A lot of people have asked me: “A sailboat? Really? Nights and days on end, stuck together on a tiny, little boat? Annie, are you sure?” And, I can tell you, the best way to find out if you can spend hours cramped in a tiny space with someone without beginning to plot their slow, painful death, is to jump in the car and cover 1,200 miles in one weekend. That will tell you real quick. And tell us it did. Phillip and I, despite all odds, had a fantastic time. Road trip!!
We had three boats to look at in three days:
1. A 1990 Pacific Seacraft (same model as the “Mercedes” we had previously considered but ten years older and about half the price): St. Petersburg, FL.
2. A 1985 Hinterhoeller Niagra (Canadian built, a new one for us, but one our broker repeatedly said he had a “really good feeling about”): Punta Gorda, FL.
3. A 1989 Tayana 37 (recall this is the “tank with sails” builder and this boat reportedly had “all the bells and whistles”): Daytona Beach, FL.
It was going to be quite the haul (know that I debated saying “quite the hull” to really capitalize on a cheesy joke, but I decided to forego it):
We left on a Friday afternoon, right after my first visit to the knee doctor. Good news it was not a torn ACL like I thought (I had been down that road before with a gymnastic’s injury to the left knee in high school and knew what an ordeal that would be – not to mention, an appalling hindrance to my sailing endeavors!) but I did sprain just about every ligament in there, particularly my MCL.
My knee was filled with fluid and had a range of only about zero to thirty degrees. Yeah, exactly … not much. But, he drained that puppy and it felt like he sucked the spawn of Satan out of my knee. (Yes, through a syringe. Spawn are small. But, word to the wise, don’t ever Google “spawn of Satan” looking for an image … just don’t). Then he slapped a brace on me and sent me packing. So, Phillip and I, and the newly-engaged torture rack on my leg, hit the road.
We made it down to Ocala, Florida around 9:00 p.m. and stopped at Amrit Palace, a tucked-away little gem of an Indian restaurant (http://amritpalace.com/), to gorge on some incredible chicken tiki masala (recipe for the foodies out there: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/chicken-tikka-masala) and piles of soft, warm Naan bread. We finally made it to the hotel in St. Pete around 11:00 p.m. that night, exhausted from the trip but eager to get up the next day and poke around on some beautiful boats! The morning would begin with a visit to the 1990 Pacific Seacraft in St. Pete, with the Hinterhoeller in Punta Gorda slated for the afternoon. We crashed hard, without any meds, while visions of sailboats danced in our heads …