Sailing through life, wherever the winds take us

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Oh, Canada!

Oh, Canada!

I have been wanting to visit Banff National Park for ages. So I finally got Tyson to just schedule some time off, and we took a road trip. Our originally trip was intended to be a big loop from Utah to Oregon/Washington, then Vancouver, BC, […]

A Complete 180

A Complete 180

I promised you an update. Cutting to the chase, we are staying in Utah. After driving back and forth to CA multiple times, we realized that it was more than we wanted to do in order to see our kids twice a month. As hard […]

All Is Not Lost…

All Is Not Lost…

As crushed as we were to have to pass on Magic Feather, there was a small silver lining.

While researching the value for our offer, we found another Lancer 36, located in San Diego, with an asking price of $19500. The thought crossed our minds to go look at that boat first, before we made an offer on Magic Feather, but because we liked Toni and David so much, we decided to move forward with our offer.

But, now that we are back to square 1, we decided to revisit it, with the added bonus that we know how those boats sail.

The pictures on the listing show that the boat is in about the same condition as Magic Feather, but of course, pictures can be deceiving. We didn’t want to drive to San Diego on a whim, so instead we scheduled a video chat with the broker. Everything appeared to be accurate as to what the listing showed, so we jumped on it and made an offer. After all, we knew we liked the way they sailed, and the price was right. Offer was accepted quickly and the broker set to work scheduling everything for the survey and test sail.

Tuesday morning we set off to drive to Harbor Island West Marina. It was a nice trip, no surprises, besides finding it was a shorter trip than I was expecting. And we found the most amazing gas station I have ever seen in Jean, NV. Got there without a hitch, and camped out for the night.

The next morning we easily found the marina and met with Doug, the broker, (but not until we met and petted the “office dog”, Buddy). Our chosen surveyor, Brad Destache, was already on board, taking a thorough look.

That is where is starting going downhill.

It started small. A bulkhead would need to be re-bonded. Then the steering cables were crossed, cutting into fiberglass. And then a couple of soft spots on the deck. So far not great but nothing we couldn’t handle.

That’s when we got hit with the big one. The compression post base was eroding away. Estimated cost would be at least a couple thousand, but could be even more.

Brad told us that if we got to a point where we had see enough, we could tell him to stop, and walk away, and he would only charge us his hourly rate, rather than the per foot rate. He was only a third of the way done at the time.

We took the hint and pulled the plug.

Just goes to show the value of a good surveyor.

Since we were there, we did take a look at a couple of other boats that Doug had listed, one of which we are fairly interested in, but we will cover that more in another post.

The best result of this trip… WE FOUND A LIVEABOARD MARINA!

This has been the hardest part of our process to moving to a boat. It’s been frustrating being told over and over that there is a 2+ year wait for liveaboard status. Turns out, there is a trick.

Visit in person. 

Which is great if you already live on the coast, not as easy for us, but we were able to stop at 3 different marinas in San Diego, and all 3 said they should be able to get us in, within the next couple of months. The price point is a little higher than we were originally wanting, but it’s a glimmer of hope that we will be able to find a place that will have us. We are planning to stop at a few marinas on our way up to Canada on our road trip next week, so we might be able to find some up in the PNW, that should be a bit cheaper.

So we don’t have a boat, but we now have a place to put it. I am calling that a win.

The Offer

Making an offer on a boat is scary. It’s a lot like making an offer on a house. Except, in our case, without the expertise of a broker to guide our offer. We really didn’t want to offend Toni and David, but we did want […]

Buying a Boat… Again.

Buying a Boat… Again.

Remember how much I didn’t like this process before? Yeah… I still don’t like it. It’s exhausting and an emotional rollercoaster. After sailing Magic Feather, we were in love. But our head and logic couldn’t forget Kalimba in Long Beach. Magic Feather had the love […]

Vancouver and Magic Feather

Vancouver and Magic Feather

After our disaster of a weekend looking at boats in California, we were not entirely looking forward to traveling to Canada to look at another boat. Not that there was anything wrong with it, but having the last boat sold out from under us really took the wind out of our sails (ha, punny). But we owed it to ourselves, and the sellers, Toni and David, to hold our appointment and come take a look.

I am so glad that we did. Cause the trip was worth it.

Addy came with us on this one, so that we could again have a third person to help keep us awake. Which only half worked, as she slept more than us, but whatever, it’s cool.

Because Vancouver was so much further than California, we made it a 4 day trip, instead of a 2 day, with stops along the way in Boise and Seattle.

Here are the highlights of the trip itself (we will cover the boat in a bit)

Got the most DELICIOUS food at Ivar’s in Everett, WA. If you are ever up there, stop at Ivar’s, get the Wild Alaskan Chowder in the Sourdough bowl. I don’t even care that it was probably 3 days worth of caloric intake, it was SO GOOD.

Vancouver is awesome. We had never been there before, and it was fascinating! The architecture, the islands, the bridges, the boats, everything! Granville Island specifically was super cool with its energy. Just walking around, my head was flipping from side to side, trying to take EVERYTHING in.

We were finally able to find Angry Orchard Rosé, at a tiny gas station in the middle of NOWHERE. I have been wanting to try it, and no where in Utah carries it. And yes, this is a highlight.

On to the boat. And the sellers, Toni and David.

I love Toni. She was a bundle of energy and joy and fun and it was just so enjoyable spending time with her. It was very clear she loves her boat. David was awesome too, just more calm and quiet. He and Tyson got along well.

