After days of driving from Rhode Island in our heavily loaded rental minivan, full of 16 years of accumulated "treasures" from our life on the boat, we arrived at our house in Jacksonville on Sept. 29. We unloaded and reoriented for two days and then started the search for a car. We had planned to not spend much and to buy a used car, but one days of inspecting and driving so very good options at CarMac ended that plan. Harry has smoke induced asthma, and with a used car it is just not possible to be sure it has never been smoked in. So we started on the rounds of the worst pirates we have encountered in our complete circumnavigation. Sitting at a table with these car dealers--several of them at various dealerships--felt like being back in Egypt. Finally, in desperation, I clicked on a link for the car we wanted, a Toyota Rav4, at Coggin Toyota. There was a block for comments on the request a quote screen, so I wrote: "I want this car and will pay X$ for it, plus tax and title". Total time spent, 30 seconds. Two hours later, as we sat on the porch enjoying a drink, the Coggin Internet salesman emailed back they they agreed! The next day, we had our car. We did have to sit through 20 minutes or so of suggested "additional options", declining each, but overall it was great. And now we are almost regular Americans. Not quite though, since we think one car for two people is just fine.
Of course we knew we couldn't go cold turkey on boating. We were in agreement when we sold Cormorant that she wasn't the right boat for our future, and we were also in agreement very quickly about the boat that was. We looked at several boats on the trip down from Rhode Island, and then drove around here in Florida. The boat that feels right to us is the Grand Banks 32 from the mid-1980's, and we now have a purchase and sale agreement on one in Sarasota. If all goes well at the survey and sea trial, by mid Nov. She will be ours and will have a new name, "Bessie". More to come on this!
One week ago today I had my right hand operated on for severe arthritis at the base of the thumb (CMC) along with trigger thumb. My left one was done in 2005 in Nee Zealand and the right has gotten to the point that surgery is the only option for me to continue to be active. So this whole post is one finger typing--with the left hand. The hard cast goes on Friday for about a month, and then weeks of physiotherapy. It will all be a distant memory next year on the water.