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Land Ho! What Now!?!
September 8, 2010

Hello All!

We know many of you have been wondering where we are and what we’re doing, so we thought it was about time we checked in. We’re happy to report that all is well.

The big news is that we have sold Indigo Moon and are landlubbers once again! Cruisers call it “swallowing the anchor” when they step off their vessel for the last time and move ashore.

Indigo Moon sold on September 8, 2010, without any brokers involved and as a private party sale through our own singular efforts. It took just four days from the time the buyer saw it on the internet, flew to Ft. Lauderdale to see the boat, made a fair offer, and executed a purchase agreement.

For those of you who are interested, here are a few fast facts:

  • we showed the boat a total of eight times, one of which was to a prospect who flew in from a foreign country;
  • the boat was first advertised in February and it sold in early September, a little over six months later;
  • when we bought the boat in 2003, it had been on the market eight months with a major broker, so we did very well selling it ourselves;
  • we advertised through our Indigo Moon website, magazines like Cruising World and Latitudes & Attitudes, internet sites like sailboatlisitings.com, and I also produced and placed funky, homemade, yet very informative, videos on YouTube;
  • a major catamaran broker, Matthew Dunning at The MultiHull Company, offered very special deals to list the boat at reduced fees if we needed help, and those special offers and the personal interest in us is greatly appreciated;
  • a Manhattan broker, Miles Pincus at Atlantic Yachting, offered to list the boat on Yachtworld for a very low rate and we appreciated that offer too;
  • seventy-one (71) prospects/inquirers contacted us by phone or via e-mail over the six month period the boat was for sale, and we sincerely thank them for their interest;
  • five of those prospects were from three different foreign countries - the used catamaran market really is worldwide now;
  • the buyer had the vessel hauled out for an expert inspection (vessel survey) and the hulls were in perfect shape;
  • the surveyor also participated in the sea trial that went perfectly;
  • the expert surveyor wrote me after the sale: “It was a pleasure to be aboard your boat today. She is beautiful and all of your hard work and diligent care was evident everywhere I looked (and I tried to look everywhere).” During the survey he stated that the vessel is cleaner and nicer than many brand new Lagoon catamarans he’s inspected;
  • a certified Yanmar diesel engine mechanic completely inspected both engines, even pulling the fuel injectors and testing each cylinder’s compression, all of which was perfect, and he noted the engine rooms were the cleanest he had ever seen in a boat like mine.

The new owners are extremely nice folks and are very experienced live-aboard-cruisers. We’re confident that our “baby” is going to a loving home and into the arms of another fastidious and caring couple who will continue to protect her as we have. And that means a lot to us. We wish them Godspeed and good luck in their adventures.

We spent our last day aboard Indigo Moon delivering her to her new home up the New River in Ft. Lauderdale.

Indigo Moon at her new dock.

Officially homeless and living out of our car. After docking the boat for the last time, we drove to storage where we loaded up the car and then drove to Louisiana. We had a little more than we could fit in the car so our good friend Nick was nice enough to take what we couldn't haul.

Land Ho! What Now?

After six years of living on the boat and traveling almost 19,000 miles, we came full circle and found what we really wanted in the end was to move back to South Louisiana. We were homesick for our families, the people, culture, food and familiarity of it all. South Louisiana is home for us. Within two weeks of selling Indigo Moon, we had rented a newly built condo in Mandeville, Louisiana.

Luckily, we had quite a bit of furniture, artwork and personal things in storage so we didn’t have to set up house from scratch, but it was still quite a project to purchase drapes, rugs, couches, beds, electronics and washer and dryer.

Buddy working at our dining room table.

Melissa enjoys the LSU football game from the new love seat. We also have a matching sofa upon which she can now comfortably nap.

We absolutely love our new community and where we live. We’re in Old Mandeville, within walking distance of Lake Pontchartrain, the trailhead for a wonderful bike path, and many quaint restaurants. Several of our friends have sailboats here so we’re able to see them on the weekends.

Buddy has embarked on a new career as the Executive Director of the Louisiana Lawyer’s Assistance Program, Inc. (LAP), a non-profit corporation that serves the public, the profession, and members of the Bar and Judiciary by providing confidential assistance to those impaired by chemical dependency and/or mental illness.

