Friday, December 30, 2011

The Boats

Moondance, S/V Knot Dreamin' and S/V Last Tango

Our Story… Our Fleet… (The Cliff Notes Version)

Boats, boats, boats as J would say in an excited voice (picture Dug the dog from “Up”, “squirrel”??)…  In this particular case, boat, boat, boat accurately portrays our story… three boats, in three years…  We went from Moondance, a 1990 28ft Hunter (first sailboat I ever stepped foot on) back in April 2009, to Knot Dreamin’,  a 2008 35ft Catalina 350Mk II, to our latest addition Last Tango, a 44ft Mason.  I guess you can say I took the accelerated course when it came to sailboats. 
Moondance was a great little boat and she served her purpose well.  Easter Sunday, 2009, we spent the day on the Chesapeake Bay with strong, gusty winds and after an unintentional jibe, I didn’t go running for the hills (much to J’s relief!).  Since I first met J, he had talked about living aboard – a dream he had had since he was 13yrs old.  We had Moondance for about 6 months before the hunt was on for a bigger boat…  In October 2009, we traded up to Knot Dreamin’ (or Knotty as we lovingly call her).  We hadn’t planned on buying a brand new boat (she sat in the yard for almost two years) but one day just for the heck of it, we took a look at the Catalina 350. Since she had been in the yard for a while, and just out of curiosity, we asked how much she was.  When we were told the price, we were surprised at the response.  We had been looking at used boats – hadn’t even entertained the thought of a new boat.  Mainly it was because one of the things which concerned us most about a used boat, was that you never knew exactly what you were getting yourself into (a situation, we would soon find ourselves in again, 2yrs later – more to follow on that).  So, the sound of a new boat, one within our price range, became very appealing. 
While J wanted and knew he would have no problem living aboard, I was the great unknown…  We got Knotty in Sept 2009 and she spent her first winter alone in H2O at Spring Cove.  In the Spring, J and his mom sailed her over to the Potomac, where we preferred the cruising grounds over Solomons (not to mention, we didn’t have to deal with the bridge traffic).  As sailing season came, we found ourselves spending more time on the boat, and less time in the apartment.   It was time… it was time to test myself.  We would do 30 days on the boat, 30 days where I was not allowed to go back to the apartment.  At the end of the month, we were scheduled to go to the BVI to spend 8 days on a 43ft Dufour, getting our ASA 101, 103 and 104 certifications.  I knew going in, if the living aboard didn’t work out, and if on our trip to the BVI, I just couldn’t get the sailing down or didn’t enjoy it – I was going to find myself suddenly single (no pressure!).  Thankfully, the 30 days went by in the blink of an eye and never once did I miss land life.  The trip to the BVI was a huge confidence builder and sealed the deal!  When we got back, we were going to begin the transition of moving aboard. 
Fast forward 1yr later (I’m skipping the first winter aboard and our adventures living aboard but let me assure you, it has been great and we still love our life on the boat!), we began looking at blue water boats.  While I have no doubt Knotty could take us around the world, she isn’t built to do so and it wouldn’t be a pleasurable ride.  So, we looked, and looked and looked…  Spent many weekends traveling to Annapolis to look at boats, took planned detours on our various road trips to visit family and friends to see boats.  We figured the more we looked, the shorter our list would be.  We planned to narrow it down to a few different boats and hoped that by doing so, we’d narrow it down to the right boat, for us.  At the end of the day, it came down to a TaShing Mason 44.  We found three in the area and after thoroughly looking at each (some even getting a few looks), the winner was S/V Last Tango.  This was the boat that will take us around the world!  On October, 28th 2011, we went to closing and Tango is now officially part of the Hull/Thomas Krewe. 
Since we moved aboard, I have been journaling and trying to capture our experiences but now we want to be able to share it with our friends and family.  So, we hope that you will follow along and enjoy reading about our adventures and experiences, as much as we enjoy having them!