Monday, September 25, 2006

A quote I wanted to capture....

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." --Mark Twain

Great quotes....

If you haven't noticed already I am kind a quote guy. I am pretty articulate, but when I see someone else who can express clearly a though with an economy of words I am always impressed. I ran across this one this morning.

If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability. --Henry Ford

In a nut shell, one of the hardest things about going cruising is determining how much is enough? I could probably save for the rest of my life, but never have enough money to carry through a voyage like this with complete certainty. I guess that is part of both the excitement and the draw of a circumnavigation. It is a great leveler of men. Once you are out there, nothing you have done to date matters. Only that you have the desire, the attitude, and the ability to handle what the world throws at you. This is a good one to help keep the money factor in perspective.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Chosing the right cruising boat

<===Allied Mistress 39

Considering I will be spending 3 years or more on this boat and that it is my primary defense against drowning for those three years, I want to make the right decision. I've spent a ton of time researching boats on the internet trying to make a shortlist of those that seem to best fit my needs. In a nut shell, that means she is less than 40 feet, modified full keel, fiberglass, and show consistent maintenance all under 50 - 60K. Needless to say, this does not return a whole lot of boats. It's been likened to hunting for a needle in a haystack.

I've been trying to take a few hours here and there while I travel to the west coast for work to look at boats. While this has helped me get a much better appreciation for what is available out there, it is also somewhat frustrating. I've not viewed a boat yet that was realistically depicted in its ad. I am hoping that the broker I am working with now in Texas can help me cut the list down to those that fit the bill. The title link goes to one of the boats at the top of the list. There is also an Alberg 37 in Kemah that looks promising.

Alberg 37 ====>

I've been running through the numbers for the boat purchase should I find "the one". I figure $1000 for the haul out and inspection, $7,500 for the down payment; $150/month for insurance, ~ $500/month for slip fees, ~ $500/month for the boat loan. This adds up quick. I am still looking at the pros and cons of buying the boat outright. I am leaning towards financing so that the interest gained from the cruising kitty can at least offset between 200 & 400 per month of the expenses. Roughly a break even with the loan, but I still have the money in my bank for emergencies.

Transport cost is another concern. Originally I wanted a boat on the west coast as it made more sense with the amount of time I spend in CA for work. However, I can't, or I should say, haven't been able to find a suitable boat out there. That means there will be some added expense for travel back and forth from New Mexico to Houston. Or, I could have the boat hauled out and transported over ground for between 5 – 10K. Yeah, I still live in a desert and am planning a circumnavigation. Go figure.

Insurance is another problem. With the hurricanes in the news the past year or two, no one can pretend the Gulf Coast is safe. The problem arises in that with a boat loan, insurance is required. I can probably swing a basic policy for the first year, but once we start cruising insurance goes through the roof. I don't like the idea of sailing around the world in an uninsured boat, but there may not be a great solution to this problem. Obviously, there are about a million variables to work through still.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Anger, a coconut, and a goal

I am sitting on Kauai, one of the most beautiful islands of Hawaii, at the end of a vacation. I felt a little lost here at the beginning, almost as if I cheated arriving here by flying Hawaiian Air and not by sailing vessel. However, the beauty of the island quickly dissipated all hesitancy and sheer relaxation kicked in the first time I touched and swam with one of the many strangely elegant sea turtles in the coastal waters.

I experienced first hand how unchecked rage can bring down not just a vacation, but potentially a whole friendship. A simple fender bender turned one of our companions into a stark raving mad lunatic. I hope that I can use the experience as a reminder that regardless of the circumstances, the best course of action is always the one that truth dictates. Taking responsibility instead of shifting blame has always made me feel better by alleviating the problem rather than generating a new one on top of existing dilemmas.

On a high note, I used a long stick to knock down a beautiful green coconut from a short palm. It was a far greater effort than I first thought would be needed, but it was a serene experience on Secret Beach, one of the most picturesque beaches I have ever seen. The back drop was set against a churning stormy blue sea with white sandy beaches stretching up to sheer black basalt cliffs with a white light house on the cliffs that could have been plucked out of antiquity.

When we got back to our condo I used the only implement I had, a large kitchen knife, to “peel” the coconut open and made a crystalline coconut water, lime, and rum drink that satisfied in the way only a foraged meal can.

It is September 8th, just short of 9 months from my 31st birthday. If I really am going to set sail at the start of 2008 I need to make finding my boat a major priority. I think making the final purchase as close to my birthday as possible will add a realistic incentive to the goal and a nice touch to the day. I hope the next time I see Hawaii it is from the bow of my boat as the first Polynesians saw the islands.