Wow - I am overwhelmed by the responses in less than twelve hours. Thanks so much to everyone that responded.
I am pretty torn - it does seem that my peers, if I may call you all that, are strongly in favor of me abandoning the boat in some fashion. I have to admit - being a diver as well - that the idea of sinking her in St Thomas for a dive location does appeal. I could still visit her
I will look into that.
Because I try to have all information available when I make decisions, I am investigating all the other ideas as well. I am especially impressed with Green Cove Springs - the yard costs are very inexpensive, and the sail to Jacksonville
is a straight shot if I go the blue water route
- 1100 NM on a run... I bet I could average 125NM/day, so right in the week to ten day window I have been anticipating. I've also found some great advice on linking the sheets
to the tiller (I can fashion a tiller on top of the rudder
shaft) as a self steering
arrangement, with some simple tackle: Sheet-to-Tiller Self Steering
I have some soul searching to do as well. "Fixing her up to sell her" is indeed an odd proposition, and probably not financially sound. One poster I think hit it on the head
- fix her up to keep her, if I fix her up at all. Fixed up I might have a shot at the Hudson passage
to get her to Chicago. My wife is a teacher, and has summers off. Would be a fantastic summer trip, perhaps next year. And she really would be a fantastic lake boat.
So what are my motivations really? Its true - I have a very hard time letting her go, and to be honest I think the challenge of sailing her non-stop in this condition appeals to me in ways that have nothing to do with fixing her up or selling her! What were the reasons that folks entered the first Golden Globe for example? Certainly not financial. I read about those voyages and am compelled to make my own for reasons I will probably never understand completely. Maybe some of you have more insight.
At any rate, I am compiling costs for attempting the Green Cove Springs idea, and will post them when I am done. This is not to say I am going this way, and I promise I will discuss with my wife before making such a decision
So try not to think too harshly of me, and participate in the academic notion of what is the absolute minimum set of gear
for such a trip. Should be an interesting discussion if nothing else.
I will also be calling the local dive shop in STT - I know the owner and will see if he can help compile costs for cleaning
up her fluids and getting her sunk in an interesting place. I already have the place in mind.
Thanks again everyone!