Catalina in Retrospect

January 4, 2010

We are back home now and the verdict is in. This vacation was a resounding success. Its likely that this was our best and favorite family vacation ever. We had some logistical issues, and some moments of frayed nerves, but that is to be expected. What really impresses me is how we all worked together to make sure that everyone could enjoy the trip.

Ruby was a total champ. When Vick and I were busy, she would entertain her brother down below. She devised a multitude of games, and when we finally bought a couple containers of Play-dough she would spend hours with him making pretend food and serving it up.

Miles was also amazingly capable of helping out. He wasn’t so psyched about having to wear his PFD or tether, but he loved driving the dingy and going on deck. Most impressive was how he managed deferring gratification. Often we were would be coming into port when he was most fragile. In spite of the odds he, more often than not, would abide us doing what needed to be done before having his own desires addressed.

Victoria and I came back with a list of concerns that will need to be addressed. Thankfully many of them will be addressed simply by waiting for the kids to get a little older. Time we have. I am so grateful that we had this opportunity to learn more about our families needs. I am confident that we are well equipped for the next stage of planning.

To round off the trip we spend most of yesterday looking at boats. The one we expected to love (Cheoy Lee Offshore 40) was beautiful, but was obviously going to require way too much maintenance. We decided to take a trip to the other end of the spectrum to see a Morgan North American 40. This boat has next to no external wood. It was built for speed and has a surprisingly open cabin. The boat we saw was very raw inside, and would need months of cosmetic work, but for some reason both Victoria and I were okay with that. We are waiting to get Bob Perry’s opinion on the Morgan before we pursue it further, but our excitement marks a shift in our priorities (away from aesthetic and towards performance and flexibility).

Stay tuned for boat hunting posts!


  1. Comment by Laura

    Laura January 4, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Have you considered a Morgan Out Island 41′? The layout is WAY nicer than the North America. Really, really comfortable inside, spacious, and I like the center cockpit a ton better than the rear one. Great for a live-aboard. Not the fastest boat in the world, but very comfy and well-designed. Also has a fairly shallow keel, so you can get into a lot more places than you can with other, similar boats.

    • Comment by Tucker Bradford

      Tucker Bradford January 4, 2010 at 10:51 am

      Hey Laura,
      Thanks for the comment. The Out Island was on our list for a while but we’ve been shy about it because of reports of poor down wind performance. The shoal keep which is so awesome for island cruising is not my first choice for blue water, but I’ve heard of people adding ballast to accommodate for it. Honestly, your comment has brought it back to my attention, and I’m going to poke around and see what kind of experiences blue water cruisers have had with them.
      Thanks again and Happy New Year!

  2. Comment by David Drazen

    David Drazen January 4, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Have you considered a submarine? No worries about getting caught out in 45′ seas.

  3. Comment by Tucker Bradford

    Tucker Bradford January 7, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Once again you cut right to the heart of the matter. Indeed a sub would provide the benefit of avoiding storms, but it might be a little claustrophobic. Also, I have heard that people who chose to spend time in subs must be clinically insane, I’m getting there just fine on my own thank you very much.

    On the other hand we would have plenty of storage and we might be able to duck the Immigration and Customs guys, thereby avoiding all sorts of port fees. Do you know anyone who could hook us up?

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