The Adventure Begins

Buying our boat and setting off

03 January 2018 | Chicago
05 December 2017 | Aruba
02 November 2017 | Chicago, IL
01 October 2017 | DuSable Harbor, Chicago

It's not the cold that gets ya...

03 January 2018 | Chicago
Capt. Bill
It's that time of year again! Against all logic and forethought, Chicago has its boat show in the coldest month of the year. Of course, being boaters, our insanity is well documented and we will, of course, be attending.

Since we made the decision to buy a sailboat, we've spent countless hours researching what makes sense for us. As some of you have read, we will be somewhere between 36' and 42'. Our preferred boat is a Catalina. The classic lines, being American made and the interior layouts make them very attractive boats. Add to that the inboard stays, which make going forward a pleasure, and you have a great boat.

But back to the show. Yes, Catalina will be there and we're really looking forward to seeing the new innovations. Not to mention getting to tour a few other boats we haven't yet seen. Of course, for myself, being a gigantic geek, the whole show should be toyland. I'm really keen to see some of the newer technologies.

Aruba 2017

05 December 2017 | Aruba
Captain Bill
As we continue our boat search, part of the process is to get familiar with places we may want to call 'home' in the Caribbean. The recent hurricanes that hit the Caribbean this year have proven that it's just not a good idea to summer the boat in the northern Caribbean. To that end, we took a much needed vacation to Aruba this last week. Having never been there, Candy and I were pleasantly surprised with this island! We stayed on Palm Beach and spent a wonderful week diving and relaxing as well as touring around to see what the island has to offer. The weather was fantastic and the diving rivaled the western Caribbean. Just loads of fish and things to see.

On a side note, if you go, contact Clive at Dive Aruba. He's a small, one man operation with excellent gear and a great energy. He only takes small groups out so no crowded dive boats and his prices are some of the best on island.

Now that we've visited, we can't wait to go back! We're also planning to visit Curacao and Bonaire as we look for a permanent home for the boat in the islands. As the ABCs don't get hit with big storms (or rarely do), we're looking at one of these charming islands as home base.

We've also created a YouTube channel to go with the blog. You can see it here: Sail Away YouTube Channel

All the best laid plans...

02 November 2017 | Chicago, IL
Captain Bill
Well, our initial plan was to have our boat up here in the lakes for the next 5-6 years as we develop our sailing skills and have a ton of fun. We would then sell the boat here and get our live aboard catamaran down in the Caribbean. That would be our 'forever' boat and we'd spend our retirement idling around the Caribbean with absolutely nothing to do hehe.

Of course, the recent storms that have ravaged the Caribbean have put a bit of a kink into that plan. Many of the cats that were available have taken severe damage and it'll be years before they are replenished. This is a double edged sword since there will be less inventory but the available boats, when we're ready, will be newer.

To hedge our bets, we've decided that it might be prudent to open up our search to include boats that we may be on for quite a while. This means that we're looking upwards of 42' vs. the original 36'-38'. There is a very good possibility that this boat may become our forever boat and go with us to the Caribbean. Not that this is an issue really but it will be a monohull vs. a cat. The marinas up here are not really geared towards handling cats. Slips aren't wide enough and even a double berth might not accommodate a boat that's 21' to 22' wide. C'est la vie as they say.

On a different note, we are heading to Aruba after Thanksgiving to experience the lower Caribbean. We're excited to see how the diving and the water is down there. The ABC islands are below the normal hurricane belt and are relatively safe from big storms. It'll give us a chance to look around the area a bit.

Now the new news. For those of you that have boats, I've written an app for Android called Boat Log. I know it's a really impressive title. While there are a lot of boat log apps in the store, none of them did everything I wanted so I wrote one. This app will handle all the information that you need as well as track your sails in real time!

You can check it out here: Boat Tracker

Last Days on Mystic

01 October 2017 | DuSable Harbor, Chicago
Captain Bill
This is our last time slot on Mystic in 2017. Mystic is a 42' Jeanneau DS 2007. She is a fractional lease through Pinnacle Yachts. It's a bit breezy tonight so we thought, better to stay in and grab some dinner out.

Let me explain....the Boss and I have had this fantasy about sailing around the Caribbean after we retire. A great idea but, we didn't know how to sail. Hence the lease on Mystic. She did her job. We are 100% committed to this lifestyle and we've decided to buy our own boat. We figured we'd have this lady for 5 to 6 years and then sell her. The recent hurricanes in the Caribbean have changed out thinking. Mystic has shown us how to sail and, more importantly, what we don't like in a sail boat.

We are currently looking at Catalinas as we really like the way they sail.

This blog will be dedicated to our purchacing process and, eventually, taking her to the Caribbean.

Stick around for updates!
Vessel Name: Candy Dish
Gallery Error: Unknown Album [1:]:40617
Candy Dish's Photos -