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Old 30-04-2014, 17:04   #1
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Hello World from a Family of Dreamers

Hello everyone,

Introducing ourselves. We are the Conger family. I am David, my wife is Marlena and we have two girls Kaci (8) and Hayden (7). Several years ago after attending a boat show in San Diego we have had the same dream. Cruising the world together before the girls get spoiled with the notion of "normal" fed to them on TV, Movies, peers. We want them to see as much as possible with their own eyes not via a TV screen and grow up with this foundation under them.

I will also apologize in advance that my writing style leaves a lot to be desired by all who have not met me in person. If anything I post can be read the wrong way usually it is...so I accept likely I have a long way to go to figure out how to express myself online without coming across badly.

So, why are we here? Well, me writing this means we are close enough that I'm no longer scared to speak of it publicly. If our latest counter offer is accepted on a nice Lagoon 410 we will cross a point of no return. This dream will become truly real. Just for perspective we are currently living in Sacramento California area and couldn't feel farther from our dream.

The idea of possibly landing in St. Martin in a couple weeks to do a survey, sea trial acceptance of this boat is surreal. We are ready, we are able, we just need as much help and wisdom as we can get. I promise we are all ears.

We were open to starting anywhere on the planet and it's our budget that is truly deciding where. It appears it will be St. Martin as that's where this boat is.

What we lack in actual boat ownership and hands on experience we have made up for in research. Our children's safety is paramount. To prepare during these years we have taken ASA courses up to 104 (both of us separately so we did not distract each other). We bought and owned a Catalina 30 for a year and sailed it often out of San Diego. We bare boat chartered an Athena 38 in the BVI. It went better than I could have imagined. Those two engines and the sensible layout made it something I was immediately comfortable with. We did this the last week in October so there was some wind and good experience to be had that week.

Yes, we know it's hurricane season June 1 there and that weighs heavily on us. Remember we've looked for years and the boat sort of found us and that's where it lies currently. We are afraid if we don't buy this one this may not happen.

So, my sole reason for writing and joining here is to accept that we realize although we are generally very private people we can't do this without help. We have read your articles, books, movies and have met some of you in person at boat shows. You are a community we have grown to really like. Every book, every article, everyone we meet at boat shows has been so inspiring to us. We truly do look forward to meeting you all in person out there someday. Just today we are trying to focus on the immediate things. I will not ask for answers here and leave this as an introduction to us.

What I bring to the table? I spent my career as a large scale Database Adminstrator. Oracle mostly on Unix. Then a few years ago I got into open source things. Open source means you can download the hardware and software online and do it all yourself. I learned enough to build these tiny electronic things that fly quite sophisticated multi rotor and fixed wing things. Ya some call them drones but before you picture something else these are basically autonomous toys with sometimes a camera on them. I hope to bring enough tools and bits to put together some flying things while onboard so if you see something small flying around don't panic it's harmless and I'm probably showing someone how it works sitting at a laptop on one of the boats nearby.

We figure surely wherever we go someone has a computer issue, network issue, database issue or wants to know more about flying drones or possibly even build and fly one. My wife's career was in International Finance with a large technology company in San Diego (QCOM). So we hope to give as well as receive here and out there. My girls are pretty wicked at Minecraft so with some luck I'll setup a mobile Minecraft server and your kids (or you) can join in the fun with us.

See you all soon, your positive encouraging comments welcomed, coordinates to link up with your family, advice, places to see and avoid...all that wonderful stuff. Thank you in advance.

Cheers,
David, Marlena, Kaci and Hayden Conger
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Old 30-04-2014, 17:45   #2
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Re: Hello World from a family of dreamers

G'Day David and all the other Congers, and welcome to CF. You will find this to be a mostly friendly place, which sports a number of pretty wise and knowledgeable people. It also sports a number of cantankerous and misinformed people. Your job will be to decide which is which!

Your plans sound well thought out, with the possible exception of what to do with the boat for cyclone season. All of our years of cruising have been in the Pacific, so I can't make valid suggestions, but there are plenty of Caribe-wise folks who can. Please do prioritize a game plan ASAP, because you do NOT want to start your new life having to deal with a cyclone (oops, I mean hurricane... South Pacific influence there!).

Good luck, and again, welcome to the CF.

