On March 5, while anchored at a beautiful bay where Whangarei Harbour meets the South Pacific Ocean, as we were about to begin a sailing exploration of the islands and coastline of New Zealand's North Island, Eric and I made the decision to turn around instead, to take SCOOTS back up the harbor to her berth at the Town Basin Marina, and offer her for sale.
As mentioned in the previous post, we'd been considering moving to a catamaran for quite awhile, and had in early 2020 begun the first steps toward selling SCOOTS. When the pandemic hit, we changed our minds, deciding instead to enjoy living on our beautiful yacht, right where we were. It was a decision that we've been happy with, and it was the right thing to do.
Our decision to sell SCOOTS now was also the right thing to do. The time was right, the market was right, and Eric and I felt that we were ready to begin the process of moving toward our next adventure, which required us to hand SCOOTS over to another couple who would love her and appreciate her as much as we have.
On June 5, that couple steered SCOOTS out of the Town Basin Marina, and back down Whangarei Harbour, beginning the voyage to her new home, near Auckland, New Zealand. Eric and I couldn't bear to untie SCOOTS' lines when she left, so after we'd helped the new owners move their gear aboard, and answered their questions, we enlisted the help of several of our yachtie friends to toss off SCOOTS' lines and get her off to a good start. Which she did.
From the transom of our friends' catamaran, further along the dock, we waved goodbye to SCOOTS, to her new owners, and to a chapter in our lives, as they passed by. It was kind of surreal: This was the first time we'd ever seen SCOOTS underway when neither of us was aboard.
It was hard to say goodbye. Really hard. SCOOTS has been our partner in adventures for nearly nine years, an equal member of our sailing team. She took us to amazing places; gave us experiences that we'll never forget; introduced us to so many people, some of whom are now part of our family; allowed us to live our dreams. She was there when we began our nomadic life, and, quite literally, enabled it.
The past three months have been very busy and very emotional. Busy because we had to make sure SCOOTS looked her best, which, in addition to making sure she was spotless and shiny, included removing most of our belongings, so that she didn't look like anyone lived aboard. This necessitated our renting a storage unit, which required us to decide what things we thought we'd need in the next six months or so (which would stay with us), what we thought we'd want when we got to our next boat (which got boxed up), and what we didn't want at all (which were donated or tossed).
We'd expected that since we'd only kept a small fraction of our belongings when we moved aboard SCOOTS, there wouldn't be that many to deal with now. But we were wrong. Every time we opened another cubby or hidey-hole, we found more items to decide about. SCOOTS can hold a lot! Her waterline is noticeably higher now, and our storage unit is noticeably crowded.
Emotional because, well, duh. To help me (Vandy) process all my feelings, I looked through our photos from the past nine years, collecting some that captured good times, stunning seascapes, occasional animal visitors, or the comforting sight of SCOOTS anchored just offshore, waiting, as she always did, for us to return - all reminders of the time we spent together. I've created a movie from these photos, which you can find here: SCOOTS Movie
. (If you've spent time on SCOOTS, or with Eric and me during our cruising life, you just might see yourself in the movie.)
With SCOOTS on to new adventures, it's time that Eric and I did the same. We're excited about what the future holds. For now, during this phase that for lack of a better term I'm calling our "Transition" period, we're living just up the hill from the marina, in a granny unit generously offered by a couple of our friends (former cruisers whom we met in Mexico shortly before we all crossed the Pacific in 2016). From this home base, I can easily drive to the grassy lawn near the marina where I feed the birds every morning, and we'll continue to enjoy living in New Zealand. In six months, when our current visas are due to expire, we'll know our next move.
In the meantime, we'll keep a weather eye on listings for the type of catamaran we're looking to buy (a Leopard 48), in places we'd like to buy it (upwind from here: the Med, the East Coast of the US, the Caribbean...). And when we do find our next ride, and begin our new adventures, you can bet that I'll be sharing it all with you, writing about our new, ever-changing backyard.