Tuesday, November 11, 2014

35’ Catamaran “Irie” For Sale

Our Trusty Sailboat and Lovely Floating Home “Irie” is up for Sale

In the spring of 2007, Mark, Kali, Darwin and I were looking for a suitable and affordable catamaran to live on, and sail to the Bahamas with. We found Irie – then called “Big trouble” – in the Annapolis area, Maryland, thanks to our broker turned friend Tommy Smith, and in June she was ours. We immediately moved aboard (we had been living in a tent and out of a car for a few months up to that point), turned the 35’ sailboat into a cruising catamaran and prepared her to leave the area – which happened in October 2007 when we started our trip down the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) to Florida. That was exactly 7 years ago!

Right after all my Green Card procedures were finished, we eventually left the country the end of January 2008 for what would turn into a voyage much more interesting, exciting, and extensive than we ever anticipated. This is how Mark and I work, though, we have a thought, implement it, and “see what happens”, just like when we were going to visit Mexico by camper, and ended up driving all the way to Panama and back. As long as we are enjoying what we are doing and it keeps us entertained, captured and challenged, why stop? So, we reached the Bahamas, and around the first hurricane season, when it was time to make some commitments or to return, we decided to continue on, and never looked back.

The Turks and Caicos, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico followed. Saddened by the loss of our beloved dog Kali, we entered the “real Caribbean”: the US and British Virgin Islands. Then, we discovered the Eastern Caribbean, where we sailed up and down the island chain for three years, spending the cruising season in St. Maarten/St. Martin to work and the hurricane season in Grenada, to work and “play” and haul Irie out of the water for annual maintenance. In 2009 a big change happened in our lives when Mark and I invented the Wirie, a long range Wifi product for boats and RVs, and turned it into a real venture. Cruising would never be the same anymore with this new responsibility and commitment.

In the winter of 2010, during a stay in the United States for family reasons, our other amazing dog Darwin passed away. Our family was reducing, but the burden of cruising – in combination with running a business and trying to make money to maintain our frugal lifestyle – only increased. In 2012, we decided to take it a bit easier and enjoy the cruising lifestyle again for what it was: we sailed west and spent almost a whole year in the wonderful paradise of the San Blas islands in Panama. Being so close to the Panama Canal and to the “other side”, another big decision had to be made: should we stay in the Caribbean or should we go?  Always in for a new adventure… we went!

Little, but strong and dependable Irie entered the Pacific Ocean and conquered it with flying colors. The sail to the Galapagos Islands was a pleasant experience (to say nothing of the intriguing islands themselves!); the 21-day voyage from there to French Polynesia was a bit more harrowing. But, while other cruising boats broke rigging, ripped sails or lost rudders, Irie arrived unscathed in the Gambier Islands. Thanks to vigilant weather observations and careful anticipation and planning, all the other sail trips in the Pacific have been relatively uneventful and benign. A year and a half later, Mark and I are still enjoying the islands of French Polynesia, a beautiful, interesting and expansive cruising ground…

You can call it “the seven year itch”, or you can call it something else, but living on a small sailboat for over 7 (!) years is a long time. Taking showers in the ocean, being careful with fresh water and electricity, having many boat life related chores turn into a half a day of work, constantly chasing the internet, combining our “professional” lives with living afloat in a remote area, keeping up with the boat fix-it list, being weather dependent for every decision… is tiresome and frustrating at times. Don’t get me wrong: we really LOVE the cruising lifestyle and we still soak up every colorful sunset, snorkel on the reefs, hike in nature, wildlife experience, new place, adventure or culture, or like to just sit still and take in the scenery whether it is the bright starry night or the “out of this world” beautiful anchorage. But, it is time for something different, another kind of adventure, whatever it might be.

So, our Irie is officially on the market and awaiting new owners to have a blast with and on her, and to enjoy, appreciate and love her as much as we do. Until then, we will be savoring our last moments with her in the diverse and wonderful Society Islands – perfect cruising grounds. And, who knows, maybe we will still make it all the way to Fiji next year!

For a full listing, many pictures, and everything you possibly want to know about our 35’ Fountaine Pajot Tobago check out our for sale website www.catamaran-for-sale.com and contact us with any inquiries. Or, if any potential buyer prefers to work through a broker, we have Irie listed with Béatrice of Raiatea Yacht as well: http://www.raiatea-yacht.com/index.php?page=tobago_35

Apataki boatyard last March

From the top of the mast, San Blas islands

Downwind sailing; a pleasure with the spinnaker


dmmbruce said...

Thanks again for the blog. However, what a surprise!
I hope you will say why you have made the decision now at some point in the future when it suits you to do so.
I find it mildly surprising that you put her up for sale in the most remote place you could find :-). Fiji, New Caledonia or beyond would have seemed (from here) to be better for selling.

Anyway, all the best with it. I hope you will continue blogging no matter what.
Best wishes


Liesbet said...

Hello Mike,

Thanks for the comment.

I thought I did explain why we are putting Irie up for sale now, or at least, I tried to do so. :-) In short: after all these years, we are ready for something different, and a less tiring/challenging way of life, albeit still an adventurous one, but one that is not weather dependent or boat focused. It is hard to point out the less glorious aspects of the cruising life on a blog, and keep pointing them out, since people mostly like to read the fun and interesting stuff. And, our "problem" is that we have way more (stress) going on in our lives than the usual cruiser and that is hard to combine with owning and taking care of a boat, running all the daily errands, and so on.

Our initial plan was to sail all the way to Fiji and try to sell Irie there to a NZ or OZ audience and we might still do this, but the Raiatea broker has lots of contacts in New Caledonia, and this year they have changed the rules very positively in regards to selling and importing sailboats in French Polynesia.

And yes, I will definitely keep blogging! The way we have chosen to live our lives - gypsies by sea or otherwise - will always provide enough entertainment and stories, I expect! I hope I can keep your interest. :-)