Nov 302017
 

Life becomes interesting when theory turns to practice!

It’s one thing to have an FU-Fund, hidden away in a financial institution somewhere, purely represented as numbers on a spreadsheet. It’s quite another to actually be deep into the process of cashing it in, preparing for a period of unemployment sabbatical from January 2018.

I’m doing the calculations over and over and over, cutting back all unnecessary spend, looking into capital gains tax implications, trying to make the best decisions to ensure that the bucket of cash stretches as far as possible without sacrificing any too much quality of life. It’s too late now, the deed is done….

People ask of me “Was this planned?”

Yes and No!

I’ve known for a long time this day was coming but never knew exactly when. To be honest I was only expecting it in 6 years time, at age 55. Also, the plan, if one can so grandly call it that, was always more to gather enough in order to be able to quit permanently.

But, as an old salt knows, plans should always be drawn with a stick in the sand since the tides of life have a habit of washing them away at times.

And so it has come to pass that events at The Office have become too much for me to stomach. “I quit!” is now a reality.

The FU-Fund consists of 2 portions. The first, held in unit trusts and shares, will fund phase-1; 8 to 10 months of living. If, in that time I still haven’t found another suitable and sufficient source of income, then phase-2 will be funded by the corporate pension fund (which will be transferred to a preservation fund on resignation). There’s about another 2 years of living there. If I cannot come up with some income in that timeframe then I’m going to call myself pretty useless!

The problems are few but potentially critical:

  • The FU-Fund is also the emergency fund. And we all know that life has this nasty habit of throwing “emergencies” your way, especially when they’re not needed.
  • In order to stretch the money, all savings and investments are put on hold. This obviously impacts the final FIRE date and needs be addressed asap. It also means that the FI stash is now on its own. No added monthly boosters. Only compound interest.
  • Cashing out the corporate pension should be a last resort. We need this growing towards the final FIRE date. But, there is uncertainty about whether it will be needed or not and that’s why it’s going into a preservation fund. It maintains the benefits there but allows a single transaction to cash out before 55. Just in case!
  • I’m 49, pale and male – living in South Africa. Enough said! This is most likely the end of normal, corporate career – forever.

Not all of these are negative factors. The last is probably the incentive I need to be autonomous, to create and run my own little lifestyle business?

So, while I still have one foot in the door, hoping for some kind of “offer” to keep me working here, deep down I know it’s not worth it. The stress and misery of this particular corporate is killing me. It would be a huge mistake to stay. I need to search for new opportuniies closer to the boat.

And so, for better or worse, the plan has being put into action, not in exactly the same way as envisaged but close enough. Now it’s time to ensure that my free time is not wasted.

Nov 052017
 

No matter which way I run the numbers there’s just not enough in the bucket right now to give all the world the middle finger and quit.

There’s enough to give the current corporate the shove and live off savings until another income stream is found [32 months of FU-Fund as of today].

But certainly not enough to totally step off.

And so, what to do?

In past years I would have resigned myself to my fate and bought another expensive toy to ease the pain. Now, I’m willing to work through the pain, willing to battle on, find another way, do whatever it takes to break these golden handcuffs once and for all.”

For now, as much as it pains, it makes sense to suck it up and just say “Yes Sir”, knowing that if push really comes to shove, then I can walk. And in the meantime, take unpaid leave, visit the boat and work on BroadReach!

 

Sep 022017
 

Currently, the rage is “speculative investment” [i.e. gambling] in bitcoins. Mining them, buying/selling them. The “price” has been extremely volatile. In the last year or so it has risen ~800%, once again still compared to the USD.

Had you only got in at the right time…..! And now the mad stampede of the woolly masses gains momentum.

The value of bitcoin? Perhaps as a replacement to cold hard cash or Kruger Rands in the bilge as we sail south? The fundamental problem remains however. You can mine them [getting harder and harder to do], you can hide them [only if you don’t use them]. But, in the current world, there is still an interface in and out into the financial currencies we all need to buy food, fuel, fund daily life. And it’s this interface that governments will watch and tax. And watch very closely they will. And ultimately, even inside the Bitcoin system, your bitcoins and you transactions are, ultimately with a little computing effort it seems, traceable back to you.

The fact that the Bitcoin system takes away central financial control from the ruling elite is a very, very appealing lure to any with even a hint of anarchistic or libetarian thought. But then again, will it really? How likely is it that those with vast financial resources, those that rule the world, have not seen this and are also employing armies of vastly intelligent programmers to further their own agendas?

