we are: (1) sending much furniture to auction (our new condo is much smaller than our huge home, (2) sending some to short term storage so that we can access it before we move into the condo, as needed, (3) sending some to family, and (4) most to long term storage, not to be seen again until we are ready to relocate into the condominium. We're also sending truck loads of stuff to the Salvation Army and Goodwill.
We must be out of Bay House (the name we gave to our home) by this Sunday night, so work continues regardless of the flu and the complexity of the issue. Today the packers have come and packed everything going to long term storage. This is the last stage of the exit. This evening we'll spend our first night aboard Interlude--so we've effectively left our home of six years.
Friday, February 26, 1999. We haven't been to the office for days but things seem to be going well. John Walsh keeps us up to date with brief meetings. We continue to pack. At 11:30am the moving van arrives with a staff of five to finish the process. We've filled three small vans so far, as well as our SUV six or eight times. The full-size van should finish the job.
By 7:00pm the house is empty. Bay House is a house that we spent four years designing, two years constructing, and then almost six years living in...the longest by far that we've been connected with the same piece of real estate. Jan decorated the whole house, 8000 square feet worth; Bill engineered the completion of construction--the library, the office. the wine cellar, the master bedroom, the theater, the sauna... The house was very special; it was listed by the St. Petersburg Times as one of the 20 most important houses in the Bay area. It was a featured home for the Holiday Tour for the Museum of Fine Arts; it was host for the Florida Orchestra Christmas open-house... Many, many memories are attached to Bay House. And today, we move out. End of era.
Saturday, February 27, 1999. We have a cleaning service prep Bay House for the new owners. Two people spend all day cleaning and vacuuming while we store away and organize the boat for departure. We're still tied-up to the dock behind the house. John and Nancy Meyers join us for dinner at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club then we attend the Florida Orchestra concert for an all Tschaikovsky program. This was a good way to build some distance for us from the eventuality of tomorrow, when we depart Bay House for the last time.
Sunday, February 28, 1999. Up to today, this week has been a model of Chamber of Commerce weather--warm and calm. But, today, when we're ready to depart, the wind is blowing from the SW at 25+ knots, and a cold front is predicted by noon. Bill meets with the new owners of Bay House at 8:00am and spends two hours walking them through the house explaining the computer network, the lighting automation, the centralized audio, how the theater works, and how to operate the sauna. The new owners are from Nashville, Tennessee.
The weather continues to deteriorate until early afternoon when a line of thunderstorms eventually passes and the wind shifts from the SW to the NW. It seems to be weakening so we decide to depart Bay House for the final time. We ask Bill and Jody Burnette to take some pictures (see the gallery) as we leave. By 4:00pm, engines are running, and we're ready to shove off. We give the magnificent Kahlenberg horns a four second salute in evidence of our departure. (Later, we discover that friends living two blocks away, hear our salute even though their windows are closed, and they haven't been forewarned.) We pose for a couple of pictures, then head toward Viking Boatworks (20 miles away) with small craft warnings flying. As a 70 footer, we're technically not required to adhere to small craft warnings since they apply to craft of 66' or shorter, but those four feet don't change the basic conditions, so, we're cautious.
We arrive at Viking Boatworks by 6:30pm, without problems, even though winds are blowing 20 knots to the beam as we attempt to dock in a small slip which is also occupied by a 20' runabout. Fortunately, Erik Rickensrud is there to greet us and help us dock. Bill needs to improve his boat handling skills before we dock among peer boats. More experience will help.