“What if all I want is a small, slow, simple life?…
What if I am most happy in the space of in between?…
Where calm lives…
What if I am mediocre and choose to be at peace with that?” …
Excerpt from “What if All I Want is a Mediocre
Life?” an essay by Krista O’Reilly Davi-Digui

When I look back to how our lives have changed over the past five years and even how the tone of our blog posts have changed, I have to shake my head and wonder when we actually altered course.  Our blog used to be all about what we did with the boat, where we went, the problems we had and how we solved them, the modifications we made.  It was to have been a journal of sorts of our journey and in part for those who had similar boats or intentions.

Our Lady

We’ve had some pretty cool adventures on our little boat and made changes on her to transform her into our little water chalet .  Our first year, Trois Rivieres to Quebec City .  The Rideau Loop and Thousand Islands  our second.  New York and Long Island Sound our third.  And last year our biggest adventure to date, the magestic St Lawrence River and Gaspe region.

Saguenay Fjords

These were all a part of a five year plus plan we created that centred around R.E.D. This year, summer 2017, was to be have been our three-month Lake Huron and Georgian Bay cruise. Weather with so much rain bringing high water levels seriously cut into our planned time away so we headed east instead where we fell in love all over again. Next year, 2018, was to have been our Great American Loop Adventure, taking a year off to cruise to the Great Lakes down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, around Florida (maybe taking a side trip across to the Bahamas) then back up the Intracoastal Waterway making our way home.  The Canadian versus US dollar and the current political climate has discouraged us from continuing down that road…for now at least.

We threw around the idea as a lot of cruisers do, living aboard or spending six months somewhere in the south on the boat during the winter months.  A very appealing dream it is. But as we see with cruising bloggers whose adventures we’ve followed, so many seem to have branched off after several years into land-based pursuits leaving water life behind.  And as we age, concerns about health care and increased costs of insurance became a very real focus.

We even looked into the costing of buying a land-based live-aboard vehicle, specifically the Canadian made Safari Condo with about the same amount of living space as R.E.D. Sharing our ideas and dreams with each other of travelling through our great country, through the US and further became a fun pastime for us.  Loading it on a boat to cross over to Europe was also considered.  But then  R.E.D. happened.  She was an expansion of the RV idea of travellling and exploring allowing us to change not only land plan but water as well. The best of both worlds.

There is so much more we want to do with our lives too.  If we invest totally in a water life will we be able to feed our other passions?  Travel for instance.  Francois lived for two years in the south of France and promised that someday he would take me there.  I was lucky enough to have bare boat sailed in the British Virgins so have promised to take Francois someday to re-live with him those adventures.

RED by the SEA

All of this brought us to thinking about a life at the edge of the sea instead of a life on the sea which led us to where we are now…our RED by the SEA.  We can still return to cruise Lake Huron someday.  We can still revisit the Great American Loop plan.  But this shift has freed us up to do other things while continuing to explore this beautiful part of Canada. The Saint John River for example has been called the Rhine of North America and is now added to our water plan. And sailing the exquisite Bras d’Or Lakes nestled in the centre of the Cape Breton highlands, is something I’ve dreamed of doing for many years now.

Bras d’Or Lakes photo CaperPics

As you read this post we are no longer Montrealers.  We are nomads, literally homeless for the next few weeks until RED by the SEA is legally ours. Of course we’ll return for family and friend visits but it’s with so much emotion that we leave behind our nest that was to have been our ‘forever’ place with its magnificent four season views, replacing a city life for one in the country.


Our belongings are now packed into the POD. All our wordly possessions reduced to a little over 1000 cubic feet (and yes, to those who placed your bets, everything fit thanks to my master planner.  Was there really ever any doubt?)

Our Life in a Box

Are we ‘settling’?  Are we compromising? A lot of thought and soul searching went into this latest decision and it feels so right.  It’s like slipping into a warm bath, or putting on a favourite pair of jeans or hanging with your best friend.  We haven’t settled or compromised.  Not at all! We’re right where we should be, that space of in between where calm lives.

Where Calm Lives

Post Script: french translation is automated and not always perfect. Sorry

PODZILLA  and Our Life in a Box

PODZILLA and Our Life in a Box

I wasn’t planning on sending you all an update until a bit closer to leaving Montreal but when our moving POD was delivered today I decided it was worth telling you all about the experience.

POD Delivery

It was not too dissimilar to launching a boat.  The guy presented himself around 08:00 after a couple of calls letting us know of his approximate arrival time.  By the way, so far in this process at least, we are super happy with the company and what they offer, very reasonable pricing and a small military discount is always welcomed.  These days when customer service seems to be less than what we are willing to put up with we’ve been really impressed with their communication.  I say so far because we still have a way to go.

The Process

So here’s the show.  Podzilla the robot that our POD sits on, raises up the container so that the driver can extract the POD from his truck then lowers the POD slowly to the ground.  Podzilla then returns to the truck.  Very much like our annual boat launch and with as much care.

The Demonstration

The great communication continued with a demo of how the locking system works….

The Unveiling

…and some instructions on loading etc.

Supervisor Pig

As always, the Pig played supervisor from afar.  I guess we’re all a little nervous about the events of the days to come.

The First Run

In the beginning, when we started bringing all our carefully packed boxes down to load, I thought, there is no way our stuff is going to fit.  I mean NO WAY!  But after a few hours of hauling and lifting and arranging, Francois had it all neatly stacked, taking up no more than a third of the container.  If nothing else, all those military moves taught this guy to pack like a professional.  We still have so much more to do and I’m still taking bets to see if our worldly goods can fit into an 8’ x 8’ x 16’ POD.  Feel free to chime in with your bets.

Last Beer

The land galley is getting mighty low on supplies but we managed to squeeze in one lowly beer to share, congratulating ourselves for a job well done today.

Post Script: french translation is automated and not always perfect. Sorry



Weather report – severe wind warning. What should we do?

1. Leave the Lachine Marina and anchor out somewhere on the Seaway.
2. Head out to clear the two locks then find a secure anchorage past Montreal.
3. Enjoy our morning coffee, review our anchoring options on the charts and discuss.
4. Have another morning coffee and discuss further.

See where this is going? By 10:30 listening to the winds buffeting R.E.D., straining the dock lines like a tethered bronco. Winds gusting 50 knots. Rain pelting. 11 ° C. Why don’t I cook us up a hearty breakfast, make another coffee and we stay one more day?…which is what we did.

The weather forecast for today wasn’t much better but we headed out anyway with a belly full of ‘hearty breakfast leftovers’ and freshly brewed coffee to go. It turned out to be a good idea.  There were only two BFB’s to dodge (what we call Big Fleuvial Boats – I cleaned the term up a bit for you)


The winds were much less feisty than day two. Locking through Sainte-Catherine and Saint-Lambert was a breeze…east-bound 30 foot and 16 foot drop, respectively.

But oh was it was cold!


Monkey Socks, not just for safely storing scotch bottles.

We found a great little anchorage at Iles de Vercheres at the end of the day,  threw together a supper feast…


and settled in for the night with a rainbow to the east…


and a sunset to the west…


Winds are still howling but the anchor is holding fast while R.E.D. does her dance,