Written March 3rd 2005

Well the town house did finally close but not with the fellow who missed his closing three times. I’m not sure who was more relived, the Seller or me!

The other deal, in Maiden, died due to buyer credit history- after I visited the house multiple times.

Diann has gone to Statesville for her Thursday night class and won’t be back until 10:30pm. Her determination to finish the degree program continues and she has a touch of inspiration in that the graduation is only three semesters away- May of ’06.

In August of last year I had been thru Coinjock (by Jeep), along the ICW, and formed the seed to www.boatingtravelguide.com  That seed has grown to be a corporate structure, the web site domain is registered and I’m in the process of full scale design and programmer selection. The target for going live is June 1st.

To that end, I went to the Miami International Boat Show in mid-February. What a wonderful reception from the various manufacturer’s marketing staff. I came back having exchanged some 150 business cards over four days.

Real Estate sales in Hickory have been better this winter than the past two. Almost everyone I speak with reports improved volumes. I have experienced in two months, what it took three months to do last year and have over a million under contract now.

To develop web content and to give Diann a break, we are chartering a boat in the Chesapeake for the third week of May. The concept is to charter a Gemini catamaran to learn if we would care to buy one. That model is 14’ wide and so can be transported to Lake Norman and it is a well known coastal cruiser. Construction isn’t to true blue-water standards- but we have to start somewhere and would rather have “newer coastal” than “old blue-water”.

If the web site takes off and if we can generate captained charter income, we can consider stepping up to, perhaps, a Manta 42. That would get us into an excellent blue-water boat that would last as long as we will be able to sail.

Excitement is building as the prospect of our actually “doing our first winter” onboard in 2006-07 is becoming closer to reality. From a physical standpoint- we are as young and able as we are going to be. From a fiscal standpoint, lady luck will play a major role in how we pull off our adventure, how long it can last, and the extent to which we have to stay tied to jobs other than running the travel guide.

Our boat search has begun in earnest. If the major sale does close in 90 days, we will be in position to purchase a catamaran and slip at Oriental- financed of course.

The investment duplex has not rented and the city won’t be able to rezone it to Office and Institutional ( a major upgrade in use from residential) until late April. We could make Manta payments (well almost) for what the mortgage is on the duplex. In some ways our progress is two steps forward and one step back. But we are getting there.

Alex RookerWritten March 3rd 2005