And then there’s also way, way too much emphasis placed on how transactions are “totally secure” because of the distributed Blockchain. There’s the argument that they are like gold, limited and finite and not inflationary like dollars that can be printed at will. Really? If they are divisable into smaller and smaller units, at will and ad-infinitum? I call BS on that.

Someone, somewhere, is waiting in the shadows, ready to turn on some code and transfer some wealth. You wait and see.

===================================================>

….here’s an interesting extract from an article from Startupboy.com…..

Silicon Valley knows a platform when it sees it, and is aflame with Bitcoin. Teams of brilliant young programmers, entranced by the opportunity, are working on Exchanges (Payward, Buttercoin, Vaurum), Futures Markets (ICBIT), Hardware Wallets (BitCoinCard, Trezor, etc), Payment Processors (bitpay.com), Banks, Escrow companies, Vaults, Mobile Wallets, Remittance Networks (bitinstant.com), Local Trading networks (localbitcoins.com), and more.

Looming over them is how governments view Bitcoin and the entrenched financial powers it threatens. The last few decades have seen a move towards a cashless society, where every transaction is tracked, reported, and controlled. Bitcoin takes powers from the central actors and returns it to merchants and consumers, savers and borrowers. Bitcoin brings back some pseudonymity in the transactions, and can be irrevocably traded like cash. And finally, it points a way towards a single currency – it is a bug, not a feature, that we have multiple global currencies with exchangers and transaction fees in between.

Governments have been cracking down on the bitcoin exchanges, making it harder to obtain and slowing its development. Strict and expensive Money Transmitter regulations, designed to slow terrorist and child porn financing, threaten the next great technological revolution – never mind that terrorists can use cash just fine, the means of terror are cheap, and that they account for an infinitesimal fraction of global commerce. Regulators in the US and UK would be wise to proceed with a light touch, lest they push the development of Bitcoin and its entrepreneurs to places like Canada, Finland, and the Sino-sphere.

The United States has benefited enormously from being home to the majority of global companies driving the Internet revolution. The country that is the home to the Internet of Money could one day end up as the guardian of the new Reserve Currency and the Global Money Supply.

Feb 232017
 

I suddenly realise why it is I keep going back to Art of Hookie – it’s for the reminder that jumping off and “living the dream” is a perilous undertaking.

Here is some random dude, supposedly broke, who talks big but, in reality, is struggling with life in general. Just like everyone is. Perhaps more than most is the impression? And yet, he is doggedly pursuing his version of the dream, no appologies, no excuses. That’s inspiring.

It’s a constant reminder to me that it is possible to live a non-mainstream life. Its a reminder to throw yourself at your dreams. It’s also a reminder that if the safety net is not strong (especially the financial one & the health one) life can get pretty miserable, pretty fast.

It’s hard to feel that things aren’t coming to a head at the Big S. What with the old project wounds still fresh and new project politics looming. I’m making ‘friends‘ enemies throughout the global organisation now. Not just locally. Not that I particularly care but, it is unpleasant! And to cap it all I didn’t sleep well. Food poisoning? Stress? Either way, not happy.

The power has been out since shortly after midnight. I write these words to the hissing of my Camping Gaz light. Coffee courtesy of the matching stove. The day ahead is most likely to be filled with friction. Unhappiness over the schedule. Anger about the order cancellation………

I think of the boat, of the Freedom Fund. I’m glad for the upcoming long weekend, a chance to escape for a short while. A chance to clear my thoughts, to potter away on the little tubby yacht that seems to be the only place I’m truly content.

Feb 182017
 

I sometimes wonder whether everyone in the financial independence blog-o-sphere are not doing a Donald Crowhurst on us all?

Knowing human nature there are sure to be a large percentage of copy-cats blowing their own horns and exaggerating their own importance and achievement.

Even if they are all actually, truly FI, many seem to have adopted a classic flock-like follow-the-leader approach. Just the way they refer to themselves online -> names like Mr Freedom with Mrs Freedom and Junior Freedom tagging along. On the one hand I guess one always wants a little bit of anonymity, but sometimes I honestly feel there is no differentiation or uniqueness at all.

I don’t want to be another of them. Always remember the Wooly Masses Creed: Be on your guard! The flock WILL swallow you up and consume you.

Sitting where I am on the FI-road it’s sometimes quite hard to read all these “wonderful” tales of ‘very successful’ FI’ers who all happily retired from the rat race in their early 30’s and are now all living happily ever after with absolutely no cares in the world.

