Casa Creer
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Believe

For 20 years, we've held the goal of cruising on a sailboat when we retired. In June, 2005, our plan was coming together and it looked like we could move onto a boat and become cruising live-aboards in the spring of 2007. One night, while crunching the numbers that would make all that possible, we wondered, “What’s the financial impact of getting the boat and moving aboard in ’06 instead?” As it turned out, not much.

Plans were revamped, schedules reorganized, priorities rearranged, and we stepped up the quest for The Right Boat. Living in Annapolis was an ENORMOUS advantage – there are boat shows, broker open houses, and used boats galore all over the area, year-round.

At a spring ’05 boat show, we looked at many makes and types of boats, including the Gemini catamaran. We’d been leaning in the cat direction for quite some time (heeling pun!), had seen the Gem at boat shows in the past, but hadn’t fallen in love with it. But when we went to the factory for the show and met Sue & Tony Smith (Performance Cruising, a family-run business, makes the Gemini catamaran right here in Annapolis – the only production boat builder in Maryland, and they’re just a water taxi ride away from our shop!) and hung out on the model boat for several hours, it just kept looking better and better.

One of the key advantages for us is that the Gemini will fit in a standard slip – most cats are too wide, so finding a spot in a marina is 1) difficult, and 2) expensive. Since Mike plans to continue some consulting work while we cruise, we needed an easy way to get Cheri comfortably situated during Mike’s trips – schlepping to shore in the dinghy is part of the adventure, but it sure would be easier to visit local cheese shops if all Cheri had to do was step onto a dock and find her way into whatever town we were in at the moment! So we spent an entire afternoon at the Gemini factory, then returned the next day to look at the model boat again and ask Sue and Tony yet another battery of questions.

The plan was still to buy the boat in spring ’06, begin moving aboard, sell the business and the house, and then (in the fall) take off.

But then we asked an innocent question: “Will there be a price increase at the Annapolis Sailboat Show this fall?”

“Yes, there will,” Sue replied. “Many of the materials used in boat construction are petroleum-based, and we all know what’s been happening to gas prices…”

“Could we order a boat now and take delivery in the spring?”

“Nope. If you order a boat now, you get the boat now.”

Hmmm. We went away to think for a while, and a few days later received an email from Sue. Someone had fallen out of the production schedule, and if we took their spot, they’d make us a deal. Hmmm. With the money we’d save by combining the upcoming price increase with the deal PCI would give us for taking this immediate production slot, we could more than pay for a slip for the boat for an extra year. Hmmm.

The scramble began: could we find a slip for the boat mid-summer in Annapolis? (Having a “skinny cat” helped our odds.) What could we sell in order to have money to buy the boat early? Our rental property in the Pacific Northwest went on the market immediately, and we began hosting garage sales on the weekends. EBay became our close friend, as we found buyers for more of our, shall we say, “niche” items.

Miraculously, everything came together (money, schedule, real estate, marina) and on July 23, 2005, we became the delighted owners of Believe.

Previously, we have had the opportunity to travel quite a bit. We'd love to compare stories about travelling with you, so please take a look at our Previous Travels web page.





Ecuador

In 2011 we decided to escape from Marathon's heat, hurricanes and bugs so we researched and decided to travel during the summer. Michael saw a Yahoo article on economical places to retire and we decided to try Cuenca for 3 month. It worked great so we did 6 months in 2012 during which time we decided to move to Cuenca. we sold the boat in November of 2012, moved into an apartment and started making preparations. See Believe Logs 2011 and 2012 for more details.

We shipped a 20' container and moved in May of 2013. In November of 2012 we selected an apartment to rent that needed a lot of work. It wasn't ready when we arrived in May and we didn't move in until the day after Thanksgiving 2013.





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