Boat Buying Adventure-The Voyage- BVI to Panama
Over the course of the next month, Chris and Karen at BVI Yacht Sales coordinated inspections and paperwork. Trish, the Tasmanian Captain of Serendipity for the last 20 years, helped get repairs done. We continued to be incredibly impressed with the professionalism of the BVI Yacht Sales Crew. We were after all buying Serendipity sight unseen, transferring all of our money to people we had never met. Yet, I felt strangely comfortable and confident that they were stearing us in the right direction.
On April 28, I said goodbye to Brad and Ben as the began their journey. It was a 5 hour bus ride, a layover in Florida, Puerto Rico and finally arriving the next morning in Tortola, BVI. After everything Brad finally stepped foot on Serendipity. “She is lovely”, he called to tell me, “so much more than I could have hoped for”. I was incredibly jealous that Brad and Ben got to see her, sail her and was watching the kids.
Brad’s dad, Dave, flew in and a few days later another father and son team flew in, the Zalooms. Within three days after closing on Serendipity, Brad and crew were setting sail. They were about to head into the open water and sail over 1,000 miles to Panama, and that was just the first leg.
As expected the weather for the first couple of days was sunny and lovely, but as they headed further towards South America they hit one storm after another. I was watching their progress and checking the weather constantly. And as it would happen, they always seemed to have winds between 30-40 knots knocking them around. About six days into the trip Brad called me on the satellite phone, “I just want to tell you I love you and I am so grateful for the life we have”. Since he is not incredibly romantic, this kind of talk instead of making me flutter, made be nervous. “What going on honey? Is everything okay?”…..Wait first I said, “I love you too,”, at least I hope I did.
Turns out they had a water line break and it drained one of the water tanks. No big deal because there was three others. Except for one of our crew members (not mentioning any names cause we love him) forgot to fill up the other water tanks, after a long night partying at Willy T’s. So, 5 men were out in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, with no water. Not true, there was: water, water, everywhere, but not an ounce to drink.
They survived for the last couple of days rationing the 8 gallons of emergency water. They didn’t shower, they washed dishes in salt water and lived under the constant reminder that they were on the last drops of water. Dave was not too concerned because he had a full bottle of Scotch. But, they made it. They arrived to Colon, Panama at 2 am on Sunday morning, dry mouths, furry faces and smelling like ….well men who had been at sea for a week.