Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Rebooting The Dream

Well, I could apologize once again for the lack of posts, but it is getting old and tired and I think you all understand there is very little in sailing related stories that can be told from Colorado...particularly in the winter. But I do finally have some news to share...and perhaps an opportunity for someone with an abundance of free time and desire to travel by sailboat.

As you probably know, we tried to sell Rover after moving back to Colorado.  Unfortunately the closing company and broker we used when we bought the boat failed us during the original sale and we did not discover this issue until we tried selling the boat. The combination of this fact, being so far from the boat, and frankly my lack of enthusiasm for selling and we still have her.

One of the original plans that we had when we set out cruising was to make it to the Bahamas. The idea was that trip would be an adequate first real test to see if we would like the longer term cruising lifestyle. Of course, this never happened.

Photo by Gregory Culmer on Usplash
So why am I telling you this...well...I'm reviving the idea of taking the boat to the Bahamas. I still have the boat and I put in all that work on it so I might as well....right?  The only problem is that I'm lacking a crew.  While I have found that I can single-hand the boat, it is much easier to have additional hands to take watches and to help with docking or anchoring.  Besides, a trip like this is far better when shared.

Image by PublicDomainPictures fromPixabay
As of now, I don't have much of a plan for this trip, but as they say "cruising plans are written in sand at low tide" so even if I had one it would likely continue to change. Right now the goal is for me to return to the boat in September or October and spend some time getting the boat back in shape.  I'm not sure how long this will take, but I hope she will be ready in November if there aren't too many surprises. The time window for the trip will be sometime from the time the boat is ready until the start of hurricane season the following June.

Image by buckeyebeth from Pixabay
Once the boat and crew are ready, the trip will start with a cruise down the east coast from North Carolina to southern Florida. From there it is a wait for a weather window to cross the gulf stream to the Bahamas.  Spend a month or three exploring some of the various islands of the Bahamas, then use another weather window to return. Depending on time and weather (and any potential new anchoring restrictions in Florida), we may also spend a little bit of time in the Florida Keys.

The swimming pigs at Staniel Cay
Image by Lisa Larsen from Pixabay
Photo by tavius on Unsplash
In the past when I've looked for help moving the boat, I tried to find people with at least some sailing knowledge since I was paying for room and board while aboard the boat and the goal was to complete the task of re-positioning the boat.  Well, that worked out well at times and other times it did not.  I realize I don't really need people with sailing knowledge or experience for this trip. I just need folks that are honest about their abilities, willing to learn what little I will need them to know to help out with the boat, have a somewhat compatible lifestyle to mine (since we will be living in relatively close quarters - imagine a very small "3 bedroom" apartment), and want to spend some time seeing what it is like to live on a sailing catamaran. The right person/people will also need to be flexible with time, have a passport, and want to spend some time in the beautiful islands of the Bahamas.

Bahamas Lobster and coral. 
Image by Paulo O (Creative Commons)
I'm sure you might be wondering how much a trip like this would cost.  Unfortunately, that is like asking the question "how long is a piece of string".  A lot of it depends on your lifestyle.  I'll provide the boat (two double berths available), cover the costs for any boat maintenance, the first tank of diesel (67 gallons) and other durable supplies.  We will split costs for food and drink on board, stays at marinas, customs and cruising/fishing permit (currently a flat $300, but theoretically changing in 2020) and other group related costs. You would be responsible for getting to and from the boat, your own restaurant and bar tabs, and any other personal purchases.  So, depending on how well we provision the boat before we leave, how much water and diesel we use, and how much time we spend at marinas and restaurants and bars, the costs can vary quite a bit.  I will only say that I'm pretty flexible as far as food and entertainment goes and am happy to anchor out and sail as much as others desire to help keep costs down.  If you want to get an idea of how much this type of trip may cost, you can Google "cost to sail the Bahamas" to get an idea. All I can really say is this should be significantly cheaper than a similar land-based stay in the Bahamas and you will have the chance to go places that are not accessible to those staying in one of the resort hotels.

What the accommodations look like.
Images and videos available at The Boat link.
Does this sound like something you would be interested in doing?  If so, shoot me an email (the tool at the bottom of the right hand column of the blog can do this if you don't already have my email address). Someone able to complete the whole trip would be ideal, but I'm happy to entertain different people for different segments of the trip if we can find others to fill in the empty slots. I'm posting this here first to give those that are following my blog the first chance at this opportunity before I post it on some of the crew wanted sites.

Rover at No Name Harbor...where many people make
the hop to the Bahamas.


  1. Mike,
    I am so happy to hear this. You put in way too much time and love into that boat to just walk away without at least one memorable pleasure triip like this. I have followed your blog from the beginning and commented over the years so I know this is an opportunity to sail with someone who is diligent and thorough in planning and research. I am interested in this opportunity but would only be available for a month to six weeks due to pets that I would not want to leave for longer. I owned two boats which I operated on the Chesapeake Bay for many years before moving to Florida last summer. I brought one boat with me and am loving being able to boat most of the year. I am currently researching the purchase of a trawler for the purpose of an extended trip to the Bahamas in 2021. I am hoping to keep it at a marina in Appalachicola while I prepare it and get to know it before that trip. SO this post almost deemed like it materialized from the preparations going on in my mind the past few days. Spending time with other captains and on other live aboard boats has been percolating in my mind . With all this being said, I suspect you may find the perfect person who can crew for the entire trip but just in case you are keeping a list of back ups or substitutes or short term-ers for any reason I wanted to put my hat in the ring. So please put me on your list to consider. There are of course a thousand questions to be answered before you choose your crew ... feel free to email me if it gets to the point that I might be a possibility for this journey. Very interested!

    1. Thank you for the kind words. Blogger is not letting me know who this is, but I think I know. If, however, you do not hear from me via another channel within the day, please send me an email.

      As for the trip itself, I really do not know how much time I will have as that depends on what I find when I return to the boat and take it for a couple shakedown runs. Since I have two cabins, it may also be possible to do part of the trip and either fly in or out if I can find another that wants to do the whole trip or the other half. I know the most difficult part of this will be finding someone with flexible free time...so many people in our society are locked down to only one or two weeks of scheduled vacation per year.

  2. sounds like a good idea Mike :-). I'm sure you are aware of the various crew finder groups too? When we joined a friend on his boat years ago he also asked that we have our own insurance.
    We are currently in England/Europe until September then will head back down to sell our boat
    Liz & Chris (svZulia)

    1. Hello crew of svZulia! Good to hear from you guys. Sounds like you guys might be back on the east coast around the same time I am. I hope our paths have a chance to cross...I think I still owe you a dinner...and prove that I do indeed know how to cook. :-)

  3. So glad you decided to give it another go. I'm sure you'll find it a fantastic time!!!!