To reiterate, I started a Go Fund Me Campaign…https://www.gofundme.com/one-more-good-adventure
It started off as an “I wonder what would happen if?” kind of thing. Little did I know how seriously some people were going to take the campaign. My VERY FIRST donation came from a reader of this blog. Tim, in Vermont wrote:
“Yours sounds like an appropriately hare-brained adventure to support. I have an O’Day Mariner 2+2 that I’d be willing to donate to the cause. The hull’s in good shape, but the sails are pretty shot. Yes, the O’Day is a sailboat, with a keel, no less. However, the folks at http://www.sailboatrichlands.com/ have a fairly detailed explanation of how they’ve been turning the Mariner into a lovely little low-powered cruiser. The boat is on a trailer which doesn’t look like much, but it tows well and all the lights work. Perhaps you could find a volunteer to tow it to Fla? Cheers and good luck.”
How amazing is that? Someone DONATED A BOAT!!!
The boat is located in northwestern Vermont, a bit of a hike from Boquerón, Chiriquí, Panamá. The donor has said he will keep the boat, under tarps, at his place until I can come up to get it ready. His suggestion is when things warm up a bit, like in May. I’m good with that. Having lived more than half my 74 years in the tropics cold weather and I aren’t too compatible.
The original idea is to drop the keel, fill the four bolt holes, put an outboard motor on the stern, and get towed to Minneapolis to begin the voyage. That’s been modified and I’ll be adding more miles on the water. Rather than getting towed from Vermont to Minneapolis I’m going to “splash” it in Lake Champlain at Burlington, Vermont and take the Champlain Canal south to where it joins the Erie Canal and hang a right and go all the way to Buffalo. I’ll haul out there and go to Minneapolis.
As a sidebar….When I was in the Navy I was stationed aboard the USS Lake Champlain CVS 39.
Also, back in ’74, on my first captain’s job, I brought a boat from Chicago to Ft. Lauderdale and did the Erie Canal from west to east. It was an enjoyable journey, especially the eastern two thirds, and I’ve often said I wouldn’t mind doing it again, but I never thought I’d have the opportunity. . .until now.
Slowly the Go Fund Me kitty is growing and is approaching what I’ll need to buy a used outboard motor to power the boat, which is named “Salsa.”
ALL contributions, no matter how small, are gratefully appreciated.