Chris Draper · Cruising with kids · Sailing · Travel

Final Countdown

So in preparation for our boat survey we pimped the boat over 7 days. We fixed minor foibles-which anyone that has ever owned a boat know constantly exist. We packed up as much of our stuff as we could. We cleaned parts of our beloved boat that we never knew existed, washed, polished & used more vinegar spray than I ever want to see again.

Obviously a few days before our list grew. After a year on anchor our windlass connection decided to be dodgey & literally hours pre-survey when Chris was polishing the starboard push pit it broke! Law of sods & all.

We banished the kids from coming anywhere near the boat post clean. After a v sleepless pre survey night in the unusual surroundings of a marina, we were up at 445am finishing the last preening before the renowned surveyor arrived. If you are buying a boat this is the guy you want. Search & rescue dogs have nothing on what this guy can find! Needless to say we had a new list to get fixed pre-sale.

We headed up to Tobago Cays for Elvira’s birthday & a final hurrah before we step back onto land 11 days later. We took Gaia from “Entelechy” with us for the ride. Our first stop was a overnight catch up in Tyrell Bay with the pixie pirates of “Marie des Isles”. The kids were thrilled to discover Sol’s beloved boat base hidden in the mangroves.

Then we ventured onward through some current to Tobago Cays. That place never disappoints with its crystal clear waters. Fish & turtles are the only things littering the underwater scene. Our Spanish friends put on a feast to celebrate Elvira’s birthday before she ships out to the US of A.

Our old haunt of Frigate Island was where we moved onto next with Pablo and the Merlady Elvira of the deep. The anchorage was empty & so was the kite spot. Perfect day spent with a Harry body dragging, Gaia getting up & me finally making it back to where I wanted to go.

After some sad goodbyes to our Elvira & Pablo we caught back up with the Cornish Pixie pirates after dark in Ile Ronde. Early the next morning we shipped out with them & down for their first trip to Grenada and into relative safety for the rest of hurricane season.

Pulling up in st George’s some of us were ready to get our whine on for carnival. Another eye opening and slightly deafening afternoon for the kids. What I loved about carnival was every size/ shape of women giving it everything as they chipped and grinded through the streets. Whilst both kids saw a whole lot of butts & graphic dancing I hope that this underlying message wasn’t lost on them?!

Monday night mass was a whole lot of fun with Sam, Erin & Dave from Roam. Special thanks to our 15 and 10 year old local chaperones for helping us find our groove & showing us how it’s done! We & all of St. George’s was lit up for another heart pumping, bass driven dance off.

Suddenly it was time for our final sail as we prepared to sell the boat. Another pack up was upon us.

So the day of final clean passed & Chris & I slept in a walk around bed onboard a beautiful 52 ft cat. The kids were at another farewell sleepover with friends and we missed them a tonne. Out of the kids Harry was definitely found things hardest & was all of a funk as he anticipated the transition.

Anyone that’s moved frequently knows what a pain in the ass the last few days are. You think you’re done & another load of random seemingly insignificant items arrive & amount to another 23kg. It’s infuriating & slow but it does all happen in the end. I thought I’d be better at it by now, but I’m not!

Once again the boat has been cleaned & I was happy to eat off any surface of it. I reached the point you arrive at in every move…the one where you just need to go. I reached reset & had moved onto all the things that need to be organised in the Uk. There was little time for emotion in the frenetic last few days…..That was until some very dear cruising friends made the 21st c equivalent of a mix tape!! Cue balling from us all.

The boat sale with our US buyer definitely wasn’t as simple and quick as our broker purchase but thanks to two great lawyer we got there in the end. Hannah at Yachting lawyers & Sarah at Bentley’s we couldn’t have got through this private sale without you! Would I sell this way again- 100% if we are with the boat. I think the main pain has been the pack up & boat prep for survey- all things you’d have to do with a broker anyhow. Plus the 10% saving is pretty major for the relocation. Also the open dialogue with the buyer was great.

We took Kathleen on a test sail and showed her all the systems, nooks and crannies before handover. We wish her all the best on her new adventures on the newly named “My Grace”.

Final farewells were hard. There was a lot of rum involved in the last 2 months. We were very touched that around 30 people gathered at the dock to see us off.

We wrapped up this unforgettable chapter & we can’t wait to get stuck into the next one.

2 thoughts on “Final Countdown

  1. Thank you so much for your wonderful accounts of the sailing, location etc. I will miss the entertaining way you write.
    It’s now left for Chris and I to wish you all the very best I your next chapter of adventures. Good luck Kay and Chris xx


  2. Brilliant blog, beautiful honesty as always and forever with a witty heart. Hope this keeps going in another form now you’re back in Blighty. xx


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