First Day at SeaDavid
Steve and I arrived into St. Maarten on Wednesday, April 25th without any travel problems. Dave had moved onto the boat a week earlier and was there to greet us. Thursday we reviewed the boat and safety equipment, did a rigging check, changed a few things, and then went for a sail/motor. Friday we were scheduled to have some metal fabrication done by a company FKG. As is typical for the Caribbean we arrived and they were not expecting us, even after 3 e-mails verifying our arrival date and time. The workers never arrived until 2:00pm and where not able to finish the job completely. Dave and Stosh bought provisions while we waited and I cleared us out to go fishing that evening. Because FKG was so late to start, we missed the bridge opening and had to spend the night in the lagoon. It worked out as we were able to get a great meal and party with a whole group of yacht crew who were leaving for the Mediterranean.
It's Time To Go....David
Twenty years of dreaming and planning, two years of preparation work, and 5 days until we depart for St. Maarten. It is an odd feeling to be so close to this adventure starting. I've had many people ask me if I'm nervous and my reply is that there is a fine line between nervous and anxious. 70% anxious, 20% nervous, and I can't lie, 10% scared.
Palarran is a Fountaine Pajot Marquises 56' catamaran built in 2001 and commissioned the next year. It was built in La Rochelle, France and then sailed to Fort Lauderdale for final fit out. The previous owner was in the shipping business and spared no expense in customizing the boat. He then used the boat very lightly in the Caribbean, but mostly it sat in a slip waiting to be sailed.
In the BeginningDavid
It was quite the whirlwind buying Palarran. My friend Brian and I flew down to St. Maarten for the sea trial and survey two weeks after my first visit. Our plane was canceled in Miami so we missed the sea trial, which is a short sail and testing of the mechanical systems. Then the boat was hauled out of the water and inspected. I had agreed to purchase Palarran on a "as is, where is" basis, so the only thing the survey would tell me was to walk or not. No deal breakers where found so we closed the sale about 5 weeks after my initial visit, which is lightning fast for boat transactions.
Not All Who Wander Are LostDavid
Growing up on the shores of Lake Michigan led me to have an early infatuation with boating. As a young boy, I remember going down to the nearby marina to walk the docks and admire the many boats. Back then there was an active commercial fishing fleet and some very classic old sailboats. My father bought a 15' Venture Catamaran when I was 13 and my friends and I would sail or paddle it around the shores of Lake Michigan every day during the summer. When I was in my 30's I bought an 18' Sol-Cat, then a 20' high performance Hobie Cat Miracle. After a while though the desire to have more people on board, not get wet, and go further in less time led to me switching from sail to power boating. We have spent many great days running all around and even across Lake Michigan enjoying the beautiful shoreline.
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