It's been a really long time since I have posted a blog (even for me!). The last you heard I was in the Barcelona with Seabird. After that it got kind of routine and I did not feel that I had anything too exciting to report. Barcelona was kind of the highlight of that cruising season. We did finally get together with the old GSSR group. It was fun meeting up with Ken and Roberta on Sans Souci and Braun and Tina aboard Ocean Pearl. We all wished we could have cruised a bit together but we had different agendas.
Braun and his Harem
The Balearics were a bit of a disappointment for us. I have read for years about Ibiza and Formentera and could not wait to get there. The truth is, slips are hard to find and VERY EXPENSIVE ($1000/night for Seabird. The anchorages, while fairly well protected on the Lee side of the island, are packed with day boats who do not have a clue how to set an anchor.
One afternoon 5 fun loving Germans on a getaway from home life anchored in front of us with a 35lb anchor with about 25 feet of rope attached (on a 60 foot boat!). In the middle of the night, amongst all of the Partying, the wind picked up slightly and they started dragging into us.
Notice the size of the champagne!
Ending up next to Seabird at 2am!
They could not start the engines because the batteries were dead so we allowed them to raft off of us for the night. In the morning, I offered to help them get the boat started. First of all, they had one of those swim platforms that lowered into the water and while it is down, it locks you out of starting the engines. Problem is, with dead batteries, you cannot raise it up. In crawling around in a very tight engine room, I found an override switch. I pressed it and got one of the engines started. The other was dead so I recommended that they just go at idle into the marine 3 miles away. ALL they had to do was raise the anchor. Simple task, except they had no power going to the windlass, and as it turned out, when they had drifted, they hooked onto our anchor chain. Somehow they ended up letting more chain out by hand, drifting in back of us. They then engaged their one running engine, swinging around our stern, then crashing their bow into the side of our boat.
Here's the thing: Seabird weighs 70 tons and has very thick fiberglass. His 64 foot boat weighed about half that. Guess who won? We ended up with some deep scratches and he ended up with a mangled bow pulpit, twisted stainless bow rails and a bunch of cracked fiberglass!
In the end, he used a knife to cut through his anchor line, leaving it on the bottom.
The next day we cruised back to Porto Adriano on the island of Mallorca. It is a modern marina with dozens of mega yachts that make Seabird look like a domestic cat in a cage of Lions. The best part of the stay there was that Sans Souci and Ocean Pearl joined us there.
It was so great getting back together with them. We had lots of dinners together and had time to discuss our next voyage together: Crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean.
It sounded great, but quickly fell apart. Ken and Roberta didn't really want to cross as it was a long 3 week passage and they were anxious to get their boat there without the wear and tear (on both boat and crew), so they had decided instead to ship their boat and wait for Seabird and Ocean Pearl to arrive on their own bottom.
In the end, their were some issues that helped make the decision for us. With the Euro down, fuel cheap and aggressive pricing by the shipping company, it made more sense to ship than cross on our own bottoms. So, after spending a few weeks in Palma...in October we lifted our boats onto a SevenStar freighter and shipped our boats to St Thomas, USVI.
Sans Souci Loading on the ship
Ken ended up shipping his boat to Florida, then Seattle. He had been cruising outside the US since 2009 and was anxious to get his boat home to accomplish a long list of improvements, the biggest involving the installation of at-rest stabilizers, something they had yearned for ever since a particularity rolly night we spent in the Aleutian Islands in 2010! You can read about the whole ordeal of installing the new stabilizers on his website www.kensblog.com
Seabird and Ocean Pearl ended up cruising the USVI for a few days, then we berthed in Fajardo, PR until we made our way back to the US.
Since then, after spending a month or so having our friends at Yacht Tech devouring a long list of improvements that we had been accumulating over the past few years, we made our way back to our roots, Mystic River Marina in Mystic, Ct, where Carol and I had spent our summers since we were kids.
Our trip from Florida to CT could not have been more perfect. Along with our friends Doug, Donna and Jeff, we had four and a half perfect cruising days. Seabird actually caught our first fish in our 14 years of cruising on her! We caught two Mahi and a Yellow Fin tuna.....and we ate them within hours of landing them.
Our Big News
We have been back now in the US for about a year and a half now, doing some cruising to our old haunts and catching up with old friends. So, after cruising around the globe for the past 12 years, we have decided to put Seabird up for sale. It was not an easy decision, but we have decided that most of our cruising from now on will be coastal and of shorter duration. Seabird is equipped for adventures. In short, its time to pass the baton.
Here is the new listing for anyone interested
Seabird is as fine a passagemaker as could have ever been built. She is economical to run, fast for the type of boat and impossible to
break. Seabird is in superb condition and has been continously upgraded. I truly envy the next owners!
In the meantime, we plan to continue our cruising, New England this summer and Florida for the winter.