Exactly one year ago today our lives changed, DRAMATICALLY! We loved our lives, we loved our house, and we loved Punta Gorda, FL. So why are we living on a boat? Quite simply, the Kohler service rep over-tightened our water pump. Yep, it was all his fault! In March, 2017, while on our way to the Bahamas in our 42′ Carver, the generator went out while at anchor in Stuart, FL. Scott discovered that the water pump pulley and the water pump shaft were destroyed. This, no doubt, was caused by the Kohler rep one week prior, over-tightening the belt. Thus, starting a very frustrating replacement project during which we docked at Loggerhead Marina.
One evening we met Don and Sue LaNeve, our dock neighbors, and the next day they drove us to the shuttle launch at Cape Canaveral. (Didn’t we teach our kids not to get in the car with strangers?) On March 31 they were kind enough to give us a tour of their Kadey-Krogen 55′, Invictus, and explained how they had sold their home, condo, and cars and were full time cruisers. How exciting! After admiring their lovely boat we returned to our boat, Unforgettable, and both Scott and I realized that we wanted to do the exact same thing!
We had allotted 6 weeks for our Bahamas trip but never made it because our mechanical delays pushed us into an unacceptable weather period and we lost our good Gulf Stream crossing window. So, we switched to “Plan B” and spent the rest of the time on a lovely trip up the west coast of Florida while thinking about the ramifications of living on a boat.
Many sleepless nights ensued; we couldn’t stop thinking about all the challenges and possibilities of life on a boat. From little things like the fact that we wouldn’t have room for very many clothes or shoes – to big things like seeing whales from our very own boat, not being able to travel by air and car as much – but friends and family can come visit us in exotic locations, having to sell valuables – but we can go to PEI and Nova Scotia and New Foundland…wait…we can go to ALASKA! As our list of sights to visit grew we started to determine what kind of boat would be most appropriate for us. We made our lists of “Must Haves, Would Like To Haves, and Cannot Haves.” Melissa tore up http://www.YachtWorld.com and the internet researching what boat would take us the furthest, would be the most comfortable and would be the safest. It was a pretty easy decision, all roads lead to Kadey-Krogen.
Scott fell in love immediately with the KK 58′. He had always loved the high bow (front of the boat) and traditional boat lines. Once our minds were made up in favor of the 58′, we planned to sell everything and travel by car/air for 1 year while searching for the perfect boat. Instead, we detoured and went directly to finding Far Reaches (Hull 7, built in 2003) but passed on it after the first viewing because we did not like the mid-ship master. Scott hated the extra guest head and the curved stairs from the pilot house down to the guest stateroom. Melissa was missing the 3rd stateroom but was happy about the dedicated office space for Scott. Someone else purchased the boat but a few weeks later the deal fell through. Upon hearing the news, we realized that the advantages of this boat far outweighed the perceived disadvantages and jumped aboard as quickly as possible.
We closed on the former Far Reaches August 6, launched and moved aboard on Oct. 12 and couldn’t be happier. Our previously perceived disadvantages have become some of our favorite features. Our mid-ship master is quite desirable, especially in rough seas or at anchor, the half-bath is now called the “party potty” for day guests, the curved stairs are beautiful and Scott practically lives in his office, that is when he’s not in the engine room or the pilot house!
The boat came with virtually no accessories so we purchased a dinghy (the equivalent to a car), moved the chocks on which it is mounted, purchased lines (ropes) and fenders (bumpers), bedding and so much more. We spent 3 days with a Captain learning to drive and dock, Scott took a 3 day John Deere engine class and we are accumulating spare parts. We have replaced all the electronics and have just about finished updating and personalizing our new home.
Happily, we learned that there is an amazing amount of storage on a Kadey-Krogen so Scott only had to give up about 100 of his t-shirts! We finally sold the house on March 8 and have stowed away all but some winter items that remain in St. Louis. And, there’s room to spare…if only we can remember where we put everything!
Looking back, the year seems to have gone quickly, although, as we were in the throws of ironing out the details of boat ownership it seemed painfully slow. We still have the updates in the galley (kitchen) and more projects to complete while in Stuart, in April-May but plan to head up the east coast in June.
Today, on March 31, 2018, we look forward to a year of adventures. Our destination list includes the Canadian Maritimes, down the chain of islands to Trinidad and Tobago, ABC islands, through the Panama Canal, perhaps Galapagos and definitely to Alaska, and to enjoy as many places in between as possible. No, we won’t do it all in one year, maybe not even 5 years, but that is our goal. We are so very thankful that we are healthy and able to enjoy such a blessed life. Every day is beautiful on the water, whether it is rainy or sunny. Every animal we see is a delight, some of our favorites include Roseatte spoonbills, dolphins, manatees and sting rays and we can’t wait to see whales from our very own home! Luckily, we are crazy in love, work well together as a team and enjoy each other’s company. We look forward to meeting new people and making new friends. And we hope our family and old friends will give us a chance to share our new life and adventures by coming to visit us.