2 August 2002
Delray Beach, FL N 26.4523 W 80.1057
A funny thing happened on the way to the dock
After spending days scouring the docks of Annapolis for previously identified boats and including a side trip to Deltaville, we headed for Fort Lauderdale to continue our search. Our list of boats continued to dwindle as we found a host of listings that were no longer available due to the fact that they just sold albeit several months ago. But lo and behold the broker had many other boats he or she was just certain we would be interested in. Well, if the broker can't keep his listing updated how proficient can he or she be? This calls for a Dennis Miller rant but don't get me started.
As we arrived in Ft Lauderdale, we discovered that the hotel we had planned to stay at had only smoking rooms. Since it was happy hour and drinks were included with the room, I was ready to check into the tobacco floor and cough the night away. Rene, on the other hand, insisted we find another hotel after sniffing the available room. So we trudged on to several other hotels. We had been driving for ten hours or more when we found a suitable room at the Radisson, Bahia Mar. The next several days we entered the cabins of many a monohull in sweltering heat and humidity. We were getting close to a final decision when one afternoon we sat below deck of a 44' Taswell and got a claustrophobic feeling. Yes it was 110 or 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the closed cabin and the humidity was high and it probably wasn't a fair evaluation. On this particular boat the fuel tank was being replaced and the cabin smelled of diesel to the point that you were unsure that the nausea effects were from the smell or from spending that much money with the stock portfolio half of what it use to be and the house selling for less than expected.
That evening at the docks of the Bahia Mar, we walked by the catamarans on our way back from dinner and decided to take a look at these unsafe boats that traditionalist eschew. In a moment the rest of the story.
Our thanks and deepest appreciation go out to my sister Deanna Carter for all of her support during this process. She provided us with the shelter we needed to pursue our vision at a very reasonable price I might add (free). At night we would return to her house and she would ask many appropriate questions as we wrestled with this decision. A third party kept our comments and tempers in line. It was however interesting to see how compatible our ideas were with each other and this was probably due to our lack of experience in boat ownership.
I hadn't seen my sister for more than a day or two at a time for the last, oh say thirty years, and it was good to spend some time and to have the opportunity to reminisce about our childhood. Let me tell you about the time she...oh well maybe not here. Again our thanks to Deanna. She allowed us the time to make a considered decision and save a lot of money.
Now the rest of the story. We did end up buying a 42' Venezia manufactured by Fountaine Pajot of France. It is a sloop rigged catamaran with a great deal of space and a cabin and galley with a high view and a stable platform. We liked the openness of the boat and the galley above the water. Also included in a catamaran style boat is the opportunity to pitchpole in high seas. For our family who has limited nautical experience pitchpoling is when the boat flips end on end coming to rest with the shiny side down as we say in the Midwest. The prior owner tells us that it is impossible to do but adds the caveat that you must never put yourself in that position. You do this by watching the weather for hours a day, a necessity for any competent sailor. We are not out to break any speed records nor do we have to be at any destination at any specific time table. Our plan is to be fair weather sailors and if that means we are considered sea cows that's alright with us. Our limited experience has only been with monohulls and we will need the help of a catamaran expert to make the transition with several days of sailing and anchoring. Although Herb has agreed to join us for our first long passage, I am certain that he will not tell his sailing friends that he was actually on a catamaran. But what the hell, he may enjoy it.
So the deal has been signed and now the insurance. Well since 9-11 insurance has become problematic. There are fewer and fewer companies insuring cruising couples and as of this writing we have not yet decided on a company and they have not yet decided on us.
20 August 2002
Indianapolis, IN N 39.9156 W 85.9803
Knowing the difference between a want and a need
We are back in Indianapolis and the days away from the boat make us anxious since we want to make the necessary repairs and to learn as much as we can about the systems and our equipment. We have not moved our possessions onboard and now as we look at the pile we first made, we know that it will need to be trimmed down substantially. First of all the boat came equipped with many "ship stores" we now find in our original pile. Pots, pans and other kitchen utensils, dishes, flatware, sheets, hoses, water-proof containers and other housekeeping items that we will no longer need to bring.
But what about those hiking boots. Over the ankle full leather and now twenty years old. Okay, so maybe they can go back into long-term storage. Suits, shirts and ties? Dress shoes? We rake over the pile on the weekends and move more and more items from short term storage to long term. Even my large blue tool chest now is in question. Sure there's room for it but what has to go if it stays. I keep preaching that just because there's room doesn't mean that it should go and following this advise, I now own a small yellow plastic one and entrust my larger blue one to our son Brad.
Diving gear, swimwear, tools (and maybe here I've overdone it) and twelve cases of wine. Look it took me a long time to collect these bottles and they're going along.
Rene struggles most with her collection of clothes and kitchen appliances. At one time there were eleven winter coats in the front hall and this did not include all the ski wear in other closets. How can one ever select from the hundred tops to the ten or twelve to take. It was a revelation living on the boat for a week and cleaning the cabin to understand that it takes three moves to uncover items and three more to put it back.
We are now investigating health insurance since Rene will be leaving her job soon. International or expatriate insurance is catastrophic insurance for the most part. The deductible is around $1000.00 and you're good for $5,000,000.00. After reading all the exceptions outlined in the policy, I can only be certain that the insurance company will be responsible for "return of mortal remains" after a modicum of treatment in a third world nation. The actuarial tables for even finding mortal remains must improve their odds substantially.
What to buy? Flip-flops, some new running rigging (cordage or ropes), DVD's. That's about all we need.