When we decided we were going to do this, to buy a boat on the other side of the world and sail off into the sunset, we didn't really have any idea about the logistics of it all. We knew we didn't want to start in Australia for a few reasons. Firstly, we live in South Australia and to start from here would mean sailing in pretty notorious waters just to get to the east coast. Secondly, once we'd gone up the east coast of Australia we'd head to Asia, and we'd travelled Asia pretty extensively already and thirdly, after cruising Asia the next port of call is the Indian Ocean, and we didn't want to tackle that beast with our limited experience. Another reason was that starting in Australia just didn't give us that excited feeling we get when we plan our trips. We'd seen the east coast, we'd never been to the Caribbean!
The Caribbean wasn't actually our original choice of places to start, I really had my heart set on the Mediterranean. When I pictured us successfully achieving our goal, I pictured us sailing past Positano in Italy or Santorini in Greece. After consultation with our coaches, Behan and Jamie from Sailing Totem, they suggested that we start in the Caribbean if we only had two years and wanted to make it back to Australia. After that advice, the next 12 months were spent umming and arring, do we start in the Caribbean and have a chance of making it back to Oz one day (if that's what we decide to do) or do we start in the Med and finish in the Caribbean. It was a decision we struggled with until literally the moment we bought our boat.
Prior to buying our boat we had put in offers on three other boats. Two were in the Med and one was in the Caribbean. For various reasons, none of the other boats worked out (more on that in another post) but when I found our Moody in Grenada, despite having decided we were definitely following our heart and starting in the Med, we knew we couldn't turn her down. The crazy thing about our Moody was that she happened to be located 5 mins from where Jamie and Behan were anchored on their boat. These guys had been sailing around the world for 10 years and we happened to find a boat that was basically next door to them. I emailed Behan straight away and asked her what she thought and she wrote back right away saying there was no denying it, this boat looked very promising. They went and had a quick 1 hr look for us but Dave and I had decided, unless they come back saying "this boat is perfect, you need to buy this boat" we would continue to look for a boat in the Med.
Well you can probably guess what they came back with, yes the boat looked great and it was worth looking into more seriously. After lots of research we decided to make an offer and to our delight it was accepted! The only problem was, Jamie and Behan were leaving Grenada in a few days and we really wanted Jamie to inspect the boat as we had developed a relationship with these guys and we trusted their opinion. Plus, there was only one surveyor on the island and he was booked out for the next month. So thankfully we were able to organise for Jamie to do an inspection the day before they left the island. The inspection showed some issues (as I'm sure all surveys do) but nothing that prevented us from wanting to buy the boat. We decided we didn't see a need for Dave to fly over and see the boat. Firstly, what could he add that a professional couldn't and secondly, the Caribbean isn't cheap to fly to and that would eat up some of our savings. So once the survey was done and we'd decided we were definitely buying the boat, we had to transfer a large sum of money to a person on the other side of the world, who we'd never met, for a boat we'd never seen. It was very scary! Actually scary is an understatement!! Luckily the old owners are amazing people and we have had no reason to worry, except for the one time when he didn't return our emails for a few days! Boy were our minds racing! Anyway, it turns out they were super busy with their marine safety business as they were working on Bill Gates' boat which was in Grenada at the time, I guess his boat is probably worth slightly more than ours, so fair enough :)
So all in all, the critical element in our purchase was our coaches, without them the process would have been a whole lot more difficult and could have potentially cost us a lot more money! Lets hope we are happy with our boat when we see it for the first time in 6 weeks!