(or how prepared do you need to be??)
Here is a great idea! Quit your high powered corporate job (Lynda), sell your successful charter business (Keith), pack up, give away and/or sell all of your wordly possessions, rent out your beloved home to strangers, leave family and friends and go and live on a yacht in the Mediterranean for a few years. Sounds like a dream, the adventure of a lifetime and we are sure it will be; but how much research and preparation goes into making it happen? Well there are certainly a lot of ducks to line up and it is an amazing feeling when you realise that everything is coming together and you can actually put a time frame on it.
Its at that point that the casual perusal of cruisers forums becomes a more serious and targetted activity. There is a lot to consider, and of course everyone wants to have right boat with all the right stuff on it. The sails, the anchor, the watermaker, washing machine, RIB, solar panels, the list goes on… Where to go, what marinas to use, where can you anchor and how do you manage those pesky Schengen visa regulations. Fortunately for us the choice of boat was easy – upgrade from our Fontaine Pajot Lipari 41 Evo to the Helia 44 evo – bigger is better right?! OK ticked that box, now what do we put on it? What goes on in the factory and what goes on later? Fortunately we have the Vice President of Making Stuff Happen (aka Keith Logan) in our corner.
While I continued to head in to the office every day, working out a 6 month notice period, Keith trawled the websites and forums, poured over YouTube channels and blogs, he spoke to his contacts near and far and systematically pieced together all the advice and recommendations into what we hope will be the ultimate choices for us. As the big picture was sorted, Keith worked his way though more and more of the finer details, things like courtesy flags and protocols, size of logos and registration stickers, how much lanolin, WD40 and gaffer tape to take, what to send and what to buy locally… There is so much information, its important to keep things in perspective and prioritise the important stuff. Trying to ensure everything is perfect down to the last detail is going to cause more stress that you are endeavouring to escape from, surely!
Coming home after a long day at work I found Keith struggling with 5th grade geometry trying to figure out the angle of the hypotenuse based on the height of the mast and the distance to the forestay... Whats going on here? It seems we find ourselves in the untenable position of having our battle flag already printed and delivered, without having ever specified the angle of the forestay??!! Outrageous right?! Looking around at an apartment still full of furniture, and a "to do" list that was still growing, I knew it was time to draw a line in the sand and make the tough call - "darling is that really the highest priority right now?" How about we let the small stuff sort itself out. Lets just take a deep breath, get our priorities back on track, enjoy ride knowing that we will have the opportunity later on to laugh at our many “learning experiences”.
Seriously though we need to say a big thank you to everyone who has given their time and advice so willingly, posted their opinions and advice on forums, prepared some incredible YouTube videos, blogs, FB posts, product reviews, the list goes on. Your time has not been wasted; we have soaked it all up you will find some summarised information on this very website. Real-life reviews will follow too as we get to “road test” our research and share our own experiences too.
Happy sailing and we hope to see you out on the water – look out for us, we will be the ones with the not-quite-so-vertical battle flag…
Lynda is slowly getting used to the transition from working to not working and racing to cruising.