We've sold Celebration. This may come as a surprise to some of you, I haven't written anything for so long that I'm sure you assumed we were out doing our usual socializing, eating and drinking. And you'd be right. But in between all that... OK it's a long story, so I'll start at the beginning.
Last November at the SSCA Gam in Melborne FL, we met a nice couple, Anne and Jeff Posner, who were looking for crew to do the Blue Planet Odyssey with them on their boat Joyful. We were very interested but this is a 2 1/2 year commitment, so we took a lot of time to think about it. We thought through about how bad it could be, on a small boat, in the middle of the Pacific, with crazy people. But we also thought about how good it could be, on a small boat, getting to know some great people, seeing the world at a snails pace. So we did our usual and jumped in with both feet, well, in this case, four barefeet.
We had planned to put Celebration on the hard somewhere while we were gone, but after adding it all up: the costs of insurance, storage, and maintainence, and then the fixing of all the deterioration that happens to a boat who's neglected, we started to have doubts about this plan. We moved on to thinking that maybe we should sell. We talked to a boat broker (they're like real estate agents, but for boats) and signed on with one at the end of June. The Plan was to come to Maine for the summer and laze about eating lobster, then take the boat back to Annapolis, move off and put her on the hard at the brokers office.
On the way to Maine we stopped, per usual, at our friends, Gary and Alex's house in Amesbury Mass. Aside from being perfectly wonderful people, they have a mooring and dock on the Merrimack river behind their house, an awesome collection of friends, an awesome garden...the list of reasons to go there is long. We were there on the dock one afternoon, working away on projects small and large that we wanted to finish before we offered her up to be picked apart by prospective buyers, when a man walked down the ramp from the backyard and said "Hello, my name is Klaus and I used to own this boat".
As it turns out, Klaus' boat, Ludus amoris, was hull number 58 and Celebration is hull number 68. Klaus and his wife Maria circumnavigated twice and he's written a book about their travels (unfortunately for us, the book is in German, but is currently being translated to English). Klaus and Maria are from Germany, but their daughter lives near Amesbury so after they sold Ludus, they moved here. Anyway, on this particular day Klaus was driving on the bridge over the Merrimack about a block from where we were and saw us on the dock. He made a right turn and came to say hi.
(A funny story about that: Klaus knocked on the front door of the house, (no one ever uses the front door), he had a copy of his book in his hand, was nicely dressed and was driving an old VW camper van. Gary thought he was a Jehovias Witness and was reluctant to answer the door. Once Gary figured out Klaus's real purpose, he sent him down to see us.) Klaus came aboard to chat and look around. He mentioned that about a year ago he'd gotten an email from a friend in Bavaria asking if he, Klaus, still had his boat for sale. He didn't. Steve mentioned that Celebration happened to be for sale. Klaus looked around some more and then invited us over for dinner the next evening at his home. I knew he had been a real cruiser because when I asked what I should bring to dinner and he replied "your laundry".
We were very surprised to get an email the next morning from Klaus's friends, Jurgen and Kathrin. They were looking for more information on the boat. We sent it and forgot about it. We had a great dinner with Klaus and Maria and got to see some wonderful pictures of their trip. The next thing we knew, J and K had booked tickets to come to Boston to see Klaus and Celebration. We did not get our hopes up. Besides, we already had a Plan. AND our daughter, Amanda, was coming for a rare visit and we didn't want anything to mess that up. It turned into a very fun, chaotic, wacky week. In short we went from "maybe we should sell the boat" to "holy cow, I think we sold the boat" in about 6 weeks.
The really weird part of all this is that when I called our broker to tell him all this and ask what we should do next, HE YELLED AT ME! Really. Yelled. He wouldn't listen to me at all and kept yelling and threatening to put a lien on the documentation, take us to court, etc. We never had any intention of not paying him (until then of course) but we did want to talk about a reduced fee since he had had to do NOTHING so far. Suffice to say, we settled, by dealing with his partner, and we no longer have a broker.
So the new Plan. We'll stay on the boat and deliver her to the Miami area in November. J and K hope to come back and take possession then. We can move to Joyful at the same time. For now, we're in Maine, socializing, eating and drinking.
Below is a picture of Amanda from our quick drive to BaHaBa, because every blog needs a picture.