Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Barraveigh For Sale

Changing of Vessels

When it came time to choose the name for this website I reasoned that the only constant would be the ship I was sailing. Crew would change, locations would change, I would change, but not the vehicle. Little did I know how wrong I would be.

People say you make your own luck, and I believe it to a point, however, if you want an example of standing in the right place at the right time, this is it:

I was at Bali Marina doing some work on the exterior of Barraveigh when I saw an unusual sailboat come into view. They were approaching the dock so I walked over to take a line and give them a hand. It wasn’t pure altruism; I was interested in getting a closer look at the poop deck and that davit deploying system for their tender. I shook a few hands and was asked if I would be around Bali and the marina for a few more months. When I answered in the affirmative it secured my dinner and drink invite for later that evening. We laughed, and swapped sailing stories. Gordon, the owner, asked me to come around the next day to talk about watching over his yacht Seacomber while she was at the marina in Bali.

From Bali To Singapore

I managed her care for 4 months and was then asked to help him move the boat to Singapore for a refit. Along the way, he asked if I would oversee the refit. The money he was offering was interesting and he sweetened the deal a few days later by proposing that I should become Seacomber’s full time captain and move aboard permanently.

1. I make Seacomber my home for the next 10 years and finish my circumnavigation on her.
2. I get a salary, the use of the boat when he and his wife are not aboard, and a sizable bonus when it’s all over.
3. Gordon gets consistency, a well maintained vessel and an adventure partner who is always ready to explore the unusual parts of the world.

The Betrayal

Now it’s time for me to announce my heartbreak – I need to sell Barraveigh. She saved my life and opened windows on the world that I never could have even imagined. She kept me warm, cooled me off, gave me shelter from the worst of the weather and will forever hold large real estate in my heart. We sailed more than halfway around the world together. This has honestly been one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made.

But she wasn’t built to sit on a mooring ball. She’s a lady with the spirit to voyage far and wide. If you, or anyone you know, are interested in owning a proven world cruiser with all the extras, she’s resting in paradise, just waiting for her next cohort in adventure. You don’t need to fight your way across the Pacific. You don’t need to set her up for ocean crossings. You don’t need to provision her with all the spare parts – I’ve already done all of these things for you. Just come to Bali and take the reins of a beautiful yacht and the mooring ball will even convey with the purchase. Please send your friends to and have them click on the right hand side where it says, "Barraveigh Yacht Spec".

A Few Words About Seacomber

Gordon built her 30 years ago in Cape Town, South Africa. She is based on a Bruce Roberts 55 design and tops out at 57 feet of length. She’s made of steel, with 3 headsails and a large main. The propulsion diesel is a Ford Lehman with 135 horsepower. That proved to be enough to push her through 10 foot seas and 25 knot winds on our nose, day after day on my recent trip from Singapore to Bali. Ya gotta love a steel, heavy displacement hull and a strong diesel engine.

She’s a “go-everywhere” boat with 3 freezers, a fridge, a 12kw genset, four solar panels, a water maker, a dive compressor, air conditioning, a washing machine with dryer, great nav gear and 3 autopilots, a couple of flat screen tvs, a real vice on a real tool bench with a real drill press (you need to be a long haul sailor to appreciate these last 3). And lastly, she even has a bread maker and an espresso machine. Do you hate me yet?

I’ll Give You Something To Hate

When I floated my plan to change boats to a subset of friends, only one said I would regret it. His point was simply this, “why be a slave to a job, and a master, and a system heavy boat, when you already fired your master, freed yourself from slavery and sailed off in your own boat?” All his points are very valid and the only answer I can honestly respond with is this; I am a whore.

I picked the lock, and walked right out of my own cell. I stamped my own release forms and slipped the dock lines for my own complete autonomy. I had it made. I have been preaching the benefits of choosing life over work for the last 5 years and now I have broken my own advice. Well sorta . . .

I Sleep At Night

Here’s why I can still look at myself in the mirror: I took a job doing what I would have done anyway and the pluses heavily outweigh the minuses. Yes – I lose some freedom, but I gain some too. Life, and the art of sailing, are balancing acts. Over my years on the sea, I’ve learned the meaning of compromise and patience. I think I can make this work to everyone’s betterment, but thank you Geoff for making me confront the devil in the decision.

And I Thought College Would Be The Highlight Of My Life

Ok – start drooling. Here are some photos of Seacomber, but don’t forget to help me sell Barraveigh by telling everyone you know, to tell everyone they know, about the little boat that could.

Captain Lucky!


Angie Dubis said...

It is the day before Thanksgiving here and I am thankful for you - Thankful for the courage you have shown, the adventures you have shared and the the spirit that drives you. I trust you to make the decisions that make sense to you and your goals at any given moment.

Bon Voyage Sweet Barraveigh, thank you for keeping our Captain Bobby safe, warm, feed, loved and inspired across the many waters you traveled together. May both of your journeys be filled with glory and may your paths cross again on the shores of some distant isle.

Congratulations on your new adventure Bobby. You know I love ya :)

cora carey said...

Bobby, I just don't know what to think - I am having trouble wrapping my brain around all this. If we were drinking beers with you right now, you'd get an earful. But we're not, and I trust you, smart man that you are. I wish you the best of luck and CONGRATS on this new chapter!! We'll get the boat sold right quick - just wait til that link makes the rounds. love you. Happy Thanksgiving!

SoberDave said...

Bob - you have great instincts about people and situations... you navigate life beautifully. You strike such a great balance between pragmatism and "go for it". So many admire you for modeling this. You are, as you always have, staying the broader course while modifying the shorter legs to insure you get there.

Love you brother!
And, happy birthday (in a few days!)


When you drive around Europe, you begin to see a pattern: Hard scrabble peasants colonized by the civilized Romans. From England to Spain, F...