This blog is about a Passport 40 sailing vessel named Dream SeQueL, its owners, and their adventures with that wonderful boat.
Dream SeQueL was purchased in late July, 2005, by Jim Melton and Barbara Edelberg, neither of whom could remotely be called “sailors” at the time. In fact, until 2005, Jim had been aboard a sailboat only once and Barbara not at all! (Jim’s sole previous experience had been provided by his good friend Jim Gray, a well-known computer scientist who went missing at sea with his sailboat on 28 January 2007.)
We are both enthusiastic, experienced scuba divers (about which some information will eventually be found elsewhere in this blog), but we aren’t the world’s savviest investors. That means that we’ll have to be creative during retirement in order to be able to travel to dive sites in exotic — and not-so-exotic — locations around the world. In 2005, Jim had a bright idea: Why not trade off money for time, going more slowly and less expensively to those dive locations than by jet and liveaboard dive boat? Based on a few conversations with a sailing and business colleague of his, Mark Ashworth (proud owner of Black Magic), the naïve question “What size boat should I get if I want to sail all over the world?” Mark, in his innocent and helpful way, answered the question — in his opinion, 40′ (12 meters) would be about the smallest he’d want to sail across oceans.
With that one number fixed in his head, Jim started thinking about boats and doing some research. We also signed up for basic keelboat sailing lessons on the Great Salt Lake (did we mention that we live in Utah?) and joined the local Power and Sail Squadron (which has since gone out of existence). With a very few lessons under their belts, Jim stumbled across a 40′ sailboat on eBay. Yes, eBay! He contacted the seller, got a bunch of information about the boat (most of which he didn’t really understand), and started focusing his research on that boat…a Passport 40 built in 1982.
Our foolishness knowing few bounds, we scheduled a survey of the boat and traveled to Clearwater, Florida (near Tampa and St. Petersburg) to see the boat, be there during the survey, and talk to the seller. The survey came out very clean (of course, it didn’t hurt that we didn’t know anything about what questions to ask and that the surveyor was not terribly diligent) and we started negotiations with the seller. A few weeks later, we made an offer that the seller accepted and we became the proud, oh-so-ignorant owners of La Brisa, as she was then named.
You know the old saying that “a boat is a hole in the water into which one throws money”, or the one comparing sailing with standing in a shower tearing up $100 bills? We had no idea…no idea at all…about how true that is. We quickly learned (and are still learning) that purchasing a boat is, ummm, only the half of it. We didn’t realize that merely parking the boat was going to cost more than payments on a good car! Or that painting the bottom was a recurring and expensive requirement. Or how quickly brightwork can turn to a disaster if not carefully maintained. Or…well, you get the idea.
As the years pass, we learn more and more about our boat (and how truly lucky we were to have stumbled blindly into our purchase of it), about sailing, and about our own capabilities. We’re not sure where this — the boat or the adventure — will take us, but we’re sure we’re going to learn a lot along the way and have a ton of fun as well.