We made a mad rush across the country to ready our yacht for sale. Mike drove fairly long days, stopping for the night at rest stops and Walmart parking lots. We covered the 2600 miles in 4 1/2 days. It really wasn’t that hard. One observation we made is that it sure is a lot easier to travel multiple days in an RV, than in a sailboat. By far the biggest difference is the ability to stop and sleep at night. Also, preparing meals in the RV is so easy compared to cooking while our floating home is bouncing on its side. But even though long trips are easier in the RV, we still don’t plan to travel in that manner in the future. Our RV travel plan will be to take it slow and stay put for awhile at each place.
At the boatyard in Savannah, GA, we spent 2 days unloading and sorting through our personal belongings. Deciding what to keep, what to give away, what to throw away. When we launched Aquila on Wednesday, we were surprised to see how high we were sitting! Probably 5 inches above our waterline. I’m sure the empty tanks help. In any event, she is beautiful. The wax job on the hull that the boatyard completed just prior to our arrival was fantastic. They really brought the flag blue hull color back to life. Beautiful.
It felt bittersweet being there, removing our things, realizing that it might be the last time we see her. This was our home for almost 8 years. We sailed to many parts of the world in her. We loved the lifestyle, the amazing places we experienced, all the friends we made, and the deep connection with nature. There is just no comparison to being in the middle of the ocean, days away from any land, watching whales surf the ocean swells with you. Or gazing at the millions of stars or the full moon on a midnight watch schedule. Or just lazing the day away anchored at a remote island with pristine untouched white sand beaches and turquoise water. Yet, we are now excited about a new adventure, a new lifestyle, in a motorhome. So with that thought in mind, we were eager to move forward with this sale.
After a whirlwind 4 days in Savannah, we needed to get back to California. I had an appointment with my dermatologist which had been scheduled months ago. Getting on her calendar is next to impossible without months of notice. My history with skin cancer keeps this to-do item high on my priority list. Mike drove us home in record time, shaving an entire day off the return trip. No new skin cancer spots were found, but I did require 14 pre-cancer spots to be frozen (which feels more like burning – ouch!).
Finally, we get the call from our broker. The buyers have backed out. They decided not to go forward with the purchase. They determined that they would have to spend too much money to get the boat the way they want it. They plan to do cold water/cold weather cruising. So they would need to re-do the entire dodger/bimini for a fully enclosed cockpit. They would need to remove our single air conditioning unit and replace it with AC and heating units for all three zones in the boat. They would need to replace our teak dining table (??). They would need to replace our 11-foot dinghy (??). There were a couple of other things, but really? Why were they looking at our boat in the first place?
Who knows what is really driving their decision? Just one week prior to flying to Savannah to see our Aquila, they were hit by Hurricane Sandy and lost the entire lower level of their beachfront home. They had just moved temporarily into a furnished apartment while they sort out repairs to their home. The wife told me that the water swept away all of the contents on their first floor and crumbled the walls! When I learned all of that, I wondered how in the world they could continue the sales cycle of the boat with so much other stuff going on in their lives. While they were on the boat with us during the sea trial, they received a phone call that they would have propane power at their home the following Saturday. They appeared much more excited about that news than anything else we talked about that day. So, who knows? Was it the wrong boat for them, or the wrong time?
Anyway, we’re still on the market, so we are back to Plan B if she doesn’t sell before January. We will drive The Bear (mid-January) to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Slowly this time! We plan to leave The Bear in Florida, go to Savannah and sail Aquila down to Florida. Maybe play in Key West for a while. We’ll keep her close to Florida for potential buyers in the spring. We’ve got to move her back to Georgia before July 1 when the hurricane season starts. Then we’ll continue our RV travels on a slow northern route back to California.
As all our friends know, these plans are written in the sand at low tide. All I know for sure is that we’re Home for the Holidays. And that makes us very, very happy!