Meeting the yacht for the very first time – Sea trials on the Oyster 56.
We arrived in Palma, Mallorca late afternoon. The broker from Oyster picked us up at the airport and took us directly to the boat.
During the car journey, I was quiet and Simon tried to make small chit-chat. Thankfully the transit was quick. Upon entering the marina, Simon nudged me and whispered, ‘there she is!’ Sim could pick an Oyster out from thousands of different makes. His brain is hardwired to spot them after so many years of admiration.
The broker showed us around and then left us to do our own thing. I walked around the deck first and then went down below. At first, I was afraid to touch anything but then I started opening cupboards and looking under floorboards. We would yell up to the broker, ‘Hey Jamie – are these tools staying with the boat?” and he’d respond, ‘Everything you see is everything you get.’
I was surprised to see all the cutlery, dishes, bedding, tools, spares, and DVD’s that the owner was leaving. I assumed we’d be buying just the boat. Simon and I kept looking at each other. We just didn’t know what to do with ourselves.
That’s when I realized I should have researched more about how to buy a yacht.
Neither Simon or I knew what to look for. We didn’t know what to ask. We were completely stunned. Before we knew it, the time had come to leave the boat and check into the hotel. Sim and I found our room, brushed our teeth, and then headed up to the top floor to have a drink. We needed to process the day’s events! Overlooking the Palma Cathedral we both sat across from each other with goofy grins.
That evening, we went to dinner, snuck into the marina, and sat by the boat staring at her in the moonlight with absolute admiration. Could it be? Could it be possible that we might actually call her ours? OMG
I’m not sure if we slept that night. In the morning we woke early, went out to find breakfast, and sat by the marina anticipating our next step – actually sailing the Oyster!
Time to slip the lines! OMG, OMG, OMG.
The moment finally arrived for us to take the boat out. Hubby seemed a bit quiet and I tried to make myself look helpful. The owners greeted us kindly and told us to make ourselves comfortable. We couldn’t help but feel like we were looking at a house for sale while the owners were there – there’s that awkward feeling.
For me, I felt quite at home within a few moments. On boats, women aren’t expected to take charge or do too much so I hid in the background. The owner, Phil, put Simon at the helm and had him take the boat out. We slipped the lines and off we went. Not long after I was actually at the helm while the guys put the mainsail up.
The mainsail filled with wind and we then let out the genoa.
Finally, the engine was turned off and we were gliding gracefully through the water. The grin on my face couldn’t have been any larger. After my helming stint, I went around the boat taking pictures and videos of us sailing. Watch the film I made about this day here: Sell Up and Sail Away Video – Sea Trails & Survey
I then settled in and started talking to Susie – Phil’s girlfriend. We had a great chat. I asked her about anchoring and whether she was nervous while sleeping under anchor and we chatted about finding food at the various harbors. I eventually started to discuss our dreams and plans and the reasons for our big adventure.
Quiet Kim was not on board – verbal diarrhea Kim was!
I just couldn’t stop talking and asking questions – I was so excited. Ironically, Simon was quiet and looked like he was lasered by a stun gun. No – he looked like a reindeer caught in the high beams of a car. Hehehe
We sailed around for a couple of hours and then went back into Palma harbor. The whole voyage was over in a blink of an eye. We were just so excited to finally be sailing the boat. Overall, it felt natural and normal. Every once in awhile I would think, “Oh-my-gosh – I’m going to be living on here. Yikes.” And then I’d bring myself back into the moment and listen to the waves.
I would tell myself, “Don’t think too much Kim…just listen to the waves.”
Susie mentioned that we’re getting the deal of the century and she wasn’t wrong. This same boat (but older) is selling for LOADS more. Yes – we know we’re getting a great deal. I explained to Susie that we didn’t haggle the price down because we wanted a deal…we had to haggle it down to afford it! Furthermore, we’re selling all our stuff to pay for the boat. I think it comforted her to know that we truly are on an adventure of a lifetime. We’re not some rich people looking for a little toy to play with.
Back to the marina already?
We moored up and before we knew it Simon and I were sitting at a lovely restaurant along the marina looking shellshocked. Simon couldn’t really talk or handle a conversation. He just didn’t know what to do with himself. We had a couple of beers and then walked along the harbor to take in the breathtakingly beautiful sites of Palma. Watch the video here: Sell Up and Sail Away Video – Sea Trails & Survey
Tomorrow is the survey where the boat will be hauled out of the water. The surveyor will go over her with a fine-tooth comb and we’ll find out if everything is okay within a few days. The boat looks like it’s in pristine condition so I don’t expect there to be any major issues. YIKES!!
Next Chapter: 14. Getting a yacht lifted out for a Marine Survey
Previous Chapter: 12. Hours before we meet our new yacht…our new home!
Or…if you’d like to carry on reading all about our journey from selling up and sailing away, you can purchase my book, ‘Changing Lifestyles – Trading the Rat Race in For A Sail Around The World,’