I haven’t posted here for a while and thought it might be a good idea to mention why. The weekend after our passing Skipper, we spent two weekends and the week in between, out on a private whitewater wilderness trip on our 14-foot AIRE raft with eleven other wonderful river friends on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho, one of our favorite rivers. It has a few class IV’s but is mostly just an incredibly beautiful canyon that stretches 100 miles through the River of No Return Wilderness area – no way in or out except by water or by a few isolated small-plane landing strips. We passed natural hot springs every day of the trip, and stayed or played at a few. The following weekend we hosted our 7th annual benefit river rafting trip for Environmental Traveling Companions (E.T.C), where we get friends and coworkers to join us on a river trip and the proceeds go to E.T.C., a nonprofit organization that provides river rafting opportunities to people with disabilities and others who might not otherwise have the chance. The next day, on August 6, 2012, I had surgery to replace my right hip. Something went terribly wrong, and my operated leg came out way too long, so they had to redo the surgery on August 27th. The second time around came out much better, and I am recuperating quickly. We hope to join our friends on B-Dock in Sausalito Yacht Harbor on September 15 to send out the Gate two of our dockmates to their full-time cruising adventure to the South Pacific, and then spend the night on Cool Change. It will be slow going for me, as it will have only been less than three weeks since surgery, but being back on Cool Change and with our B-Dock friends will be worth it.
Other news is that after our pending sale of Cool Change fell through at the end of May, we spruced her up a bit by getting the hull polished and the brightwork redone, and hoped for another offer soon, as our broker promised. But none was forthcoming. Cool Change is a beautiful boat for the right person, but it is true that a lesser boat can be bought for far less money. This economy seems to be the time for bargain hunting, not for shopping for quality. On the other hand, our own shopping efforts brought forth a number of very promising candidates for larger and better cruising-equipped boats, although NONE of them could compare to the quality combined with versatility of a Pacific Seacraft in our price range. Although we found some absolutely gorgeous boats, I still frankly hadn’t found one with a pullman berth and a modified fin/skeg-hung rudder of the same quality as the Pacific Seacraft, my two minimum requirements. When we bought Cool Change, we traded in size for quality, so we have a smaller boat with high quality instead of a larger boat with adequate quality.
However, in all this time while waiting for Cool Change to sell so we could get a bigger boat to start outfitting, the clock is ticking to our departure date. It is now only two years away. So, we have decided that if she doesn’t sell by the end of September, we are taking her off the market and will start seriously outfitting her for cruising like we had planned when we originally bought her. At that point we will not sell her because the investment will be too great. So if you want her, you’d better speak up soon! Our plans include replacing the sails, the canvas, the liferaft, and the electronics and communications systems; adding a bimini, refrigeration, a windlass and chain, a watermaker, a wind generator, and a wind vane steering system; and upgrading the electrical system, along with a number of other smaller improvements. Yes, we will be pouring a lot into her, but what a great little cruising boat she will be when we finish! And we figure with the savings of the sales commission and sales tax associated with selling/buying, and the savings incurred in the long haul by just having a smaller boat, we will still come out ahead. She will never sell for anything like what we will have put into her, but that’s not the point. Maybe we’ll never sell her! And most importantly, we will know that when we are out in the ocean in the thick of it, we can count on her. Viva Cool Change! This next stage of outfitting her should be really fun – stay tuned!