The current Executive Director, Bill Leary, is retiring after pioneering the program and running it for the last 25 years. There is a plethora of information about our program online, and here is a link to our website for those of you who are interested: http://www.lsba.org/2007MemberServices/lap.asp?Menu=MS

The services we provide address a chronic, growing problem in our profession. In case you are not aware, a recent Johns Hopkins study revealed that out of 105 professions, lawyers suffer depression at the highest rate of all. Lawyers also suffer extremely high chemical dependency rates -- more than double the general population. And, predictably, lawyers experience significantly higher incidences of the ancillary devastation that results: lost careers, broken families, and suicide.

And while saving lives and assisting impaired lawyers is certainly one of the Lawyer’s Assistance Program’s main missions, one of our primary goals is also to help protect the public from the harm impaired lawyers and judges inflict upon the public. It has been determined that sixty to seventy percent of clients’ complaints against lawyers have some element of chemical dependency, depression, or other component of addiction or/or other mental illness.

Buddy cannot be more excited about this calling: “I am humbled by the opportunity, after being so astronomically fortunate in my own personal recovery from chemical dependency, to give back to my peers on this level. It is quite simply astounding.”

As for Melissa, she has been quite happy spending her days setting up housekeeping and getting acquainted with our new community. However, she is excited about resuming her career in information technology and marketing and plans to seek employment after the first of the year.

So, we are back on track with exciting opportunities on land.

On another note, many people ask what the transition back to land was like emotionally. Well, the coming back home part of cruising is much easier in every single way than the heading out and going cruising transition was, mostly because we were not facing any unknowns at all coming back.

So far, we are absolutely ebullient about enjoying the obscene comforts of a home on dry land. There is no way you will ever truly appreciate, and know for the very first time, just how amazing all these conveniences are until you go without them for a while in the Third World while living on a boat.

Here on land there is air conditioning and heat 24/7. There is no generator to start and service. There is a real refrigerator, stove, oven and even a dishwasher. There is a king-sized bed that you don’t get into by crawling over the footboard. You can take showers for as long as you want and as many times as you want without thinking about running out of water.

When I hear a thunderstorm bearing down on us in the middle of the night, instead of getting up and putting on foul weather gear to stand anchor watch or reefing sails at sea, all I do is smile, roll over and go back to sleep.

I can now open a closet where all my clothes are hanging there clean and fresh. Instead of hauling my clothes on foot up a mountain in sweltering heat to a laundromat, we can wash our clothes in our own washer and dryer in our own home at our convenience.

Many of you will send us consolation e-mails, expressing how sorry you are that we had to end our dream of cruising. No need to feel sorry for us though, as we are doing exactly what we want to be doing. When we moved aboard our boat, we expected to cruise for two to six years. We made a deal with one another that we would stop when it wasn’t fun anymore. About the time we got back to the States from the Caribbean (4 ½ years), we felt that we were about done and there wasn’t anywhere else we really want to cruise. Melissa was definitely ready to get back to the life she had left behind and I was ready to quit working on the boat full-time. We then spent the next year and a half cruising up the East Coast and in Ft. Lauderdale getting the boat ready to sell.

And we are not alone in our transition from boat life to land life. Ninety percent of our friends who were full-time cruisers in El Caribe and the East Coast have now sold their boats too and moved on from cruising. The average time out for the Caribbean Fleet we sailed with is five to seven years, and that seems to be the average, natural life span of cruising for many, many people.

We happily fall squarely in the middle of that demographic. As our cruising class of graduates moves on, we surely welcome those incoming freshmen heading out for their adventures and we wish them a fantastic, safe, and unforgettable adventure as good as ours or even better! The only advice to them is this: “don’t forget your toolbag!”

Now that this big transition is over, I will soon get going again on finishing the Indigo Moon web site with all of the remaining adventures we have yet to share. We’ll cover Key West next and then our travels up the U.S. East Coast.

So, stay tuned! There’s still more to come.

Update 02/24/13: We bought a home in Old Mandeville during the Summer of 2011. We have truly enjoyed being homeowners again. After purchasing the house, we set to work creating a new home for ourselves starting with painting the entire inside of the house and landscaping the front yard. It has been hard work, but fun and very rewarding. Next on the agenda is our very own tropical paradise in the backyard compete with a pool. Buddy still heads up the Lawyers Assistance Program and continually helps his brothers and sisters in the legal profession. Melissa started her own marketing, web design and graphic design business. She has a thriving career wherein she can work from home and sets her own hours. Life is Good!!!

Enjoying the holidays in our new home.

We got a new boat! Buddy takes the canoe for a dry run.

Pumped for the Saints game at Champions Square at the Superdome.

Melissa and Buddy Signature

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