Trip to Florida

We had a great trip to Florida.  Not much sitting in airports, and rented a car that can only be referred to as “a roller skate”.  The think was called a “Chevy Spark”.  I think it was waiting to grow up to be a “Blazer” – but probably never will.

We looked at six boats.  Of those, only two were “close” to what we wanted.  And only two of them were actually boats we had wanted to look at.   The broker with whom we worked was trying to push an Endeavor on us.  While it was a nice boat, it wasn’t what we were looking for and I think he just didn’t “get it”.  It was in our price range and it was a 37 foot boat, and therefore we MUST want it because, well, it was a nice boat.

We tried several times to get him to understand we had reasons for looking for what we were looking for.

All in all though, we ate plenty of sea food, and I could rarely pass up fried oysters (probably not good for me, but they are GOOD).  We got to visit JoAnne’s brother Paul and his wife Cathy and had a lot of fun finding places to eat and driving around seeing the sights there.  We went from Dunedin, to Ft. Desoto driving around, through Largo, Tampa, and several surrounding areas.

Of the actual boats we liked, one was a Formosa; she’d seen better days.  The young fellow who owned her was asking close to 50K for that boat.  I was willing to offer significantly less and the broker told me he likely would not take less.  I wished her well and told her good luck on selling it then.  We found a broken cockpit, engine wouldn’t start, it needed some real help inside and out.  Might have been a steal at 20K and a bargain at 25k, but was robbery at 50K.

The other boat we looked at was an Allied Mistress.  She was not… represented accurately in the ads, though the boat could likely have been had for less than the asking price, it would have been a significant amount of work.

One boat was gorgeous, and Irwin.  Not really what we wanted, but we considered it.  Except the owner came out to let us aboard and show the boat.  And give us a dissertation on what all he “still had to do”.  Oh well, he wasn’t on the market yet and I think he and the broker were fishing myself for someone who needed to spend money.  That wasn’t us.  If he was still working on the boat, he really wasn’t ready to sell.  She was hoping for us to make a huge offer or something, and he was hoping to escape from his boat I think.

Paul looks great.  He’s 73 and had a heart attack last year, and has some problems with his legs, but gets around fine.  But he looks to be in his 50s, not 70s.  Cathy was doing well as well.  Their little home in the retirement community was just right for them, and the community center has a pool (a huge pool) and other things for them to do.

After almost two weeks we had to leave.  It was not easy to leave either.  Florida was warm, the beach was “Right There”, boats were everywhere.  The hotel was just “so-so” but we stayed two weeks and probably anything can go wrong in even expensive places, so no big deal.  But eventually we flew back to chilly weather, we’ve had snow already in Colorado and today we FINALLY get to see JoAnne’s Doctor (her 3 month visit, only it’s now 4 months) for her checkup.

Tomorrow (or tonight) we’ll set a date to put the house back on the market if all is well.

In the mean time, there’s this pretty 40′ Formosa for sale we’re looking at.  I’ve already contacted the broker, we’re looking for a surveyor to hire for a “lookie-see” to advise as to whether we should pursue this one.  The broker has filled me in on all the good and bad of the boat.  We might end up buying this one without flying out to say “Yes” first.

The problem is the boat is pretty far north, and not on the southern coast or Gulf Coast.

JoAnne came up with the perfect solution though; instead of preparing to sail the Caribbean the first year or so, we provision and train for an Atlantic Crossing and head straight up the coast to Maine, Newfoundland, then across to Ireland in the right season.

I can’t say that’s a bad idea either…

Stay tuned.

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