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We needed two days to motor sail up to Stuart, Florida, our intended destination and Fantasea’s home port.  We elected to sail north from Ft Lauderdale to Lake Worth (Palm Beach) on the ocean thinking that we may be helped with the northward traveling Gulf Stream.  We were likely not far enough out to take advantage of that 2-3 knot push.  When the wind was contrary to our direction of travel, we lowered the mainsail but not before noting that the 6 inch tear on the foot of the sail had become a 6 foot gash.  Another repair that we would need to make before Fantasea would be accepted for sale. 

The final day we took the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) north to Stuart.  Navigating the Port St Lucie inlet can be hazardous with shoals extending out into the cruising channel.  More bothersome than that was the innumerable power boats zipping at 25 knot speeds annoyingly close to our sloop making 6 knots.  The wake that these inconsiderate vessels create would keep us rocking for the next hour as we cut through their wake on the diagonal to mitigate the swells as well as the damage to our household contents inside the cabins.

The Harobrage Marina in Stuart, FL

We hailed the Harborage Marina where we had made reservations for a slip and were guided into the refuge.  Backing into the slip so that our power cord would reach the electrical terminal on the dock can be a challenge.  When motoring forward one must bring the vessel to a complete stop before backing up.  The period of time once the boat has come to a stop and then begins to make steerage way in reverse can be interminable though it may only be 15 seconds.  It can be an anxious few moments simply because the maneuverability of the boat is drastically reduced, especially nerve racking when in close proximity to other, very expensive, vessels in the anchorage.  But, with the practice of many such maneuvers over the past 12 months, we guided Fantasea to her final berth. 

The next week was spent getting Fantasea ready for her listing for sale.  It was amazing how much gear we had accumulated over the past year.  Much of it was left aboard yet we did ship back to our California home 5 boxes of household goods including the inflatable stand up paddle board that we had purchased 6 months ago at the Newport, Rhode Island boat show. 

We met with Bruce our yacht broker to review the specifications that would be placed in the marketing materials along with numerous photos.  In fact, Bruce was the broker who showed us Fantasea back in November 2018 when we undertook to purchase a boat for our East Coast sailing adventure.  Interestingly, while we saw many boats over the course of two months the year before, Fantasea was the very first boat we saw in the Dinner Key Marina in Miami.  We hired Suzanne and her crew to detail the boat and it took them an entire day to make Fantasea sparkle.  Now the bride was ready to present herself to possible suitors.

And then, all at once, as Frank Sinatra would sing, it was time to bid farewell to our seaborne home for the past 12 months.  As our eyes became misty, we laid a hand on Fantasea and thanked God that he had cared for us during our sojourn and brought us through so many tumultuous and yet gratifying episodes and prayed that the new owner would experience much joy and safe passage with this new vessel.

Offloading gear bound for home
Tossing the worn out deck shoes
Fantasea awaiting her suitors
Fantasea took us places we dreamed of

From Stuart we drove to Titusville, FL where we met up with Rick and Sue, recent transplants from our neighborhood, to see their new acquisition, a lovely Jenneau Sun Odyssey Deck Salon aptly named No Agenda.  Traveling back to St Augustine to stay overnight in their land home, we boarded a plane the next day bound for Atlanta where we would spend a few days with daughter Jessica’s family.  Then we flew back home to California, each of us with two checked large rolling duffles and a large on board suitcase, and arrived home on March 7. 

Will it fit on the plane?

Two days later, our broker called and informed us that a very attractive offer had been received for Fantasea!  There was some negotiation but, after considering how long it may take to sell her and the carrying costs each month in the marina, we accepted the offer.  The haulout and sea trial were quickly arranged and Fantasea was accepted with no adjustment in price and a minor repair.  We then awaited the arrival of funds and documents in good order and, on March 27, 3 weeks after first being listed, Fantasea had a new owner.

Now some called it fate, others luck, but we are convinced that God had blessed us with perfect timing on the sale of our boat.  With the coronavirus shutting down so much of the economy since mid-March one can imagine the lack of interest in buying a luxury yacht. Looking back, we realized the benefit of those exhausting sunrise to sunset days of cruising was to position Fantasea for the most opportune moment for her sale. We thank God for his provision for our safety throughout our 3,606 nautical miles over the past 370 days.