Why did we decide to leave land and buy a boat to live on? Careful, the answer may inspire you to have your own adventure.....
When Ransom and I started dating, we soon realized we had a LOT in common. We not only shared similar interests, but also similar dreams. We both craved simple lives filled with all the experiences the world could offer.
When I was a child I camped a lot with my family, often at lakes; but never on boats. Ransom was raised in Maryland and grew up on the water rich eastern shore. He also camped a lot, but usually on a sailboat in the Chesapeake Bay (and surrounding estuaries).
Once we got married we started talking about our future and what we wanted to do before "settling down."
We quickly realized there was still so much to experience before starting a family.
This was confirmed after Allison and I attended a wedding where the couple already had a 4 year old daughter. I couldn't help but admire their family and think about what Ransom and my children would look like. However, this image sent me into spiraling thoughts of, "I'm not ready" and "children will change everything we have going for us."
I was alarmed.
A couple nights later Ransom, Allison, and I went to our friends, Mary and Hank's place on Wadmalaw Island for dinner. Mary and Hank sailed together around the Caribbean; and Hank had sailed extensively up and down the east coast. He lived aboard his sailboat for several years before moving back on land.
I'll never forget sitting around the fire with my friends, them trading sailing stories, me in awe of the places and things I had only dreamed of. I remember looking over at Ransom, and at the same time he turned his head to look at me and we knew then and there that we would be living on a boat within a year. It was an unspoken understanding, later discussed and now slowly coming to fruition.
I think the last nail in the coffin was Allison sharing her pictures with us. We almost couldn't stand it because we wanted to see these places with our own eyes.
The next day we had 17 boats for sale bookmarked in our internet browser.
We looked online for about a month, then in May we travelled to Florida to see three of the boats on our list.
We were interested in two types of boats: kat ketch or steel hulled
The first boat we looked at was a kat ketch that was WAY too expensive. The owner had installed all this useless (Flatscreen TV's) and expensive equipment (Bow Thruster) that was nice to have in port, but impractical at sea.
Not the boat for us.
The second boat was another kat ketch that had been a live aboard for over 30 years. Unfortunately it was a centerboard model with a hatch that took up the central cabin and exposed water to thigh level (the water was contained within the centerboard sheath). Plus the seller was an ederly man who had stuff everywhere and some interesting personalizations; we could not visualize the boat as our own.
The third boat was a steel hull cruiser. We were intrigued by her picture online, but no digital image could have prepared us for our first view of Vitte III.
It was truly love at first sight. As we drove up to the boat, Ransom and I looked at each other, jaws hanging to the floorboard, and slowly turned our vision back to her. She was dry docked and had all of her rigging stripped, but she was beautiful. It only got worse when we climbed the ladder to see her up close. It was easy to envision us and the dogs living and cruising on her. There was no doubt this was our boat, she was waiting for us.
It was hard playing coy and not calling immediately after leaving the boat yard to put in an offer. I think we made it two days before breaking down and asking to put a deposit in.
That was 6 months ago now. Today we are the proud owners of Vitte III (name story coming soon!). She's still on the hard, but we hope to have her in the water by January 2011. After that, the world is our oyster. (And for those of you that don't know, I LOVE oysters).