Goodbye #boatlife: Selling a boat in Mexico Part 1

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When Jason first mentioned selling our boat, Astrologer, a few months ago I took it with a grain of salt for a couple of reasons:

One, living in denial is a great temporary fix when you don’t want to deal with putting your boat/home on the market.

And two, a boat can be a hard sell.

I can think of at least two cruisers who listed their boats a year ago and haven’t gotten any hits.

I know this because when Jason and I returned to the boatyard in San Carlos, Mexico to relaunch our boat this season, we noticed our friends’ vessels rotting away in the storage lot next door.

So, secretly I kept my fingers crossed we wouldn’t get any bids.

Yeah, it would strain our wallets to keep paying for storage, but I had bigger plans. I dreamt of Astrologer as a vacation home. A place in Mexico I could visit for a week here and there to get away and write.

But as the sun dipped below the horizon on our last voyage, in the pit of my stomach, I knew this could be the end.

The final passage was thirty-six hours from Puerto Vallarta to Mazatlan, so we used the next day to stretch our legs by wandering the city.

At this point, I had semi-come-to-terms with the fact we were selling the boat, so my next survival instinct was to pack up immediately and get the heck out.

Any more downtime with Astrologer – hearing the dock lines creek with the ebb and flow of the tide, sitting in the galley and tracing the soft wood with my hand, the ease of popping on deck to watch a sunset on any given night – would only make matters worse.

In that spirit, Jason and I took the evening bus to San Carlos to fetch our van from the boatyard, stay a couple of nights to see friends, then return to Astrologer and move out.

I have to say it was comforting to be in the boatyard again; to see familiar faces and be surrounded by sailboats getting primped and prepped to launch at sea.

It was the feeling of new beginnings, excitement, and anticipation (the complete opposite emotional space I was currently in).

When friends asked if we had any offers yet, I’d lift my hands and shake my head as if to say, it probably won’t sell while secretly hoping it wouldn’t.

Two days later we returned to Astrologer, and I was ready to move out ASAP. Back and forth we’d walk from the dock to the parking lot; shoulders weighed down with bags and arms full of whatever we couldn’t shove into bags.

As I approached the boat from taking a load to the van, I noticed a man on the dock talking to Jason.

The stranger looked at Astrologer, pointing out various spots while Jason nodded in agreement.

Not wanting to interrupt them I neared, I smiled while scooting past to climb aboard and continue packing.

I went into the v-berth to fold clothes into square travel bags and shot a few side-glances out the port-light windows to see if the stranger was still there. There he was, still pointing and talking. And with no desire to eavesdrop, I traveled to the galley and began emptying food from the cabinets.

As if on cue, Jason popped in the cabin.

A knot appeared in my stomach which, five-seconds ago, was not there.

He informed me that the stranger’s name was Greg, and as Jason picked up a box of animals crackers, I leaned against the counter to brace myself for what was next.

“It’s crazy,” he said, throwing a gorilla cookie into his mouth.

“I think he’s interested in buying the boat.”

Want to see how it will end?! Flip to the next I Heart story here: Goodbye #boatlife, Part 2

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