We’ve been planning this purchase and transition to a cruising lifestyle for over a year, but the plan didn’t include buying the boat until February of 2021 at the earliest. Enter COVID-19.
We weren’t sure how the pandemic would impact the availability of the sort of sailboat we were planning to buy (a Leopard 46 catamaran), and we already had a bit of anxiety about whether we’d be able to find our new home in time for the rest of our plans, so when the number of listings increased on YachtWorld, we began to evaluate our options seriously.
COVID-19 led us to search earlier, and it also prevented us from actually seeing in person any of the potential boats to purchase. Consequently, we decided to limit our search to US locations where we knew we could engage a host of known surveyors, captains, cruiser representatives, and we wouldn’t need to fly anyone in to represent us. Also, during the process our broker was already planning to visit Florida for another client, and was able to walk through two of the options, with us along through Facetime.
We ended up putting offers in on three beautiful boats. The process was grueling and emotional, and took way longer than we’d hoped, but the third one was the charm, and we are the proud owners of Erin Skye! The name of our sailboat and future home came from the sea and from our heritage. Many of our ancestors came from island nations, whose land masses are defined by their relationship to the sea. With Erin meaning Ireland and the Isle of Skye being a special part of Scotland, we see tartans, Kelly green and navy blue involved in our future sewing projects.
Erin Skye recently arrived at the marina in Florida (early in hurricane season at this point), and has been waiting for the cargo ship to take her through the Panama Canal to end up in a beautiful Mexican coastal town. With country border access changing often, we aren’t sure when we’ll be able to see her in person, but we’ve arranged for a captain and caretaker in Mexico to keep her company and arrange for a few repairs. We hope to be able to take a vacation to see her in early August (unlikely with the COVID-19 situation), or December, and certainly by February when we plan to take her up to Ensenada or farther north.
As soon as we can, we’ll have a captain join us onboard to augment what we’ve learned through our American Sailing Association classes, and to help us through even more practical situations, on Erin Skye herself. Then we’ll settle down into our new cozy home, and see where we want to go from there. The possibilities are limitless, and we’ll be exploring some of them through this blog over the next few months.