I don’t doubt that there are many of them out there . I also don’t doubt that it is possible for most (or most) people to achieve regardless of where they live; but lets be honest – America is not South Africa.

Here in Mr Big’s neck of the woods we don’t have the same social safety nets available to the citizens of finely tuned, working 1st world economies (despite all their own numerous challenges and failings). No useful medical aid, no social security, no strong USD, no “move to a cheaper country” if the money runs out. Nope. Over here we really are on our own.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not throwing my hands up in despair and conceding It can never work for me here on the dark continent. All I’m saying is that this is not the USA or Europe . This is Africa and it’s a whole lot different out here.

That said, this is not Zimbabwe yet, so for now it is a free market economy, with some kind of democracy and pretty decent personal freedom. Much of what is suggested by the FI world can be taken on board and made to work here in a similar fashion. (But there does appear to be an opportunity for a South African MMM )

One of the most difficult things for me at present is the knowledge that I didn’t start this FI path much, much sooner. Sure, I’ve always saved, courtesy of my frugal-by-necessity parents, but now that I’m really close to severing these golden handcuffs I’m realising I could already have been free, had I only saved more!

Coupled to this are commitments we have made to C & B. Commitments to pay for their studies even if it means borrowing). I’ve had debt my whole life and while I have a job at least I can deal with it better than they are able. Their prospects of a standard corporate role (especially B) are almost non-existent. Starting out with a quarter of a million in student debt is not something I wish for them. (Perhaps this is our legacy to them?)

So yes, I bitch, I moan, I want out sooner rather than later, but I also want to honour these commitments. We’re fortunate that we can honour them without going upside down on our loans. We have the ability to sell up & settle and that’s more than can be said of many in this modern world.

So for a little while longer we need to remain in this ratty race, running along on the sidelines and under the radar. It’s another four years. We’ve made it this far, we can make it to the finish!

Jun 252016
 

With total financial independence (FI) perhaps the end goal, one needs a strategy to keep you focused and sane on the (long) journey to that end result.

Enter the concept of financial flexibility (FF)

You’ll never reach FI unless you constantly improve and grow your FF.

FF means the ability to make choices, to explore options that perhaps pay less but allow more time, that perhaps sacrifice some income but allow relocation closer to the beach and the boat.

Too often in this world life is portrayed as an all-or-nothing race. You’re either FI or not. And if you’re not (and considering how the end goal is so far off and apparently “unachievable”) then you may as well give up and return to the woolly masses. Extreme sports, celebrity, top-ten business, richest man in the world, blah etc blah – we are inundated constantly by stories of the outliers, the extremists, the top performers – with the implied message “nothing else is worthwhile“.

Not true! Life is always more complex and multi-faceted than the media stories portray. It’s important to remember that. Almost everything you read, almost everything “marketed” to you, shows a selective, out-of-context extract of someone’s life. That aspirational solo-trek to the north pole often doesn’t show the rest of life and the resultant sacrifices made to achieve that one event. The martini and the palm fronds with the sailboat at anchor in the background – that is just a very small part of the story.

So ‘Blue now lies impatiently waiting in her slip in the South Atlantic. There’s an immeasurably long road trip that now separates us and a constant mental tweaking of the budget to figure out how often I can afford to fly out to visit and sail. It’s hopefully just a temporary state of affairs, a stepping stone to something else.

I suppose some people do go for the all-or-nothing approach, selling up everything and moving the whole of life in one big bang. I understand that but for us, right now, the time is not right to do that. Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps never? But in the meantime we are constantly chipping away at the huge boulder that is the present, slowly carving out a life we both keenly desire.

While day-sailing in Table Bay once a month may not be the ultimate, final desire, it sure beats not sailing in the ocean at all. Just like FF, it may end up being all that is possible or, just maybe, a state of total FI one day may enable a season or two at anchor in Baia da Ilha Grande?

Feb 152016
 

I’ve been sucked down an endless rabbit hole of analysis, speculation and opinion on the current state of China, it’s society, it’s government, its environmental destruction and, most of all, it’s declining economy and the associated impact on the rest of us.

While no two analysts agree in full it’s clear there is a large and looming correction both currently on the go and likely to extend well toward the end of the present decade. With the world economies so tightly coupled even we here on the southern tip of the Dark Continent will not escape the escalation of the current trauma. Ours is a mining-based economy and when China sneezes we live with the cold.

Besides the slump in resource prices and lower volumes, we are also having to contend with an absolutely diabolical exchange rate, the worst drought in living memory and government corruption and ineptitude which is off the charts.

