Apr. 2007
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Check out Weeks ending: [28 Apr 07]

Month+ ending 28 Apr 07 (Bob)

Selling on our own - We set out to sell Long Passages on our own since we had been successful in Europe with our motorhome and thought we would try it again.  We had listed it with a broker in Spain, but since we had already committed $$ to ship it to the US we couldn't offer a low price there so we had no serious lookers.  We started to sell it seriously about Christmas 2006 and we had a signed contract on 11 February 2007 - a period of about 6 weeks. In those 6 weeks:

  • We listed with three boat selling websites, for a total of about $170; a total WASTE as far as we can see; all they seemed to bring were more offers from other sites to list on THEIR sites.
  • We listed on GOOGLE as a featured ad, which cost us about $340 over the period, and which brought us most of our serious lookers and the eventual buyer. We became believers in Google AdWords.
  • We tried to keep the boat looking good and clean at all times (mixed success since Bob was tearing the forepeak apart to put in a holding tanks).
  • We got a few emails asking for us to give them "our bottom-line price"; we politely told them to buzz off if they were not going to visit the boat and make us an offer - no sense bidding against ourselves.
  • We showed it to about six serious prospects - the eventual buyer was quite informed about Shannon's although they will be quite new to cruising.

All in all, we think it went well; a broker would have demanded a 10% commission and it is not obvious that it would have sold any faster nor for a higher price. It probably cost us about 1% of the boat value to sell her.

Key West - Following the closing with the new owners we turned south and visited the Florida Keys, a place neither of us had seen in many years.  There are campgrounds on many of the keys (or cays), the water was beautiful, the weather warm and breezy - it couldn't have been nicer! And we were there sort of late in the 'season' so the crowds and traffic weren't too bad.  If it weren't for the summer temperatures and high humidity, it looked like a nice place to live. One of the campsites had the tackiest 'decorations' we have ever seen, and the Keys do excel in tackiness with fake palms in red and blue! On the waterfront in Key West nature more than made up for it by displaying a beautiful sunset - interrupted only by a couple of cruise ships strategically placed to make it almost impossible to see the sunset. On our way home we stopped at the Dolphin Research Center at Grassy Key and watched these amazing animals put their 'trainers' through their paces - not as good as seeing them in the wild, but still a reminder of how intelligent they are.

Medical News - In January Bob saw a doctor in Tallahassee and after a couple of tests the Dr. confirmed a recurrence of the melanoma, this time in a parotid (salivary) gland).  An operation in April removed it and now we are trying to decide what follow-up therapy to use.  We should be able to decide this by the middle of May.

Camping on the 'Forgotten Coast' - For  a week, our temporary home in Tallahassee was full of 'snowbirds' heading North plus a gaggle of Florida Legislators so we ducked out and headed for the coast. The coast to our south on the Gulf of Mexico is called the Forgotten Coast, and it really seemed that way - clear sandy beaches with a few people every mile or so, sporadic development and lots of empty land.  We stayed at Carabelle for a few days - a forgettable campsite that was within easy walking distance to a pretty beach.  On the way back to Tallahassee we stayed at Ochlocknee State Park, a delightful park with lots of small critters and nice walking trails. The white squirrel who visited was the cheekiest of the bunch, he would have gone inside to rummage around if he had been given the chance.  One of the reasons this coast may have been 'forgotten' was the bugs, no see'ums (or gnats) came out as the sun went down, and they bit hard and could wiggle through screen doors - no place was safe except closed doors and windows and air-conditioning - a shame since the outdoor temperatures were very pleasant.

Life in Tallahassee - So far the weather has been generally nice in Tallahassee, although it is starting to get quite warm.  Since we are Main Photonot planning to stay here we have not become involved with any social groups so we have mostly socialized with Bob's son and his girl friend. We have joined the transportation mainstream and acquired a 2d vehicle, in this case a  Ford Focus, a little hatchback - not a match for the muscle cars and SUVs in an accident, but we are hoping the bright yellow color will warn them we're coming!


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