By Pearl and David
As we noted in our blog page on 7-18-2017 (Ruminations on Plans), the decision to end our voyage here on Raiatea has not been an easy one, but seems the only reasonable path after David's unanticipated illness and recovery. The usual window for sailing across the South Pacific, bound on either end by cyclone season, is considered small by most sailors. Many take 2 or 3 years to make the trip. With almost 2 months taken out of that window, the distances involved and time remaining don't make sense, no matter how many times we turn it over in our minds. As is so often the nature of such decisions, many of those times have come in the middle of the night as we lay in our bunks, turning it over yet again in the darkness.
For various reasons, the next phase of our adventure is not one we're looking forward to. We've been through a lot with Minimus since first setting eyes on her almost two years ago. Not only did we put a lot of time, effort and care into getting her ready for the trip, but of course she's made so many unforgettable experiences possible for us. We say “she” because ever since we launched her, she's seemed to us like an animated 3rd member of the voyage. Given all we've put into her and experienced with her, it will be hard to see her go.
Our hope of course would be to find someone who appreciates her for what she is. The reality will no doubt be different. Selling a small, engineless boat equipped for offshore voyaging is almost never easy. No matter where in the world it is, the market for such a boat is exceedingly small.
On the positive side, Minimus was not far from being scrapped when we got her and now she's in one of the sailing centers of French Polynesia. At almost any time of any day half a dozen or more boats can be seen sailing across the lagoon or headed out through the pass to Huahine or Bora Bora.
Financially there's no question we won't be getting out of her what we put into her. Fortunately, we never expected to. Most of what we put into her wasn't so much financial, but an investment of time, thought and care. While some aspects of the fitting out were odious, such as removing old bottom paint and installing innumerable fasteners in tight confines, most of it involved opportunities to solve challenges, to create solutions, and thus were a source of joy that we have no intention of putting a monetary value on.
What may not be so obvious is a sort of paradox. On one hand, we're not particularly comfortable having a lot of possessions. That isn't intended to be a moral statement, it's just our nature. Owning things we're not using feels terribly burdensome to us. The burdensome feeling is compounded when there's not much of a demand for the possession and not much time in which to sell it. Both are in play now. So, we're motivated to sell her.
At the same time, we hate selling things. Some people love to sell things, but we're not them. Right now we wish we were. Further compounding the challenge of course is that we don't speak French.
Yesterday we checked with the only boatyard that hauls boats out of the water. We thought that maybe we could have Minimus hauled out and blocked up while we look for a buyer, but they don't have any room and there are already 6 boats on their waiting list. Meanwhile, here at the marina, the administrator is also anxious that arrangements for the disposition of our boat are made before we leave.
Last evening, in what appears to be a stroke of good fortune, we met and befriended Richard, a fellow a few years older than us from Canada. He sailed here in 2002 and was able to get French citizenship. He lives on his boat here in the marina and does electrical and other work on boats, so is well connected with the boating community on Raiatea. Not only does he speak fluent English and French, but has taken an interest in helping us to sell Minimus. We'll see what develops.
Also last evening a couple stopped by to see the boat, but they were looking for a live aboard, so it was clear that Minimus wouldn't be a good fit.
That's it for this post, but in the next one we'll talk about our plans post French Polynesia.