So the passion for sailing and traveling by sailboat had settled in. Keowee was starting to seem small. We knew all of her coves and anchored at night in them so many times it almost seemed practical to set up house numbers and a mailbox. We could feel the itching for opening the next chapter… the Blue Water Boat. We had been looking at boats for about a year with Donny. We had a pretty clear idea of what we wanted when we started looking. The main rules were that the boat had to be in the high 30’s to low 40’s in order to have the living space we wanted and not be too much to handle; and it was mandatory that it have a good reputation for being truly Sea Worthy as we planned to cross oceans, not just skip along the coast. These were our major points.
We started to settle for a smaller boat a few times because although we had the itch, we still had a few things to put together before we were ready for “The Boat.” We looked at low 30’s, Sea Worthy boats and mused that we could sail to Southern Florida and hop to the Bahamas no problem on such a boat….yes I am aware people sail smaller boats single handed around the world… but this is all about me!…There was one named Valkerie that we really liked, she even had charming Celtic carvings on her wood in the galley and living area. I could totally see this… I just need a sun hat and a bathing suit. Travis would argue that I didn’t really need the bathing suit….but then visions of kids and dogs popped in my head. A boat this size started to feel like living in a canoe in my mind. Plus I was fully committed to a boat with a lot of deck space, you know… a yoga deck. We kept looking.
Somewhere in our search we hopped on an Endeavor 42. I was fishing the checkbook out of my purse immediately! Oh my! The deck space! The spacious galley and living area! For a sailboat, It was like a great room. The master cabin was huge as was the bed and all of the built in dressers and vanities and its massive bathroom complete with a proper shower, not a boat shower. This is over the top, but there was a bathtub in the other bathroom… must I really call it a head…. I learned that Sonny Crocket lived on an Endeavor 42. I did see my share of Miami Vice as a kid, but remembered nothing of him living on a sailboat. Really I just remembered colorful clothes and fast cars…..So I had to put the checkbook away because this boat broke our most important rule. It wasn’t the battleship we were looking for. She was going to be more comfortable along the coastline and boy would she be comfortable. So we moved on, but now we knew how to get the deck space we wanted. We had to have a center cockpit.
We kept looking and now we had looked at enough boats to know for certain what we are looking for, but she seemed to be eluding us and really we were on the edge of ready so we continued looking and finalizing our plan on purchasing and figuring out what to do with “The Boat” when we got it.
Donny, Donny, Donny…
At this point, we had spent a lot of time with Donny, whom has become a dear friend along with his wife Diana. Travis had full boat mind at this point and was constantly (and still is today) talking to Donny about every detail of owning a boat and cruising. In Travis’ free time around the house every sentence began with the words: Donny Said. I teased him about this and he knew it was true and it became our joke. He still says Donny said and we still chuckle everytime and sometimes he tries to change his sentence by saying I talked to Donny and he said.
…We receive a call from Donny one summer day in 2014 and he said, “Your boat just arrived!” We had later learned that Donny told the boat owners, ” my friends Travis and Mary are going to buy this boat.” You see, Donny is always right.
We raced down to New Bern the next weekend and yes, at first step on the boat, first glance, complete gut feeling. This was our boat. There were no except for this or what about thats. It was exactly what we wanted. It fully complied with our Sea Worthy Rules, It was the layout we wanted with tons of deck space and storage down below. It also came with two special people whom I think the world of. John and Connie had sailed her for 17 years. Their favored route was Bahamas in the winter and up to Maine in the summer. We also learned that she had been in Turkey and all sorts of exotic places. Boats tend to seem like living beings when you find out their stories.
…and then we lost her
Before, we could settle the details on our end, another couple swooped in and bought her. The second she got to the dock, she had buyers. Seahorse had no intentions on hanging out in a marina.
We consoled ourselves and made sense of it with all the cliche sayings,”it wasn’t intended to be our boat.” “it’s still out there, well find it soon.” But that seemed all wrong. The puzzle didn’t fit. It seemed like our boat.
A few weeks later, Donny said, “It fell through. It’s your boat.” Turns out the wife wanted a trawler and husband wanted a sailboat. The exchange was so impersonal and of course the woman who wanted a trawler could not muster up any appreciation for all that Seahorse was, that Connie and John decided that Travis and I were to have the boat, ready or not. They wanted Seahorse, then Mirabar, to go to a good home. To be with folks that loved and cherished her as they always had. Boats tend to seem like living beings…
Our First Voyage
We sailed to Ocracoke with John & Connie over a Long Labor Day Weekend. Their hope was that they could pass along 17 years of knowledge to us that they had aquired living and cruising on the boat. John went over all of the systems with Travis and showed him the ingenius modifications that he had made to keep everything simple and efficient and easy to maintain and repair. Connie showed me all of the tricks she had learned for living, cooking and just overall being on the boat. They showed us how they sailed, anchored, docked, kept ship logs, filled water & fuel tanks…. They left EVERYTHING on the boat for us from tools, full kitchen of cookware, technical and mechanical items, spare parts. All of the knowledge and items that they had figured out and accumulated over time were simply given to us. We were overwhelmed by their generosity and eagerness to accommodate us on our new endeavour. This is not the way most people buy a boat and it was truly special and we were making life long friends in the process.