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Monday, April 18, 2011

Reality Check and the Intimidation Factor....

Whew!  Where to start?  So much has changed since I last blogged, most of it in the last 4 days, that just sitting here at the computer trying to order my thoughts is overwhelming!  My brain is on major overload.  Really. I will however, make an attempt to pull myself together enough to make some sense of it all. Please note the word “attempt”.

What changed, you ask? What didn’t is the easiest place to begin, so that’s where I’ll start: We still plan to list the house on August 1, 2011 and head out on our adventure sometime between October 2011 & January 2012. Sadly, Shadow kitty will not be joining us, as we lost her in February.

On to the changes…

On a recent visit to San Diego to spend some time with Morgan, we contacted a (get this!) Yacht Broker.  Barrett is a great guy & we really enjoyed talking to him. He was able to get us on three boats: A Beneteau 50, 523 and 57, respectively.  We jettisoned the 50' one right away-too cramped! For us, anyway J The 523 was beautiful, totally livable and well set up. Then we saw the 57. I honestly don’t have words for that initial first glance, because I was so busy looking uuupppp the mast that my brain couldn’t come up with any, and still can’t.  This, then, is the intimidation factor mentioned in the title! A picture of a boat does not in any way prepare you for the actual REAL size of said boat.  Hey, we thought, we’ve sailed a 46 foot boat no problem! And that was a 10 foot jump from the 36 foot one we’d just been sailing, what’s another 10 feet??? A lot. Truly. Everything is bigger. Duh!  I know, huh? Common sense says so, but when was the last time you had to LOOK at common sense?  This was a 50,000 pound boat. No grabbing the shrouds and swinging yourself on. We had to use stairs. Three of them. Deep breath time, I told myself.  Two people sail this very boat by themselves and if they can do it, so can you! Right. We thanked Barrett nicely (I hope-it’s still a blur) and flew home shortly thereafter.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, the mind is an amazing thing. After a week or so, we convinced ourselves that the boat couldn’t possibly have been that scary, and continued on our merry way.  Next item on the agenda?  The Strictly Sail Pacific boat show in Oakland. Four days of free seminars, tons of exhibitors and vendors, and schmoozing with people who sail (or want to). We were able to get on some beautiful boats and really talk to the reps. We learned about financing, insurance, navigational aids, anchors and anchoring, first aid, PFD’s, Safety equipment, how to outfit above and below deck, and so much more.  But wait, there’s more!  Brain overload, that is….

The biggest thing we took away from the show, with many thanks to Dana, was that we needed to adjust our schedule. The time we planned to allot to outfitting whatever boat we buy was naively conceived on what we’ll call “Silicon Valley” time, as opposed to what we will kindly, in honor of our visits to Jamaica, call “Island time”. Dana very gently let us know that things get done on the Boatyard time schedule, which may not necessarily coincide with ours. Oh. Another duh! What that means is that we are now actively searching for the boat, instead of just researching one we might want.  The good news?  We found one in Annapolis, MD that had many of the things we are looking for, and yes, it is a Beneteau 57.  Saints preserve us!  Our, ahem, Yacht Broker Barrett (cracks me up every time-sounds so dang grandiose!) will be starting the offer/counter offer dance for us, and depending on how it goes, we may be boat owners much sooner than we planned. And that, my friends, is the reality check!  Our scheduled (estimated, of course) date of departure remains the same as far as we know…but, then again, we are just learning how much we don’t know :)

As always, we’ll keep you posted!