March 8-10, 2013 – Road Trip: Part One – The Drive!

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):

Map 2

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 (, to gorge on some incredible chicken tiki masala (recipe for the foodies out there: 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 …

March 3, 2013 – Knee Schmee, Let’s Ski!!

Phillip and I had a ski trip on the books for some time and the time came to hit the slopes while we were mulling over the decision to put in an offer on the Pacific Seacraft.  Phillip and I are now convinced that the best place to ponder a big purchase has to be the ski lift.  We spent a good bit of time in the blistery cold imagining ourselves laid out on the sunny deck of a sailboat.  Big Sky Montana it was and another first for me.  Skiing!  What an incredible feeling.  It felt kind of like my old inline roller skating days (minus the stone-washed jeans and a side ponytail) but completely different.

After a few lessons, I picked it up pretty quickly but unfortunately took a gnarly tumble on a big powder day and, sadly, did not have a yard sale (for those of you scratching your head right now:  And, just for fun:

Unfortunately, my skis stayed on and my knee took the brunt of it.  I heard an audible pop and she swelled up about the size of a cantaloupe.  But, thankfully, skiing was about the one thing that didn’t hurt her so I kept at it.  We spent 10 fantastic days in the mountains.

Pics from Phone 490

Phillip skied from the top of the summit (11,166 feet!) several times, once in an almost total white-out, claiming only 5 foot visibility.  After a few après ski drinks by the fire, though, that, of course (as all good stories do) evolved into “I could barely see my boots!” then “Not even my glove right in front of my face!”  Or so was the tale …

Pics from Phone 495

I played around on the greens, then graduated to blues and dabbled once or twice on some blacks before the week’s end.

Pics from Phone 483

We had a fantastic time and forgot, for just a moment, about our boat-buying endeavors.  Although an annual ski trip is now a must, we eventually had to head back and make a decision about this boat.  We returned to Pensacola, I called the orthopedic doc and told him I was busted, and Phillip called the hook-mouth broker and told him the Pacific Seacraft was probably outside our budget.  I was on the mend and we were still on the hunt.