Showing posts from January, 2016

Just Like That, She's Mine!!!

So, on the ocean with Alex and the good ship Eleanor, I learned that though my Albin Vega was a proven ocean capable design, I wanted a bigger, heavier boat. Part of that motivation was the seakindliness I experienced aboard Eleanor, but also because I plan to cruise permanently with no home base for a good while. I need more room than I had with the Vega. Bella would compare to a nice camper. A Westsail 32, or something similar, would be more like a nice apartment that I could retire to and not ever have to worry about outgrowing. The Westsail has about twice the interior volume as the Vega.

I became obsessed and surfed the web constantly. It was taking over my life, and, as I mentioned, I was in the process of cooling my jets, convinced I was maturing about boats [false alarm]. My plan had evolved to waiting until about June when I might have $15,000 or 20,000 to buy a good boat and not have to make some kind of deal. Then last week, an ad for a Westsail 32 popped up on Facebook, I …

Norfolk to Florida, the abridged version.

[Note: In order to get caught up to recent developments, I'm just sketching the rest of my trip with Alex and Eleanor from this summer.]
Poor Joe caught a bug on the flight to meet us, but we had a great time cruising down the Intra Coastal Waterway. Even though he was suffering a good deal of the time, Joe was a great addition to Eleanor's crew. We wandered down through Virginia and into the Carolinas. There were beautiful anchorages, explosive sunrises and sunsets. One afternoon, we were overtaken by a strong squall and even had to dodge a mini tornado! [Editor’s Note: that day alone should have had its own blog post.]  Just as we were trying to get to the creek we had picked out for the evening's anchorage, we were consumed by a storm coming across the Pungo River from Belhaven. Alex had to steer hard to miss the hissing whirlwind of spray that cut across our bow. Neither of us could see as the wind raked the rain across our eyes. Yet somehow, with no visibility, Alex ma…

Whew ... it's been a while.

A lot has been going on in Bubba-delphia since I returned from Florida - good god - in June(!). When I returned, I was nearly broke (on purpose) and jumped back into the working world. I continued blogging for a bit as I tried to catch up and cover the whole trip. My schedule went right back to crazy; driving a truck all night. Also, having been on the ocean for the first time, and able to spend a couple months learning from one of my sailing heroes - my mind was thoroughly bent.

Sailing on the ocean aboard Alex’s Westsail, I fell in love with the seakindliness of a heavy displacement boat. Even though their production stopped in the early 1980’s, Westsails are some of the best built boats out there. Alex and Carla do some chartering and bought a 42 footer. I don't need all that space, but the W32 seemed just right. I started chasing W32s as soon as I got home and was a man possessed. There was one in Alaska that they never sent me the info they promised, one on the West Coast that…