The End of an Era

After a very welcome week’s R & R with the family, it was time to knuckle down and get Toucan ready for sale.  Eight years ago in Annapolis, USA, it took us almost 5 months to refit her for long-distance cruising.  This time, it took 2 whole months working every day to get her spruced up and ready to go again.  It wasn’t that we’d neglected her by any means – it was just astonishing how much ‘stuff’ we’d accumulated living on board for 8 years!

We filled the skip bins at the marina twice over with all the ‘just in case’ stuff – much of it was spare parts and tools that had gone rusty in the tropical heat when we’d had to leave her unattended for 9 months during Covid. Over 8 years it’s amazing how easy it is for bits and pieces to creep aboard undetected. We stared in amazement as the waterline rose and rose as we emptied her – we probably gained a good 3″. It’s a credit to her that she still managed to sail well despite all that extra weight.  I got to work making a new mainsail bag and sunshades for the saloon windows, while Bruce and Sally’s dad, Chris, worked on restoring some of the interior woodwork.  Then we scrubbed and cleaned and polished her from top to bottom until she gleamed.

Chris did a great job of restoring some of our timber work
We hardly recognised her without all our clutter
So many happy memories of entertaining in this cockpit

Even though we were selling, we needed to get an out-of-water insurance survey for our new policy, which also gave us an opportunity to re-do the bottom paint and detail the hulls.  There aren’t too many haul-out options for cats in Cairns.  The Big Boatyard was ridiculously expensive, and the woman running the show was not the least helpful, so we opted to go to Ben Mumby’s Cairns Boat Yard on the other side of the inlet.  Not only were his prices much more reasonable, but Ben himself was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. The only downside were the swarms of ferocious midges that attacked every inch of our exposed skin.  Ben recommended “Shoo” insect repellant but it seemed to do nothing for us, so we ended up covering up from head and toe, using Bushman’s 80% Deet and taking antihistamines to reduce the terrible itching.  

But by the end of the week, Toucan was looking very sharp with her new bottom paint and prop-speed, fancy boat stripes, and shiny hulls.  

complete with new mainsail bag and fender covers, she’s ready for her new owners

As luck would have it, our berth at Bluewater Marina was next door to a motorboat owned by a local boat broker, Mark Cash of Sonar Marine.  We got on very well with Mark and decided to list Toucan with him.  He did a great job – in less than 24 hrs we had an offer for the full price, and 24 other people clamouring to buy her! 

Her new owners, Mark and Jan, are a lovely couple from Melbourne who’re keen to give her the upgrades she needs, such as a hard dodger and new engines/saildrives, and are very excited about their adventures ahead.  We got the chance to catch up with them a couple of times to take them out for a sail and do a handover, so we know she’ll be well-looked-after and it’s made the letting go just that little bit easier…

Happy new owners, Mark and Jan

There’s a saying that goes “the two best days of owning a boat are the day you buy it and the day you sell it”. But for us, (OK , maybe with a few exceptions!) we’ve enjoyed every moment of our cruising life.

And even though it’s a choice we’ve made, it’s still been incredibly hard to say goodbye to Toucan and the cruising lifestyle we’ve loved so much, and we confess there’s definitely been a few tears shed. Since we set off in 2014, we’ve traveled roughly 30,000 NM from the East coast of the USA to Indonesia, visiting a total of 35 countries along the way. We’ve met wonderful, friendly, and generous people wherever we’ve been, we’ve learnt so much about other cultures and lifestyles, and most importantly we’ve made lifelong friends.  Toucan has given us the ability to visit some of the most beautiful and remote places in the world.  She’s always looked after us and kept us safe, even when the going got tough.  She’s allowed us to fulfil so many dreams, and I hope she makes her new owners as happy as she’s made us….

Fair winds to Toucan and her new crew – may your adventures be many and your worries be few.

Meanwhile, there’s plenty of adventures ahead to keep us busy on Dayang Island in Raja Ampat. We’re heading back at the end of September and I’m sure the blog will continue, albeit in a slightly different format to reflect our land-based status.  Our next challenge is to decide on a name for our new island home. Everyone’s been involved. Debora, Hans’s wife, drew us a wonderful sketch of our new development. I thought “Toucan’s Retreat” sounded classy, but  to my dismay, Bruce slipped in the phrase “Camp Toucan” and now the family are shamelessly egging him on, suggesting we have “I Survived Camp Toucan” T-shirts.  I think I’m losing this argument – help!!

8 Replies to “The End of an Era”

  1. Congratulations Di and Bruce- here’s to the end of one huge and wonderful adventure and to the start of another exciting one at Camp Toucan (I’m afraid that this one will stick and your suggestion was the classy one). x

  2. Mark and I are so in love with Toucan and can not wait for our new and exciting adventures to start. We will look after her Di, she has certainly made her new owners (and family) very happy. We couldnt have bought a cat off two nicer people. Exciting new adventures for all of us. Jan 🙂

    1. So happy for you both, I know you’ll have wonderful times with her and we wish you all the best. Stay in touch – we’d love to see the new hard dodger! xx

  3. I weep with you and cheer with you. The transition is brutal but you have a great new adventure ahead of you, one you’ll carry off with the same aplomb that brought you those 30,000 miles. As for the name? I’m with Bruce. Camp Toucan is perfect. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. ❤️ Can’t wait to see the rate card and booking schedule.

    1. hahaha – well, the rate has now doubled!!! Seriously, you know you’re very welcome whenever you can make it. The sooner the better xx

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