It was in July 2011. Our youngest daughter Beth, Steve & I were on vacation in Marathon, FL. Marathon is located about 55 miles from Key West, FL.
Truly Margarita ville. On our last day of vacation we went to Keys Fisheries. With our belly’s full we were heading to our car when Steve stopped to look at the stores bulletin board. On this board has boat listings of all kinds. Some of which are in the marina behind the fish market. Steve saw a listing for a 34 foot sailboat price listed at 13,500.00. Beth & I kept making our way to the car. Once in the car, Steve is pretty excited. He told us about the ad on the board, and then came the question…Steve asked me, “what would you think of living on a sailboat? Would you be willing to do that?” My reply: Yeah, sure. Now my reply was taken far different than what I meant. When he asked, could you live on a sailboat? and I said yeah, sure I meant sure dear. I will say yes and then you will obsess about it for a week or two and then it will be out of his system and be done with. SO I THOUGHT.. Steve’s understanding was just that. Our vacation was over. Back in Mankato, MN, back to work to a job Steve didn’t enjoy very much. then it started, all the new web sites, E Bay, Craigslist, Yacht World, Strictly Sailing and Sailboat Listings. In August we take our whole family to Wisconsin Dells, WI for a week vacation. It was there one night during dinner, Steve shared his great vision with the family, Now, having 5 grown kids and their spouses there were some mixed reactions. After Steve laid out his whole plan about buying a sailboat, taking off & sail around the world. Everyone turned around to look at me as if to say: Is he serious? Talk some sense into him!! After dinner a couple of our kids came up to me, is dad serious about this? THIS IS CRAZY! HE’S CRAZY!! I assured everyone it would be alright. You know your dad, he’ll obsess over this for awhile and then he’ll move on to something else. It never went away, it stuck. So as the months went by Steve continued his searches. January 2013 Steve said to me you need to take a couple days off from work, we are going to the Strictly Sail sailboat show in Chicago, IL. “What”? “why”? To look at sailboats. They have seminars there too. So, not understanding why we were going to a sailboat show, we went. At this time I am still not “on board” 100% actually not even 50% really. The seminars were interesting. Steve wanted to stop at every booth. I’m starting to realize this sailboat obsession of his IS NOT going away!! After we got back from Chicago, I started to pay a little more attention to what he was looking at and what he was talking about. May of 2013 took us down the east coast on a 6 week vacation. We started in Maryland for our nephew’s collage graduation and some time with family. Then down the coast to Myrtle Beach, SC for a few days. Then headed for Marathon, FL. While in Marathon, we met up with Bob Williams Who we met at the sailboat show in Chicago. While meeting with Bob, Steve asked him many questions. During their conversation, Steve asked Bob if he new anyone who might charter a sailboat for a day or two? Bob told us he lives on his sailboat and he could be willing to take us out sailing for a day or two. Well, that clinched it for Steve, and I began to understand his vision. Sadly our time in Marathon was over too soon, but we will be back. We had a week in Daytona beach. It was there we started to look a little harder. Bob Williams had given us quite a bit of information on what to look for in a sailboat and also what to stay away from. Bob had also told us it would be better to buy a boat that has been in fresh water, not the ocean. After all the information we had gotten from Bob and others, Steve was on the hunt even harder now. Our 6 week vacation down the east coast was almost over. Our last few days took us to Branson, MO. Most people go to Branson for the music entertainment, nope not us. Steve was on his web sites, calling people in the area who had sailboats for sale. We did go look at one or two boats that week, but nothing we liked. Steve contacted a couple of sellers in Illinois, so we started our very round about way home to MN. We had a sailboat to look at in Peoria, IL. and the other was in Waukegan, IL. The first boat was nice with a lot of room, but needed quite a bit of work. Then we drove to Waukegan, IL. That is where we saw the last sailboat we looked at. It was very nice inside and out. We had a lot to think and talk about on our way home. We had looked at 2 boats in IL that we were really interested in, so over the next couple of weeks we were in contact with both of the boat owners. We made a list of pros and cons for both boats we looked at. The first boat we looked at in Peoria, the owner wouldn’t come down on her price, and there were more things about her boat on the cons side. So we focused more on the boat we saw in Waukegan marina. The stars must have been in the right places because shortly we had a deal. WE HAD A DEAL! WE OWN A SAILBOAT!! July 20, 2013 we were back in Waukegan signing paperwork. Drove home that same day. On Monday the 22nd I drove Steve, our oldest son Tom, and our oldest grandson Will. Our daughter Beth came along to check out the boat and to keep me company on the trip back to MN. Now with the boys on the boat and ready to set sail to Duluth….weather is not cooperating!! They are stuck at the dock in Waukegan due to high winds. Weather reports in the area said the winds should subside in a couple of days. On Wednesday the 24th the boys long wait was over, time to set sail.