This is long overdue (I bought the boat two weeks ago and have started at least four 'help me' threads since then), but I still want to thank everyone on this forum who, knowingly or unknowingly, helped me achieve the dream.
I first joined CF in 2009 when I was dreaming about sailing around the world, or as far as I could get in three years. Love kept me in the US. In 2014, I thought I'd spend the summer camp-sailing along New England's beautiful coastline. My job contract
kept getting extended. In January, my contract
ended, as, sadly, did my 8-year relationship. I thought I'd buy a boat and head
to the Virgins, but needed to spend some time caring for my mother who had broken her arm. On February 28, five days after arriving in Florida
, and a month and a half after starting my search, I closed on my Pearson
28' in the Tampa area, and have sailed her down to the Keys where I'm provisioning
and outfitting in preparation for two months in the Bahamas
and then a four month East Coast
sail. As I guessed from past CF threads, everything has taken longer, been harder, and hurt more than I expected, but it's still fun.
It's taken a long time, but I'm finally living the dream. It would have been very hard to do this without all the help I've received from CF members who shared their thoughts on issues I was seeing with boats I was looking at and provided encouragement in the process. Past, long-dead CF threads helped me winnow the field down in terms of models to look at. Many of the CF threads about owners dying before setting sail or about people waiting for retirement
inspired me to go now, at least for a little bit. Checking in on CF every couple of days expanded my knowledge of repair, sailing, and how mistakes
are made to the point where I was confident I could do it. The knowledge and good character on CF, both past and present, is fantastic, so thank you all!
I'd also like to introduce Saga Blue (a grandiose name that was originally meant for the round-the-worlder), and if you see her, her tender
(La Vache Qui Rit), or me (I guess I'll have to change my handle to the Big Cheese), please come aboard for a beer
on me. I hope as I expand my knowledge of cruising, I'll be able to help others as you have helped me.