Hanging around in Marina Hemingway, Addison, a good friend of Carol and Terry told me about a boat which is for sale. All the owner wants is someone to pay off the depth he has in the Marina. He couldn´t pay the marina fees for a long time because he got really sick and had to go back to Canada. The steel boat has not been out of the water for 10 years, looks like it needs a lot of work but is supposed to be in a relatively good condition.
Sounds crazy but interesting. I dont have much money but I know how to work, sail and I have all the time I want. So why not have a look at it?
One day later I sit in a Camion travelling to Varadero. Dockmaster Ismeli is a very nice guy who speaks English very well. He shows me everything inside the boat and lets me check all the important aspects like the motor, the hull, the sails, electrics.. It does not look as bad as I thought it would. Some cleaning and two month of hard work would turn the boat into a seaworthy Yacht. You could probably cross an Ocean with this strong ship. Compared to the other two Marinas, the harbour fees in Marina Darsena are affordable and it would also be possible to work on the boat here.
Hmm ok, I ll have to check where I could slip the boat to get of all the rust under the boat and give it some fresh layers of paint. Living on the boat on the land I could also save some money. Heading to the modern and very big Marina Gaviota I get an idea what it costs to haul out the boat and put it back in the water. It would cost around 700 Dollars in total. This place is really far away from Habana and it would not be easy to get arround in the exspensive, touristic Varadero. It also might be difficult to bring my worker friends I got to know while working in the hostel. There is a french guy called Silvio who is a plumber, welds and knows how to work. He could be a great help.
Like always I meet Silvio and Armado standing on the street talking about some working projects. I tell them about my crazy idea and they say they will help me with the work if its gonna happen. Armado used to work in the crane of Marina Gaviota and he knows the people of another boatyard which has a crane directly in the harbour of Habana. He would go there with me together to make sure I dont have to pay a rediculous price.
To get some information about this boatyard and if it is possible to haul out the boat in Marina Hemingway I have to go there and ask (in Cuba you always have to go everywhere yourself, wait a lot and talk to many people before you finally reach the correct information). Maybe it is cheaper to take the boat out of the water there..
The next morning I jump out of my hammock early. I run down the stairs from the roof into the kitchen of Hostal Mango. Just a few minutes later a Tortilla (Omelet in Cuba) fills the two halfs of my bread. I take a Guayaba juice out of the fridge and head down the road towards harbour.
At the entrence of the Asticar boat yard I talk to the guy in charge. He explains to me that it wont be possible to make an appointment for hauling out the boat there in the next 2 month. They are supposed to be really bussy. What a bummer! But ok.. Marina Hemingway will be another option.
It is Saturday and before monday there wont be anybody working who I could ask. Luckily Addison hooks me up with a guy called Dave. He is a retired man from the US who has several boatrebuilding projects going on. Actually he lives on a big motorboat right in the harbour. A load of experience speak out of him and I listen carefully to his advice. My former plan to bring the boat there is not practical because the Marina has to hire an external crane for me which would be more exspensive than anything. That means I would have to leave Habana for two month, live and work on the boat 24/7 in order to get it ready to sail. I am already dreaming of looking for a crew and sailing around the Carribeans like Captain Sparrow 😀 What a crazy picture.
To make it fair for everyone Addison proclaimed to sell the boat in a sealed bid process. This means every person who is interested gets one chance to give his or her best offer until Sunday 8pm. Two hours later Addison will contact whoever placed the highest bid. From now on there will be 24 hours to transfer 50% of the total amount and the rest once the documents for the boat arrive. If there is any kind of complication, Addison will move on to the next highest bid and so on.
Its a tough game but it is fair and prevents Addison from getting stuck in an endless process. He and his whife Pat are looking forward to sail around the islands and snug little anchoring bays Cuba has to offer. They have been cruising around Cuba for many years and created the a Cuba Cruising Guide.
Summing it up I had gathered all the information needed to evaluate if this project would suit my ideas. If it works out to get this project started I will be very happy but if it´s not ment to be I´ll be happy too and keep the freedom I enjoy so much right now. So I decide to sleep one more night over it, place my bid tomorow and watch life happening.
This wasn´t a joke!
I did not get the boat because an American placed a higher bid than me. In the end I am kinda glad, it didnt work out and I keep my freedom now 🙂