In 1994, it all started with talk. We both had had a taste of living aboard from bareboat charter vacations on the French Rivera and in Greece and the British Virgin Islands. Talk became a dream and then an obsession. Before we knew it, a date three years down the line was set.
The search for a boat began. We traveled from Annapolis to Florida, wandering docks and talking to brokers. We didn't know what we wanted but knew what we didn't want. Finally about a month before leaving Nashville, our super broker John Warrington found Viking Rose. Within a week, he negotiated a price and set a date for survey, sea trial, and closing.
The day came. Immediately, our surveyor discovered Viking Rose had been hit by lighting, probably the afternoon before. Our surveyor assured us that even with every piece of electronics being fried, the boat was in above average condition. The first week of July, 1998, we accepted a price concession, completed the sea trail, paid and took possession of the boat on the hard at Salt Creek Marina.
On the seller's advice, we removed every piece of electronics from the boat. We were careful to take notes and mark every wire. All the parts were dropped off at a marine electronic service. We returned to Nashville to complete the house sale, say our good-byes, and sell or give away just about everything that wouldn't go on the boat.
We returned to the boat three weeks later. Staying at Bob's parents in Brooksville, Florida, we drove Joan's dad's Chevy pickup three hours to the boat and back daily. We did what it took to get the boat back in the water in three weeks. Working over ten hours a day, we learned as we went. Bob did the installing and Joan was on the road, searching for whatever it took to put Viking Rose back together again.
In August, the boat splashed back in the water and we found a slip where Bob completed the work . We provisioned the boat and prepared to leave.