After traveling to Oriental, NC; the Virgin Islands; Tampa, FL; Colon, Panama; and Belfast, Maine, not to mention looking at boats in South Carolina and South Florida last year, we finally found a cruising boat that fit everything on our “want” list including the price! It’s been a wild year and a half of ups and downs since we got back from the Bahamas in May 2011. First we stayed with Brian’s Dad in Hilton Head for a few weeks, then rented a house in Savannah, GA; then we moved back onto Illusion in Charleston, SC, where I rented studio space in an artist warehouse. But Charleston, didn’t fit for us this last time around (probably because we chose to live at a marina outside of downtown and were forced to drive – alot! – which is tricky when you share a car). Brian was driving down to Savannah for work every other week or two, and we had listed our boat Illusion, which meant showing the boat while we were still living on it (this is not so easy!). It was tough for a little while, so we decided to rent another house in Savannah while we figured things out.
Over the summer, there was a lot of back and forth between Brian and I as to whether or not, we still really wanted to live and travel on a sailboat. It definitely complicates some of our other life goals. But in the end, we had come so far with it that we weren’t ready to walk away. With that said, we still didn’t have a cruising boat, Illusion hadn’t sold yet, all of the cruising boats in our price range seemed to be complete project boats (in other words, they would need too much time and money to fix up) or sold faster than we could get to them. We decided due to the time of year, that if the boat in Panama didn’t pan out, we would just put a dodger on Illusion and take her back to the Bahamas for a few months this winter. In other words, stop looking for another boat.
We were both a little disappointed when we got home from Panama – we couldn’t seem to find the “right” boat for us despite the countless hours Brian scoured the internet for listings and leads. But a few days later, Brian decided to take one last look at the listings online and there she was: a Nantucket Island 38 Ketch. We looked at the pictures and looked up the layout (which is about the only info available for this boat on the Web); it seemed like a solid possibility. So Brian called up the owner, and soon enough was on his way up to Maine to see her. One trip turned into two with a survey, and now he is up there packing her up and prepping her for the trip down.
Selah will be on her way to South Carolina, next week by truck, since we don’t have the time or want to take the risk of sailing her down (and it’s almost November in Maine – brrrr!). She is also a bit of a project boat, although nowhere near the condition of the other fixer-uppers we looked at. She has good bones and a whole lot of potential, with flush decks; a large cockpit; two cabins(!); two heads; couches(!); a nice big galley with counter space; and she is a ketch rig with a cutter stay. Not to mention, she is a center cockpit, which will be more comfortable for us offshore. Even though we are only going from our 37′ sloop to a 38′ ketch, it’s safe to say that we are doubling our living space – not too shabby. But we have plenty of projects to dive into upon her arrival.
I haven’t seen her yet, so I am beyond excited to meet her next week! If all goes as planned, we will be moving onto her in a couple months and – fingers crossed! – sailing down to the islands in March!