Jim
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Old 30-04-2014, 17:59   #3
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Re: Hello World from a family of dreamers

Welcome Congers!
I'm cantankerous and often misinformed.
Just so you don't have ask, your anchor is too small, it's the wrong kind and you don't have enough chain. We try to avoid the "A" word on this forum.
I told you I was cantankerous.
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Old 30-04-2014, 21:27   #4
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Re: Hello World from a family of dreamers

Thank you both for the nice welcome and sense of humor.
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Old 30-04-2014, 22:02   #5
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Re: Hello World from a family of dreamers

If you like open source, and Linux, check out OpenCPN as a piece of nav software. I'm using it with GPS and AIS on a dual boot Dell. All US electronic charts are free from NOAA.
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Old 30-04-2014, 22:16   #6
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Re: Hello World from a family of dreamers

As far as hurricanes, the bottom of the Caribbean rarely sees them, giving you an excuse to visit Grenada, Dominica, Aruba, Curacao, Costa Rica. This doesn't forgive you for not paying attention to the weather.
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Old 30-04-2014, 23:34   #7
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Re: Hello World from a family of dreamers

Quote:
Originally Posted by selkirksghost View Post
If you like open source, and Linux, check out OpenCPN as a piece of nav software. I'm using it with GPS and AIS on a dual boot Dell. All US electronic charts are free from NOAA.
Nice, I will "Google it". Is there a topic on this somewhere on CF?
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Old 30-04-2014, 23:37   #8
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Re: Hello World from a family of dreamers

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Originally Posted by selkirksghost View Post
As far as hurricanes, the bottom of the Caribbean rarely sees them, giving you an excuse to visit Grenada, Dominica, Aruba, Curacao, Costa Rica. This doesn't forgive you for not paying attention to the weather.
That's what we are learning, thank you. I was reading about a nice (their ad said so) place in the South of Grenada that seemed very cruiser friendly. We will be paying extremely close attention always.
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Old 01-05-2014, 01:37   #9
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Re: Hello World from a family of dreamers

Greetings from San Francisco!
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Old 01-05-2014, 04:22   #10
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Re: Hello World from a family of dreamers

Quote:
My girls are pretty wicked at Minecraft so with some luck I'll setup a mobile Minecraft server and your kids (or you) can join in the fun with us.
Cheers,
David, Marlena, Kaci and Hayden Conger
I'm probably the only one here that knows what minecraft is
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Old 01-05-2014, 04:28   #11
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Re: Hello World from a family of dreamers

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I'm probably the only one here that knows what minecraft is
I wouldn't be so sure of that...
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Old 01-05-2014, 05:30   #12
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Re: Hello World from a family of dreamers

Welcome, and I hope the boat buying goes well.
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:50   #13
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Re: Hello World from a family of dreamers

Yes, welcome to CF to you and your family. It seems to me that your approach to pursuing your dream has been a good one - apart from research and courses, you have a years experience in your own 30 foot monohull and a week in a comparably sized cat. If your deal comes together, that should be sufficient to allow you safely cruise in the relatively protected waters of the Caribbean (outside of hurricane season!) and to continue with your learning curve.

One thing to consider is that your boat may not be ready to go cruising at the time of closing. If any significant refit is required, St. Martin is not the worst place to do it and, rather than rushing work and attempting to get out and down to at least Grenada in an untested boat before hurricane season, you may wish to consider getting the work done there while she is on the hard, and delaying your move aboard until November.

Anyway, good luck with your new offer and keep us posted!

Brad
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:21   #14
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Re: Hello World from a family of dreamers

It has been in the forums before. Not sure where the thread is now. Had to do a lot of my own foot work, but love our system. And can't beat the addition of AIS. It has top priority in electronics, as far as I'm concerned. I am a professional mariner on merchant ships and can tell you that your little radar reflector is useless. With AIS, you WILL be seen. Radar is nice, but a power hog and only guarantees you will see the other guy before he runs you over.
But I digress.
Is the boat US registered? If yes, the fit out could cost you in import duties when you get back to the US, not to mention the duty of US parts going into St Marten. You could always do a short cruise, prior to refit, back into US territory to avoid that. Or keep your boat outside the US for it's life. Fully doable if your cruising is extensive. St Thomas has reasonable access to supplies. Otherwise, to kill two birds, Curacao has extensive yard facilities, at least industrially, and is below the "hurricane line". Holiday Inn there also does a free spread for Americans for Thanksgiving, or used to.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:52   #15
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Re: Hello World from a family of dreamers

Hola, and welcome aboard from the south end of the left coast.
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