Fort Lauderdale, FL
This Catana catamaran called Mistral pulled in next to us at Lauderdale Marine Center. I caught the docklines for them and started chatting.
This was the first time the new owners had docked the boat having just purchased it. The husband and wife from Australia have been cruising for 17 years, most of it on a steel boat he made himself and later sold. He told us when they surveyed his 10+year old steel hull, they could not find any rust. Truly remarkable.
After the steel sailboat, they bought a canal boat in Europe and tooled around there until he got the ocean bug again. They sold the canal boat and have now switched from monohulls to this cat, which the wife reports has "a lot of things not working for a 10-year-old boat," including a broken $7K daggerboard snapped by the guy delivering the boat from South America.
They plan to spend a week doing some chores and are then setting off to spend next season in the Caribbean and then through the Panama Canal and back to Oz, as he calls Australia, as if they are taking a stroll to grandma's house.
He wants to get in some more ocean sailing before he's too old.
They flew in a few weeks ago with backpacks.
Bought a boat.
And off they go.