There are times you make decisions that you know will change the path of your life.
Our catamaran purchase is one of these big, scary decisions.
Why big and scary? We have made a big commitment to a particular way of life. A life of 6 months sailing and 6 months at home in Austrlia. I know it will have its challenges. We are taking a leap into the big unknown and having to let go of things in our life now to make it possible; the comfortable, safe familiar things.
A large part of what we’re have let go is our much-loved yacht; Samaya.
We bought her when we took a break from our then corporate life to cruise the east coast of Australia and the Whitsunday Islands. She has been with us on glorious, sunny days with dolphins playing off the bow and whales breaching in the distance: and has kept us safe during night passages and dark, frightening squalls. I’ll miss her and the memories that are part of her.
There are so many insecurities and uncertainties that come with this kind of decision. Can we really afford it? Should we scale back the dream and not make it too big? Will we like the new lifestyle? Are we buying the right boat? Do we really know what we’re doing? Coupled with the fact that we were going from the traditionally acceptable cruising boat (i.e. a monohull) yacht to a sailing catamaran; an unknown quantity to us.
We committed a lot of time to research. Endless You Tube videos, reading sailing articles, talking to people who had made similar choices and finally to sales people. We narrowed the catamaran brand choice down, made a choice and balanced our budget. Then came crunch time. We were in a position where we had to make a decision; buy, delay, not buy? The catamaran we had our heart set on was stretching our budget. Not buying meant giving up the dream of a life we had been talking about forever and would feel like a defeat ; that we are not brave enough.
When we considered delaying until later next year, we realised all that would achieve is us being “another year closer to the grave”. We’re not getting any younger. We had our hearts set on a new catamaran that was really stretching our budget and making the buying decision difficult to reconcile.
One morning, after a sleepless night, over breakfast, we made the call to the broker closed the deal. It felt like we had just jumped off a cliff. The decision was made. We had been told by someone who had been through the exact same process that the lead up to the final decision was the worst part, that it would be easier from this point on. In hindsight, I know he’s right.
The decision: a Fountaine Pajot Helia 44 (delivery in La Rochelle, France May 2018). In a future post, I’ll talk about why we specifically choose this catamaran and why we decided to push our budget to buy it.
Once the agonising research, negotiation and decision making process over, we were just plain excited. We kicked around names for the new boat and finally called her Wild Heart, as that reflected how we felt about the adventure: wild hearts with gypsy spirits. We researched possible cruising routes in the Mediterranean and looked forward to becoming sailing nomads.
Have you made a life changing decision? How did it feel for you?