Written by JFA Yacht & Ship Consultant John Hodgson
It was a book about mangoes, The Embarrassment of Mangoes, to be precise, that led my wife Belinda and I out of the proverbial rat race and into a dialogue with Mother Nature on a daily basis. We must have read that book 10 times and had countless discussions about how people turn their lives from raising children, having busy careers, houses, and responsibilities, to one day living on a boat. We eventually made that dream a reality which my wife so beautifully captures below, as the talented storyteller she is:
That fabulous novel “The Embarrassment of Mangoes,” two beautiful sunset sails upon our friend’s 32’ ‘Secret,’ as well as a three-day sailboat rental in the BVIS, convinced us of a life change that would last 6 years. We spoke to a life coach who helped us put the pieces together, including how the financial element could work; we talked to a few other sailors, and then we went shopping.
Working on the premise that if we loved sailing, we would eventually want the largest boat we could afford, we decided we’d take the risk and buy our dream boat from the start. We had never sailed – how hard could it be?! Multiple years of powerboating gave me confidence that my Captain husband was anchor and dock efficient, and I knew I could cook in small places. All I requested was room to walk around the bed so as not to clamber over Captain in the wee hours; a ‘Granny’ platform (now known as a scoop) to enable easy access on knees from dinghy to ship; and an easy path from cockpit to bow without fear of falling in (I am British and therefore cannot swim with any level of confidence!). Never a poker player, my joy was evidenced by an ear to ear grin as we stepped aboard a 45’ Freedom sailboat with 2 cabins, 2 heads, walkaround bed, large platform to stern, and not a single piece of rigging leaving a clear path to bow passing a bloody big carbon fiber mast. I’m fairly certain that John investigated the engine compartment and asked relevant questions regarding the sailing aspect, but I bought this boat purely on lifestyle, home comforts and beauty; she had an engine, right? There was no doubt in our minds – we had found our boat. We named her “Be As You Are,” after the Kenny Chesney song.
We decided to rent our house for the summer on Cape Cod and live aboard the boat to test the waters- could we actually do this? Even though we had the safety net of the rental,
this was our trial run and we needed to act as if going to the house wasn’t an option. I was excited yet more than a little apprehensive. Captain John gave me a deadline – September 1st “Let’s do it.” I gulped and agreed to this lifestyle jump. In hindsight, picking a date and just going wasn’t the best idea as now we know you always have to plan around the weather – a world with no agendas. The day dawned still, relatively warm, and …..foggy. My Captain would not be deterred, the mooring ball was dropped, and we crept across the mooring field. Our first trip that would have taken two hours by car, took us a week but WE DID IT! Our new life had begun.
As a member of the JFA Yacht & Ship Team, John Hodgson loves helping people make their yachting dreams a reality. He appreciates sharing his love of being on the water with clients who also seek the same joy and adventure. John is fantastic at assisting clients with his wide vessel knowledge, personable approach, and sharp negotiation skills. He is a strong partner for anyone looking to buy or sell a yacht.
Contact John Hodgson today at 774-722-9121or at email@example.com.