Hello from the ocean, well not really, because we haven’t actually moved yet, but we’re almost there.
We are back with the next installment of the Alfie chronicles, bringing you episode 2 of our sailing journey. In this month’s episode, we travel to Antigua to meet Alfie in person and make the final decision to secure her as our future home.
After weeks upon weeks of sailboat shopping, and months upon months of scouring the interwebs, we finally found our girl. Except she wasn’t anywhere near us, she was in Antigua, a small island known for it’s beauty and rich sailing/yachting community.
Upon discovering her via an online listing, we then became entrenched in back and forth communication with the broker. The broker didn’t care too much for us as he probably thought two 29 year old kids weren’t the real deal. And I didn’t care too much for him as it was like pulling teeth to get updated photos or information. We began to grow weary of Alfie’s potential and also the hefty $3,000 travel expense it would cost us just to go see her.
Luckily….. we had a twist of fate experience that sealed the whole deal.
After seeing a similar boat to Alfie in Florida, we began to narrow our search to sailboats designed by the same naval architect, Bob Perry. This is how we found Alfie’s online listing in the first place….. we knew if it was designed by Bob, the boat would be built with integrity, comfortable, and have the traditional teak interior that Myers wanted so baldy.
In our hearts, we knew Alfie was a great option. But in our minds, the limited communication between us and the broker made us NERVOUS AF about an overseas purchase. And mind you, we couldn’t bring Alfie back to Florida because this would subject us to a 7% tax ($8750 to be exact), which wasn’t in the budget.
So what changed for us, what sealed the deal?
Enter: sailing dad Kevin (that’s what we named him).
In a desperate search to find more information about Alfie and her history, we stumbled upon a YouTube video of a guy who was sailboat shopping in Antigua, and whaddya know, he stepped aboard Alfie and filmed the whole damn thing.
Finally! Some recent footage of what Alfie really looks like.
Here’s where the plot thickens.
We comment on the video, he comments back, we send him a private message, he messages back, and by the next evening, Myers and him are entrenched in a three hour conversation talking all things boating and marine engineering.
Sailing dad Kevin had been traveling all over the world for two years in search of the right sailboat, and he just so happened to be in Antigua when Alfie went up for sale. Meaning, he had the unbiased information we needed. Luckily, he confirmed what our hearts were telling us and told us she was a solid purchase, and, and, and, he confirmed to the broker (who was still skeptical of us) that we were the real deal and had the cash to make the purchase.
Because of sailing dad Kevin, we booked our tickets to Antigua and flew there for the weekend to meet Alfie in person.
This is where today’s episode begins, at the Tampa airport.
Our trustworthy camera follows us from the airport to the docks of Nelson’s Dockyard and Falmouth Harbor, where we step into an alternate universe. Think mega yachts, super yachts, sailing yachts, crew in uniform…. it was like the show Below Deck, except in person.
It’s safe to say, we felt a teensy tiny bit out of place.
Nevertheless, we had an amazing three day weekend.
First stop, straight to the docks to meet Alfie and tear her apart. Myers went through her with a fine tooth comb, knowing all too well we couldn’t rely on a foreign surveyor. Thank gosh he’s an engineer, because my yoga and marketing background was of no help here. After opening every floorboard, staring into the electrical panel, turning on every pump, firing up the engine and generator, and quizzing the current owner with a barrage of questions, we felt satisfied to make a decision.
Mind you, this was three hours later.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t capture any footage of the meet and greet as the owner didn’t want us recording his home. That was a bummer, but also understood.
After seeing Alfie on a Friday afternoon, we had a day to spare before committing to the sale, and until we committed, we weren’t granted a sea trial. So we spent the next day meandering around Antigua, watching classic sailboats from 1920’s race in ridiculously windy conditions, walking the beach discussing our options, enjoying a few beers overlooking the anchorages, and of course…..
Talking to my mom repeatedly about what should we do. Thanks mom, I love you.
By late afternoon, we decided to go for it and contacted the broker to sign the contract. A couple thousand dollars were handed over, a large document was signed ten times over, and boom – we were headed for a sea trial tomorrow.
The camera then follows us to breakfast at a picturesque restaurant called Pillars (if ever in Antigua, go there), and then to our sea trial which happened to be in 20 – 25 knots of wind and 4 – 6 foot seas. It was no big deal. I wasn’t scared or seasick after eating eggs benedict. Nottttttt. I was dying inside, while Myers was having the time of his life.
….. which is still the case to this day, I’ve just learned to cope with it.
Anyway, let’s wrap this up, so you can finally watch.
In the morning we are sailing on Alfie, in the afternoon we are landing in Miami, and in the evening we are tucked back in bed wondering if we made the right decision.
What happens next isn’t captured on camera, so let me give you the cliff notes version:
- The boat gets hauled out for an inspection.
- The inspector gives her two thumbs up, but fails to report any of the big ass issues that become major problems for us.
- We wire over the most money we’ve ever had and might ever have.
- We now own Alfie, she’s part of the family.
- Our two friends, Carly and Mike, are also moving onto Alfie with us. They’ve now quit their jobs in Maine and moved back to Florida to prepare for departure.
- Last minute our plans change, and we haul Alfie out of the water to sit on the hard for 8 months while Myers finishes a large construction project.
- Both Irma and Maria (category 4 and 5 hurricanes) tear the Caribbean apart and just barely miss the island of Antigua and Alfie.
- Meanwhile, Carly and Mike decide to get married with six months to spare.
- We get kicked out of our rental home and move in with Myers’ mom.
- We begin the cumbersome task of either selling, donating, or shipping our stuff to Antigua.
And finally, episode three will be the day all four of us arrive in Antigua to start our sailing journey!
Okay. That about does it for this month. I believe it’s now time to hit that play button and watch what really happens. And if you made it to here, thank you. It means a lot to us and we love sharing this experience.
All our love,
Allie, Myers, and Alfie
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