No matter what anyone says it’s going to be a tough 4-6 years ahead. Food prices are already noticeably higher (despite the drop in the diesel price), sub-standard municipal services continue to cost more and wage increases are likely to fall far below inflation as they have since 2007/2008.

The worst possible thing for the man in the street right now is to be in over his head in debt and have his only source of income, his job, at risk. And in the South Africa of 2016, if that’s the case and on top of that he happens to be white, then heaven help him over the next few years.

On the personal front one often asks the question “How is it possible to cut back further monthly spend?” After all, I need the car (with the resulting payment) so I can’t possibly cut back further (one of several examples….car, house, yacht, two homes etc).

The real problem is not whether it’s possible to scale back further. The real problem is that it’s not yet a real and tangible emergency.

There is still this thought that “I’ll lose too much by selling now. Its not too bad yet, lets try and maintain the current lifestyle. Better to carry on while I still have the income and while the doom, whatever the real probability, is still somewhere off in the future”.

Now I’m totally not qualified to judge and make decisions for Joe-Average. All I know is, if I didn’t personally have a plan and 4-6 months F-you money in a fund, I’d be very very nervous right now.

Should I by some strange chance be asked what to do, I’d respond; “If you cannot survive being kicked to the curb right now (something i believe is a very real and present danger) then you probably need to go into survival mode and jettison your anchors and reduce your upside-down debt situation as much and as fast as possible, no matter what!” And that’s a difficult ask of anyone so I fear many will suffer the consequences of a lifetime of spending to the limit without too much thought for the future.

Us personally, I think we will survive. We may wish to extract some cash because the F-You fund is currently in a unit trust and taking a beating. But for sure, now is probably not the best time to be buying that Ferrari on terms (or perhaps borrowing to move a yacht to the coast or going further into debt to fund children’s educations) ?

There is undoubtedly doom ahead in the gloom. Just how much remains to be seen!

Feb 032016
 

Our Glencairn rental property is, because of it’s location, size and value, targeted at a certain demographic (by default I guess); typically that of the single mother or lower middle-class income earner. As a result, over the two-and-a-bit years we’ve owned and let the house, we’ve seen many cases of people living pay-check-to-pay-check, unable to pay the rent as soon as their employers make a late payment or they loose their jobs.

Not nice. Not for them and not for us as landlords!

These cases often have me pondering our own situation, our liquidity and our own ability to survive a job loss or a temporary loss of salary. (The issue that clouds my thinking sometimes is the bond debt.)

So, we’re not in the same situation by any means but if we were to max out the bond (I. E. Take the full R1.6M allowed) Then we would have zero means of getting ready cash in an emergency. All our reserves are tied up in assets and investments that, while they can be sold or borrowed against should the need arise, would all take a while to liquidate and would all most certainly take a knock in value with a depressed market and economy. That is, I believe, my greatest concern with the way we are funding UCT this year – we’re greatly diminishing that “buffer”.

A worst case scenario for us in the present moment would be a retrenchment; with UCT fees to pay and no desire to find another corporate Plato’s Cave. Such an event would have us scrambling to see which options suited. There would be three avenues of investigation:

1. Could we sell 253 for a decent price (akaR2.5M)?

*  This would kill the debt and leave us with R1M to R1.5M which would buy a little time but would quickly run out at current burn rates.

2. Could we rent out 253 while living in the cottage?

* The cottage isn’t yet habitable; we need some spend here still but we could live and build while income comes in from the main house.
* The hope is that this option would bring in R20k pm between 253 and 16deV (but it comes with risk and headaches as we’ve seen this month in Glencairn )

3. We could cash in unit trusts (R177k) and SESA shares (R35k?)

* Not ideal right now since the market is in something of a free fall (OM UTs lost about R10k in value already)
* The plus here is these are quick and easy to cash and could buy us time.

So these are our only real options (there may be others but right now I can’t think of any). Damelin is paid for all of 2016. UCT is paid up until mid-year, so as of Feb we’d have 4 to 5 months to make a plan or go back to work. If it did happen we would immediately need to rachet down our current burn ( eg putting Frank on notice, cutting travel costs, really shopping carefully, selling the cars, changing the medical aid options, etc. There’s not much space to cut but there are definitely possibilities). As an ultra extreme measure we could pause the PPS RA’S again but that would be last resort.

Bottom line is there is no way we can carry on at our current burn rate. We would have to make some hard decisions if we wished to do that – either more corporate slavery (if indeed that is even possible in sunny SA at present) or lifestyle killers (bye bye Glencairn).

