14 September 2007 | Emeryville, CA
The dinghy that came with Solstice was good enough for our adventures in the Pacific Northwest, but we knew we would need something better for our world travels. Interestingly, we didn't discuss this with each other, but we had both done our reading and come to the same conclusion. Even up north, our experience would have been different if we'd had a better dinghy and outboard. In fact, we only used the outboard twice. It was a pain to put it on the dinghy, and once it was there, the dinghy seemed unstable when we towed it. So our anchoring and exploring was limited by rowing range on the dinghy.
The sailing yacht Julia is berthed on the dock we're on. She just finished carrying her owners, Larry and Ken, around the world, and now they're selling things. When John told me that he thought we should buy their dinghy, I was surprised but pleased (and relieved to discover that he agreed we needed a better one). It was a lot of money for us, especially since the dinghy upgrade had never been in the budget, but it's a really nice dinghy and motor. And now it's ours.
Getting to know Larry and Ken has been the big bonus with the dinghy purchase. Larry has been busy for the last few days thinking of other things we might need and advising us on topics from theft prevention to insurance to converters to green bags. It's great to talk with someone who has already done what we're setting out to do, and Larry and Ken are lots of fun and good people.