Yes, you read that right! A very lucky buyer is about to get one special boat! This news may come as a surprise to followers of this blog but you can believe us when we say this is good news and all four of us are really excited about it.
The Rover team has collectively decided to move on to new travel and boating adventures after three terrific seasons cruising and living aboard Rover. As our readers will recall, when we started this project we had extensive ambitions for worldwide cruising, including passages to Europe and the Pacific. Over the course of our three seasons aboard, however, we have learned a lot about what we do and don’t want both in boating and in travel. We found our experiences and desires evolved tremendously over the course of our adventures and they varied somewhat between the couples.
Lisa and I realized early in our first cruising season aboard that we are not ready to quit our jobs to cruise full time, which was the original plan for Rover. We are thriving professionally and enjoying our careers, so it was a real gut-check moment when we came closer and closer to our planned resignation dates, and when the time came we both realized we just couldn’t do it. What’s more it wasn’t just that we “weren’t ready yet” – we really didn’t know when we would be. So very early on in our first New England cruising season we found ourselves at a cross roads, but a more serious internal conflict about what do was averted by an unlikely external force: the COVID 19 pandemic.
As terrible as the COVID pandemic was on the broader stage, it turned out to have a real sliver lining for Lisa and me in the situation we found ourselves in: with our employers’ offices closed and work travel banned, we were able to live aboard Rover and work full time for months at a time while seeing new destinations – something we could not have done otherwise. Had the pandemic not struck, we would have had to commit either to our careers or to full-time cruising, which would have been a very difficult decision. That is why we were able to get in three full seasons of cruising 4-5 months at a time, exploring destinations ranging from Maine to the French West Indies. Now, however, both of our offices have opened back up and we are being asked to show up every so often in person (shudder, shudder!) and to be available for travel again. With the pandemic over, there is no way for Lisa and I to continue the live-and-work-aboard lifestyle while cruising. We simply need to scale back our cruising ambitions.
Brian and Paula’s experience over our three cruising seasons was different than ours but they are just as excited about what comes next for them. During our three seasons of cruising they thoroughly enjoyed seeing diverse destinations ranging from quaint New England towns, to the hiking trails of Acadia, to the mountains of Nevis. They are eager to keep exploring and to broaden their travel horizons. The next planned destination for the Rover team would have been a crossing to Europe to experience the UK and the Med. These locales had long been among the team’s major objectives since we started planning this whole adventure and Brian and Paula very much want to realize that dream. With Lisa’s and my plans changing they were faced with deferring their European ambitions or taking on Rover as a single couple for the ocean crossing and life aboard in Europe. Experience has taught all of us that maintaining a large live-aboard sailboat is a big commitment where the rewards of sailing are offered as compensation for the hours spent performing maintenance and repairs. The tradeoff between traveling by boat or by more conventional means comes down to whether a couple finds the greatest rewards in the sailing passages or in exploring the destinations along the route. The reality for Brian & Paula is that while they love sailing, exploration of a variety of travel destinations pays them the largest dividends. There are much easier ways to meet their travel goals than taking on a boat like Rover as a double handed team and bringing her across the Atlantic, then having to store her for long periods when they are compelled to leave the European region to meet visa requirements. For them it’s simply much better to hop between short-term B&B type rentals and simply charter a boat for shorter periods when they wish to cruise on the water. That approach will give them the best of both worlds: the ability to see a wide range of destinations, do some sailing when they want to, and easily be able to leave the Euro (Schengen) region for the periods required by their visas. And naturally once Lisa and I have bought our next boat the whole team will reconvene every so often for fun local cruises here in the States.
So what comes next for Rich & Lisa? We plan to begin shopping for our next Sabre (probably a 426!) in the near future. We are excited to downsize back to something better suited to shorter, coastal cruises near a home base like Annapolis, Newport, or Fort Lauderdale. Using our Sabre 42 as a Fort Lauderdale condo that we were able to cruise to the Bahamas, Miami and Ocean Reef, for example, was a terrific program for us and we think that type of balance between land and sea life is our sweet spot. And a boat that size is ideal to get me back into single handing, which is hands-down the most fun I have had in sailing so far.
So that’s our update – some lucky buyers are about to get a fantastic Hylas 54 that has had attention lavished on her! She is ready to simply cast off and go wherever her new owners desire. We have chosen to list her with a broker -stay tuned for contact information details!