The month since my last blog post has been packed with change. I’ve held off writing this post until now because our plans for life after our sailing trip were uncertain and I wanted to wait until final decisions had been made before sharing them. Firstly, Dave and I decided to put Desolina up for sale. While she has been a amazing home to us for the past two years and we think she is an awesome boat, we don’t have any definite sailing plans for the immediate future.
The obvious next step would be to do an offshore sailing trip, but I have to be honest and say I’m not sure how enthusiastic I feel about doing long passages. We think it would also be prudent to get some experience crewing on someone else’s boat before we took on that huge responsibility for ourselves. Now having gained some experience of owning and living on a boat, we’ve also developed and refined our opinions about what we would want, and look for if we were to buy another boat in the future. While Desolina is a perfectly capable offshore cruiser, we’ve now got a list of features we’d look for in another boat. Of course no boat is perfect and you’re always going to have to make compromises, but I think owning Desolina has given us the opportunity to develop some opinions about what we think our perfect boat would look like.
|At the helm, Bay of Islands|
At any rate, it seemed sensible to put Desolina up for sale, since we have no immediate plans for her. Too many boats lay abandoned in marinas, with their owners only sailing them a handful of days per year and we didn’t want to be one of those owners. Not to mention the money we’d be haemorrhaging on maintenance and marina fees on a yacht we wouldn’t have the time to use when we’re back in full time employment. Funnily enough, living aboard in Wellington wasn’t on the top of my list of accommodation options for the coming year.
|Rainbow Falls, Kerikeri|
Amazingly, Desolina sold 38 days after first listing her! I think that must be some kind of record. Luckily the right person came along at the right time. It was bittersweet selling her; although we are happy to have sold her so quickly, it’s also sad to wave farewell to our first home. It’s nice to know she will be put to good use with her new owner though, who plans to take her cruising around the Pacific Islands. The timing of the sale also couldn’t have been better as we handed over ownership the day after we moved off the boat.
|Desolina in all her glory!|
Once we knew the sale was definitely going through, we took her out for one last farewell sail and night on anchor in the Bay of Islands. It was a wonderful last trip out on her. We had a beautiful sunset in a still anchorage all to ourselves (everyone else had already packed up because it was COLD!), a downwind sail to return to the marina with our spinnaker sail up, and a very brief ‘hello’ from some dolphins during the last hour of sailing before heading into the marina for the final time.
|Last night at anchor. It was certainly getting cold!|
|Final sunset from the boat|
We previously made a trip back down to Wellington at the start of May for a friend’s wedding, and to retrieve our car so we could move our personal belongings off Desolina. Since then, we’ve driven A LOT of miles, from Wellington up to the Bay of Islands to pack up the boat, and then driving all the way down south to Queenstown, where we are going to be living for the next 10 weeks over winter.
It’s a bit of a shock to the system coming from a long summer on the boat to full on snowy winter conditions in Queenstown. However it feels good to be back on the South Island and we’re ready to start the next chapter in our lives. I’ll let you know how life is going in Queenstown in the next post, but in the meantime I’ll leave you with some photos of our last few days sailing around the Bay of Islands.
|Panorama of our final anchorage, all to ourselves|