The boat. Magic Feather is a 1982 Lancer 36. Beautiful girl.

The awesome part about seeing this boat, as compared to Kalimba from last weekend, was we got to take her for a test sail! One major benefit of having a private sale, rather than broker sale.

She is a DREAM on the water. Though we did discover an interesting factor of tiller confusion. For anyone that doesn’t know, when you steer a boat with a tiller, which is what Intrepid has, you push the tiller in the opposite direction of where you want to go. It’s like reverse axis in video games. It takes some getting used to at first. BUT what I wasn’t expecting is confusion when switching to a wheel. You would think that using a wheel would just come naturally, because it’s just like a car. Right? Nope. After using a tiller on a boat for so long, turning in the opposite direction becomes engrained in your brain and your body and you can’t seem to break it! It’s the weirdest thing. Seriously. But we got used to it eventually. Even Addy got a chance.

We all kind of fell in love with her. She has beautiful woodwork, systems work fabulously, meticulously maintained. The one and only negative is that the layout is only designed to sleep 6… we have 7. So we would have to figure out where to sleep number 7, if we had everyone at the same time, which is rare, but still a consideration.

But we couldn’t forget the feeling, the love, the joy in her. We might be able to forgive her small shortcoming.

We wanted her.

Common Courtesy, Not So Common

Common Courtesy, Not So Common

This weekend we learned that you can’t buy decency (Thank you for the quote, Steven) Friday afternoon, I was browsing Facebook, as I do, when I came across a boat shared to a sailing group that I am in. A 39’ Yorktown, listed for $16k. […]



I know it’s been a while. I apologize. We have had a LOT going on the last month, and I haven’t been in the mood to write, or really do much of anything. But I have a minute and we are slightly settled down, so […]

One of those days

One of those days

Do you ever have one of those days where just nothing goes right? Yeah. Us too.

We are at the end of our ropes lately. It’s not the smallness of the boat, it’s not even the huge spiders covering the docks. It’s the flies. Billions of flies. We cannot seem to keep them out of the boat. Screens help, but they aren’t perfect. Every single time we get in and out, it moves and we have flies blown in.

I am so tired of cleaning up flies. I am tired of fishing them out of food as we cook. I am tired of the dogs licking them up.

I am usually pretty resilient and can handle a lot… but this might do me in.

I may be throwing in the towel and leaving until fly season is over.

Cause this is hell.

And the air conditioner just stopped working.


The Do’s and Dont’s of Nassau, Bahamas

The Do’s and Dont’s of Nassau, Bahamas

When you think of the Bahamas, you usually imagine picturesque beaches and sunshine and palm trees, right? While we did find some beautiful beaches, we also found some downsides to the island. I’m not saying it’s awful, but just be aware when visiting Nassau. Don’t […]

My Diary

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When you think of the Bahamas, you usually imagine picturesque beaches and sunshine and palm trees, right?

While we did find some beautiful beaches, we also found some downsides to the island. I’m not saying it’s awful, but just be aware when visiting Nassau.

Don’t expect to have phone service. Our phone plan includes international service, but what we weren’t planning on was our phones not connecting to the network for several hours after landing. This meant we were left struggling to find food, our Airbnb, and basically everything, with 5 tired and grumpy kids in tow. Plan to buy at least 1 local SIM card, or at least make all your arrangements ahead of time and don’t rely on service (which isn’t great service either way). Also learn to read a map.

Don’t expect great service. Tax and tip is automatically included on pretty much every restaurant bill. This means that the servers don’t have to work to get their tips. It may be even worse because the Bahamas is a tourist destination and they are just worn out dealing with us, but only one place treated us like we weren’t an annoyance to them. Thank you, Curlys! Island time is also strong here and no one is ever in a hurry, come prepared to spend at least a couple hours for each sit down meal.

Don’t waste your money in the straw market. It’s interesting for the experience, because you get to haggle pricing, but most items can be found elsewhere on the island, for cheaper. We spent way more than we needed to there, for stuff we didn’t need.

Don’t expect clean beaches, especially after a weekend. The beaches on the main island weren’t bad, but did have some junk. And going back to the exact same beach after the weekend, it was gross with garbage, and we ended up moving to a different beach. I would guess that the beaches on Paradise Island are cleaner, because they are the main tourist beaches and get cleaned, but I can’t vouch for that as we only went once.

Don’t forget a water bottle and HYDRATE. Seems obvious, but the humidity here makes it feel brutally hot, and it’s hard to stay hydrated. You don’t think about drinking water when you are soaking wet from sweat. Plus the tap water on the island has a funky taste to it, so I would recommend a filter bottle. Fill it up as much as possible when you find a place, because bottled water is $2-3 per bottle.

Do expect rain, especially in spring time. It usually passes quickly, so if you can wait it out, you’ll still have plenty of beach time.

Do bring sunscreen, or plan to buy it ASAP after arrival. You will burn, and fast, especially when you are fair skinned Irish decent like Tyson and his kids.

Do visit Cabbage Beach on Paradise Island. It’s gorgeous. And if you aren’t afraid to walk east down the beach, you won’t be overwhelmed with sales people and other tourists. It’s worth it. I also recommend bringing goggles if you have them. There are fish you can see right by the beach.

Do check out the Ardastra Gardens and Zoo when you get tired of the beach. It’s not a huge zoo, but had some amazing interactive options that the kids really liked.

Do take it all with a grain of salt. Parts of the island are gorgeous, but like any place, it has its rough edges. If you can see it for the beauty, it’s a wonderful place to visit.