It wouldn’t be pleasant but we could survive it…..I think (at least way better than our tenants).

We’re not quite comfortable with the stash but at least there is a workable plan. Need to keep the expenses low as possible and keep building the stash and the rental options.

We have no choice because I have this gut feel that the scenarios discussed above are way closer than we may like to think!

Do we give it all up for this life? I think so!

Do we give it all up for this life? I think so!

Dec 212015
 

Many people, should they extensively read this ‘blog (….I guess they won’t because I don’t advertise or share that it exists yet) will probably notice some level of indecision and conflict expressed in my thoughts over time.

One big theme of late is obviously the focus on the FIIRE plan. Allied to that is the whole financial thing → earning more, spending less, improving the size of the stash.

On the other side of the coin are some seemingly lavish and counter productive lifestyle choices → sailboat, Glencairn, travel costs etc.

To set the record straight, it’s not about FIRE as soon as possible at any cost. The sailing lifestyle is a hugely important part of who I am, of who I still wish to be. Same with Glencairn → it’s where we want to live !

There are many examples of extreme focus and success on the FIRE road, many of whom I regularly read and learn from. But they aren’t me! [One of my favorites that more sort of matches the kind of life I hope to live in my old age is Lloyd Kahn]

Putting the boat on hold this last 2 years has been a little extremely hard. I still have the thought that maybe it’s best to try and sell her rather than the cost of moving her down? But I won’t get R200k for her at present, not in the current economy with layoffs, stagnant wages and uncertainty. Maybe R140k, and I’m not sure I want to give her away at any price just to save the transport cost and hassle.

So what really drives the desire to stop working, especially when I admit that I’ll work again, but on my terms?

  • Time freedom – This is the big one. RE with FI means my time is all mine.
    • What about unpaid leave?
    • What about more working from home?
    • How far can I push the boundaries an still maintain my morals?
  • Location freedom
    • This is difficult in the South African engineering market. Difficult but not impossible!?
  • Income
    • Must build the stash to reach FI so that this doesn’t matter
    • Right now though it (the income) actually matters!
  • Making a difference
    • This doesn’t happen in the corporate
    • All for family but sometimes it seems they really don’t care until it’s taken away.

I could focus every cent and every moment in working and building the stash. Cruisers do this all the time. 6 to 12 months of slog in the salt mines for a few years of freedom on the ocean swell.

Isn’t that what I’m doing? No. The time frame for RE is too long to commit all of life over that period. Better to live a little more today and delay the FIRE date a further few years. Balance is king!

I could / should sell up the Isuzu [perhaps]. Why?

  • For selling:
    • Tyres cost R1400 a piece, minimum – more than double the Fiat’s fancy low profiles.
    • Even with the fuel card [me paying 40% of the pump price] – I have this gut feel that it’s a cost on par with the Fiat.
    • It’s costing me R3k pm, apart from annual maintenance costs. And then, by Aug 2017 when I have no more payment, I’ll still owe R54k on a vehicle with over 350000km on the clock. – as of 2015.12.05 I still have to pay R107169 on finance in total. So in theory I could finance another vehicle where the total finance cost equals R100k -》 not much of a vehicle that will be!
    • Lots of niggles and hiccups lately => a precursor to heavy repair bills or just par for the course wanting to own a car, any car?
    • It will scratch an itch [however temporarily]
  • Against Selling:
    • I can ill afford to spend another R100k plus on the bond right now [Fiat, B tuition, Caz tuition] – so I’d feel the need to finance another vehicle rather than pay out the bond. And I’ve sworn of any further finance deals, yet I’m borrowing to meet tuition requirements!?
    • without a 4×4 I won’t be able to do all that back-road exploring that I always do ! never do !! Could get a Jimny or could actually wait until FIRE and then reassess if this is really something I’ll actually do rather than just dream about.
    • I can’t put up that rooftop tent to sleep over on the road – like we’ll ever do that !! Same argument as above. Get when you need not 10 years before!!
    • I need want a bakkie for the DIY / Refurb plan – this is possibly one of the few reasons that actually make sense => then buy a smaller Bantam or Corsa!
    • I’ve always wasted by not sticking with a car [eg BMW, Jeep etc]. Maybe this is the good-old-car worth battling on for? i.e. I’m very good at selling an unused <whatever> but not very good at then living without the <Whatever> [bike, car, boat, hifi etc etc]
    • A smaller bakkie cannot safely transport more than 2 people. we still have the odd need to do so. Again, could probably make do with a sedan and a tow hitch to replace the bakkie.
    • I could stop using the Isuzu -> Problem is work as well as the fuel perk. While I do life this way it doesn’t make sense not to utilise it to the full.
    • What does the Isuzu actually cost me per year to maintain and run? It’s still far from the cost needed to purchase another vehicle [or is it?]. Experience has taught me you always loose 3 to 4x more when you try and get rid off your old cars. It’s just not worth it….financially or emotionally.

