“Watch out for pirates!”
“Aren’t you afraid of, like, storms?”
“How long will you be gone?”
“Do you know how to sail?”
“I didn’t know people really did that kind of thing.”
The list goes on. Most reactions are positive. Some are amusing. I figured out pretty early on that I really enjoy seeing people’s reactions to what Lee and I are doing. It reminds me how exhilarating it is to be quitting my job, buying a boat, and sailing south without much of a plan or agenda. When the logistics of buying the boat and the prospect of sailing it through all kinds of weather gets a little intimidating, I look at the alternative: life going on as normal. Friends and family get excited about our adventure and I feed off of their excitement.
Days till departure from Denver: 31
Here it goes! Countdown till we leave Denver and start our new life as sailing bums: 34 days
When Lee and I decided we wanted to quite our jobs and go sailing part of the motivation was the current market condition and potential for getting a good deal on a boat. Shopping for boats from Denver was difficult. We relied on the internet and remains open about where we could find a boat.
We talked to our dads, both experienced sailors, about boats they liked and features we would want. Books were also helpful and we quickly went through all the cruising literature at the Denver Public Library.
The first few boats we looked at in person were in Monterrey, CA on a random trip. We went aboard an old Sparkman & Stephens and Halberg-Rassey Rasmus. Both were good, solid boats but the S&S would have required a lot of work to get going and the Rasmus felt a little too much like a cabin cruiser to me. They also both felt rather cramped.
From there we jumped up in the market a little bit and started looking at classic Swans. We checked out a Swan 43 in San Diego while visiting family there over July 4th weekend. While definitely not cramped, the Swan was rather run down and just didn’t feel right.
We also looked at our first couple Baltic 38′s on that trip. It wasn’t love at first sight, probably because the first one we saw was really neglected. After going onboard a much nicer example, though, we were hooked. Lee and I went home to find out as much as we could about Baltics.
Almost 3 months later we are finally closing on a boat We wanted see everything on the market, so we looked at every Baltic 38 available back East and out West. It eventually came down to 2 boats. After a disappointing survey, it was down to one.
Pirat, in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts is a custom built Baltic 38. It is configured for racing, with flush decks around the cockpit and a taller mast and narrower shroud base than it’s sister ships. I’ll save the gritty details for later. Right now, all that matters is we believe we’ve chosen the right boat for our purposes and it will formally become ours in a few days (knock on wood… nothing could possibly go wrong now…although I’ve said that before!).