Whoever coined the concept that the 2 best days in the life of a sailor were the days he bought and sold his boat, wasn’t a cruiser. More probably, a racer getting ready to upgrade to his next rocket-ship, or someone itching to get out of a bad boat relationship. Most of those never took the BCA course on the Psychology of Cruising… No way could a cruiser think like that unless his boat harboured bad memories, or just plain bad karma. We are more in tune with Neil Sedaka’s hit: “Breaking Up is Hard to Do”. Over our 8-year ownership, our beloved Gosling proved to be reliable, safe and a pleasure to sail. Sure, she was a lot of work, but isn’t that a part of the definition of cruising? Selling her was one of the hardest things we have ever done, but in retrospect, it was the right thing to do.
It has been an 8-year love affair with an inanimate object that really has a personality, and loves to show it off, at times least expected. That was especially true after we departed San Diego, (where we bought and refitted her) in early 2008. Not having had the time for a renaming ceremony, we left and were immediately beset with a variety of problems that ceased completely after we held the ceremony a week later at Turtle Bay. It was like, presto, the behaviour switch had been activated and Gosling settled down.
We spent 5 seasons up and down the Baja and Riviera Nayarit/Costa Allegre Coasts, then decided to venture south to El Salvador. The following season, we sailed down the Central American Coast to Panama, through the Canal, and into the Caribbean, the San Blas Islands, and back through the Canal the following season, to Mexico. Time and family commitments prevented us from our original goal of crossing the Pacific, but we are satisfied with our adventures.
We have met hundreds of other cruisers, and I can assure you that they are the best of people. The more you participate in radio nets, dock and beach events, the odd crisis management (2 microbursts, 2 tsunamis and refloating a grounded cruiser) the more you appreciate the cruising community. There are some very talented (technically and artistically) people on those floating cottages, and the variety of life experiences makes for a very entertaining lifestyle that we will miss dearly.
I mentioned above that “the time was right”. Let me expand on that: we originally put Gosling up for sale, more on spec than anything else. We began with a UK broker, then switched to a local broker in San Carlos. Fran was beginning to tire of the long drives and leaving our home and family for so long. It took a while before we got any nibbles and that was OK by me, but then the near-ideal buyer came along. Virgil is a Scot, knows the quality of the Camper Nicholsons and wants to sail her back to Scotland in the next few years. His bid wasn’t as high as we had hoped, but after analyzing the alternatives, it became a better option. The alternative was to sail her back to BC; a hard sail and probably an expensive trip: taxes, duty (UK built boat), new heating system, replacing some of the systems we installed in 2008, and then repairing all those niggly little, non-essential things that had been overlooked for the past few years and needed more personal time and money, of course. The original engine (4-236 Perkins) is still working great, but will eventually need a rebuild and that is cheaper here in Mexico. Then there was the beneficial value of the $US. So, all in all it was a good time to part.
Will we sail again? Definitely, but back home in BC. We have so many unexplored (by us) shores to see and we have already begun our search for the “Ideal Cruiser”.
For a complete story of Gosling’s adventures check out Flights of the Gosling.