What of the corruption and rot within South Africa? I could chuck it all in and emigrate but, with the sorry state of my small bucket of Rands, I’d pretty much be guaranteed of having to start from the bottom and work for the rest of my life. That may not be something I’m ready to do, no matter how bad things get here. However, I guess there’s a line somewhere – Zimbabwe, Syria, who knows? Trouble is, once that line is crossed it’s too late and has left behind zero [or very little] financial reserves. Is it worth have a part of the diversification plan target this “fear”?

Obviously, while many of these (and other) thoughts are buzzing my brain, they are brought to the fore when reading about a FIRE-individual selling off his car to save the costs. Makes you rethink and replan. One has to be careful though – this could also just be another form of keeping up with the Joneses, albeit a better FIRE-Jones than the average Consumer-Jones. While there are many similarities, no-one has our exact life, no-one has our exact challenges and no-one has our exact preferences. While some hats may fit better than others, none of them are a perfect, custom fit.

So, if I decide to keep the Isuzu or not, it’s a decision I need to make based on my particular life. Sure, I can take on board what others have done and why [that’s why I like ‘Blogs that actually reveal the detail, warts and all – because all those glossy “facebook-style” life-is-always-good blurbs are actually useless! ]

At this stage, I don’t know. My gut tells me sell but I also know I have a very poor track record wrt cars so on the other hand it may be best to stick it out – at least until it’s paid and I can re-evaluate knowing actual costs for UCT by that stage.

Pay down bond or invest?

  • I’m sure I’ve read and logged this article before but it’s time for a reread – http://financialmentor.com/financial-advice/pay-off-mortgage-early-or-invest/7478
  • Bottom line … theres no right or wrong. For us its a balancing act between having no debt and between financing additional rentals. A balancing act to fund kids educations and cars, not because we must but because we choose to. For me its a sliding scale. R1M is too much so more must go to killing debt rather than investing. As it comes down the relative amounts should change.

We do however need to very carefully consider additional borrowing for a Glencairn garage or an Ocean Blue relocation. A very careful consideration indeed for this is evil consumer lifestyle debt!

Why would I even be having this thought?

  • Lots of recent debt spending on consumer items [cars boat and education]
  • The belief I need to diversify FIRE income streams -> thus more rental income.
  • The need to fast-track FIRE as best possible.
  • Also remember….we wouldn’t be sitting up at R1M without the detour down the Z3 road ….. !

So, back to the Isuzu Sell/Keep debate – I think it’s a keep for now because:

  • The debt level at over R1M [and more UCT to come] is unbearably high. The next 2 years are almost certain to see it rise to around R1.3M or even R1.4M.
  • So another car would entail another hire purchase deal – which I promised myself I never want to do again.
  • So may as well stick out the current one at least until 2017 and the decision to fund R54k residual or terminate. [Yet another reminder that a moment’s weakness will haunt you for many years down the line still]
  • We also need to work at reducing the bond because the overdraft facility is our buffer, our 3-6 month cash stash in case the worst happens. Right now that stash is sufficient but wit UCT fees looming it’s going to dwindle fast.

No more major changes or financial hiccups!! UCT first and then let’s see.

Dec 062015
 

Late October! That’s when ‘Blue was slipped.

I haven’t visited for 2 wks now, the last 2 weekends being spent on the cottage, but I suspect no progress has been made.

Part of me is frustrated by that, the part that wants to phone up the boatyard manager and give him a piece of my mind, the part of me that wants my boat back, that wants to sail.

The logical, more practical part of me, knows that the delay is for the better.

Firstly, to properly repair the minor case of osmosis requires a proper drying out of the hull. The drier the better! And the only way to ensure that is to allow sufficient time out of the water.

Secondly, there’s the small matter of finance. Top priority for 2016 remains UCT fees. So, should the road voyage to Simons Town be delayed, it will at least allow the cash haemorage to stabilise, for us to see where we stand on that score at least.

It seems the dream, while very much still alive, may yet take a while.

Perhaps I should buy a road trailer for the LJ Sprint and at least get sailing in the interim?