Friday, July 27, 2012

Sailing Away - not in our own boat...YET!

What's life without a little up and down, back and forth, highs and lows? Since last weekend we've been on the crazy ride called - NEGOTIATION. From researching "comps" to pricing out known repairs to calling Dads, Brothers and friends we've gained a lot of knowledge and opinions on the ancient art of price negotiation. 

We put an offer in on the Gulfstar last Saturday. The broker didn't scoff but was honest in telling us that he didn't "think it would work" because the owners were already hoping for $20,000 more than he got them to list it at. The broker was right - on Monday morning the owners came back only lowering their asking price by $2,000...we were VERY far apart. We thought and talked and sought advice and more advice and TRIED to emotionally detach ourselves from the boat because no good negotiation comes from being emotionally invested. We claimed we were "over this boat", we proudly said, "there's many more boats in the sea", we convinced ourselves that we were "right at it". So we put in our "top" offer on Tuesday morning saying that we were willing to drop a deposit in the mail and sign on the line that day. 

The owners didn't budge. We were still pretty far apart. We made sure they had our phone number and were clear how motivated we are and then...we walked away

So today we sit and ever since we 'walked away' we feel like the "wind's been taken out of our sails" a bit...we are a little less excited, a little less nervous, the butterflies in our tummies have stopped fluttering, we're feeling like the kickoff to this dream which we thought was going to happen sooner than later is now going to happen later and that's left us with a bit of a defeated feeling. 

BUT all is not lost! Because this evening we are embarking on a BIG part of this dream - the Blue Water Sailing School Bareboat Charter class! Yup, that's right, tonight we are heading to Newport, RI and Sunday morning we leave on a Dufour Gib'Sea 43' sailboat and won't return to port until Friday! 

Our floating home for the next week!

We booked this class back in early March because as we started to put legs on this dream of ours we both felt like we could use some more training and confidence on sailing larger boats. We've both had a good deal of experience on smaller, day cruiser boats but nothing over say 30' and once you get up over 35' there's A LOT more to know. There's major electrical and mechanical systems, there's a lot more rigging to learn, there's a galley to learn, etc. This class was highly recommended to us because it's one of the only "live aboard" classes where you learn all the in's and out's of living aboard a cruising yacht. You learn provisioning, navigation for passage making, cooking, maintenance, etc.- you live, breath, sleep and eat sailing the whole week. At the end you get your bareboat charter license meaning that we can go down to the British Virgin Islands, rent a yacht and captain it for a week! It's a big step to the ultimate goal of getting our USCG Captain's License.We are both extremely excited! So the blog will be quiet for the next week while we get a taste of this dream of ours.

We half-joke that on our way back from Newport next Friday we'll be calling the Gulfstar broker and offering what they're asking! We have no doubt that this week will only solidify and reinvigorate our motivation for making this dream happen now and not later. But we've promised not to make any move on the Gulfstar until we return from this trip. 

Since we are heading to another seaside area we've also set up appointments to look at two other potential floating homes. We have to see what else is out there in order to truly feel like the Gulfstart is it. We'll be seeing a Hunter Legend 40 with the owner who's promised us a sail and a classic Cheoy Lee 40' Midshipman Ketch. The Hunter is a newer, production boat. The Cheoy Lee is classic with LOTS of teak, including her decks. We shall see...though our minds can't seem to let go of the Gulfstar... 

Hunter Legend 40' 

Cheoy Lee 40' Midshipman Ketch
So next week as we sit on board a 43' sailboat somewhere in Block Island Sound watching sunset or a sunrise with the water all around us I know clarity will come to us and we will know in our guts what our next move will be. 

As my absolute favorite Jimmy Buffett song says:
"...Alone on a midnight passage 
I can count the falling stars
While the Southern Cross and the satellites
They remind me of where we are
Spinning around in circles
Living it day to day
And still twenty four hours may be sixty good years
It's still not that long a stay.

We've gotta roll with the punches
Learn to play all of our hunches
Makin' the best of whatever comes your way
Forget that blind ambition 
And learn to trust your intuition
Plowin' straight ahead come what may
And there's a Cowboy in the Jungle..." 

                - Jimmy Buffett "Cowboy in the Jungle" 1978 

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