as i was about to say. i was walking down to the yacht broker & happened to notice the signboard of a charter company which i recognized from the internet when search for a boat on yachtworld. met a guy called robert who worked there and asked whether they still had boats available for sale. turns out they had a few, so we agreed to meet a little later. the yacht we were to look at was out on anchor in the bay so we rode out in his dinghy to take a look. when we arrived at the boat, it looked in fairly bad condition. it was filthy with barnacles and slime growing below the waterline, the trampoline was rotten and torn, the lazy bag on the sail was ripped and it smelt really bad inside. i wasn't that impressed. later we looked at a few other boats but i kept thinking back about the one we had just seen. the next day i went back to the kiriacoulis office and met iannis the main chap in the office who turned out to be a really likeable chap. we started to discuss the boat and he mentioned that the price was not negotiable but he could add a few things and do some work on it to make it more attractive. he asked me to look the boat over and see what needed to be done and then we would talk again. so we spent the day on the boat in the bay and i went over it thouroughly. listing all the things i could find that needed replacing; torn lazy bag, main sail needed minor repairs, broken trampoline, rusted oven, salt water pump on one engine leaking, salt water pump on other engine withbroken bearing and stripped fan belt, etc, etc...going back to iannis i showed him the list and he said no problem he could fix all these things. i was still umming about the price and he said 'look to sweeten the deal i will include 3 new solar panels and fix all the things that you mentioned.' he also said that we could move onto the boat immediately. that would save us huge on accomodation costs.
gotta log off now will continue soon.
i,m back. the main draw card for the boat was that the structure was sound, the rest can be replaced.most of the other boats we had looked at had worrying damage to the main hull structure, mostly below the waterline. so we took the bait and moved onto the boat immediately. it was quite a trick getting the boat from the anchor to the dock with only one engine a against a fairly stiff breeze.
with the boat 'PAPAGENA' tied to the kiriacoulis dock in the marina, we started the long a tedious business of getting it sorted out.
we still hadn't got the money from the sale of our house, but assured iannis that it would be coming soon.
iannis was great and started his side of the deal, taking the sails and lazy bag to the sailmakers, fixing the salt water pumps on the engines, he bought us a new stove and trampoline, the list continues and still we had handed over very little money, not even enough to charter the boat for a week.
then we got some bad news from our attorneys back in cape town; the transfer on our house would be delayed for anouther 2 weeks. and then 2 weeks more for a tax clearance, we could have our money in a month. they were kind enough to offer us a small advance to tide us over until then.
iannis was gracious enough but told us if he didn't recieve the money in the next two weeks he had people who wanted to charter the boat for 2 weeks and that he would have to put it back on the market in case someone else wanted it. needless to say i was pretty nervous especially seeing as the boat was now looking really good and the price was very reasonable.
to cut a long story shorter we did get the boat after an enjoyable but nervewrecking month in marin. they sold 4 of thier other boats in the same period and they gave the charter people one of thier other boats.
so finally we own 'papagena' our new home and were ready to set sail.
so i guess it's about 2 months since we left cape town. i think i should start from arriving in martinique. we had planed to take our time and explore the island a bit. on arriving at the airport near fort de france. we had decided to hire a car for a few days and head out to the east side of the island. so we get in the peugeot 206 with the 3 of us and 8 surfboards, luggage 2. took a wrong turn leaving the airport and ended up on the road south, not east as expected. plans change, i had heard that marin was in the south and thats where the yachts were so south it was. martinique is a pretty place and as we rounde the headland into marin we pulled the car over at a scenic spot and admired the view. tropical bliss.
we arrived in marin as it was getting dark and pulled up at the wharfs wher hundreds of boats are crammed in. asking around we were directed to an upmarket accomodation overlooking the bay 'residence des isles' i can recommend them to anybody. haven't been on holiday for ages so we decide to make the most of it. great flatlets with a n awsome swimming pool and a view across the whole bay and all the boats, you could pick one out from the balcony.
the next morning we walked down to the marina to take a look around. saw an awesome lavezzi catamaran at a decent price and were seriously considering making an offer right there and then. looking over the boat everthing was perfect even too much. clean and shiny with all the extra's and some. looking closer at the hull i noticed a few nasty looking cracks at the part where the hulls connect to the front cross beam, which in turn holds up the mast etc. it had already been fixed once and was looking fairly dodgy. so that was out.
carried on later.
to start with just a bit of background information.
having lived in cape town, south africa most of our lives we finally got it together to pursue our dreams of going cruising.
over the last few years we had built a beautiful house on the mountain in houtbay, cape town.
as we finnished it we put it on the market and after a few months it was sold.
so packing a very few of our most special belongings into a 1 cubic metre crate to be shipped to us at a later date, we set off with our backpacks and 8 surfboards (much to everyones amusement & concern).
our first flight took us to paris where we stayed in a lovely hotel near notre dame. we spent the afternoon walking, from the hotel, past notre dame along the seine to the louvre, then through the courtyard of the louvre and the tuilleries gardens to the pettit and grande palais. from there we walked to les invalides and on to the eiffel tower where we caught the lift up to the top. oscar and i ran back down the stairs while sonja caught the lift.
paris is a beautiful city, especially in the spring time with all the new leaves on the trees and flowers and blossoms everywhere. we were very lucky with the weather as it was warm enough to walk around in a t-shirt.
from the eiffel tower we caught the tube back to near our hotel and had dinner in a little restuarant in an area where the streets have been closed to vehicles, a great little area called st severin.
Leaving on the 25th, Heading to Martinique to pick up the boat.