About five years ago, a spearfisherman was fishing for lobster near his anchorage in the Bahamas. Diving in the turquoise blue waters that surround the Bahamian Islands, he had a very productive day. After returning to his catamaran, he and his wife knew that they had an extra lobster that they wouldn’t eat that day. After some debate, he jumped back into his dinghy and motored over to a neighboring catamaran in the same anchorage, and offered the couple on board that boat the lobster. From that moment on, a lifelong friendship was born. Every year the two couples would plan to be in the same anchorage at least once, if not more during season. They would meet and sit in the cockpit of each other’s boats and enjoy meals and great conversation as the sun set in the evening.
Jump ahead to 2020. Sandy and I start talking about what do we want to do with our lives after we done with living by someone else’s schedule. After talking about the idea of sailing and potentially living on a boat, we did what everyone else does when you want to learn something new, watch YouTube! We found several YouTubers sharing great experiences, and began to follow and subscribe to some of them. The O’Kelly’s quickly became one of our favorites. And, as fate would have it, they spent many cruising seasons in the Bahamas.
About 6 months ago we decided to work with the O’Kelly’s. The O’Kelly’s have a consulting business for people who want to make the jump from land life to sailing life. In our first meeting, The O’Kelly’s asked us several thought-provoking questions, shared about their time as live-aboard’s, answered innumerable questions from us, and offered lots of encouragement as we took our next steps. At one point in the conversation a comment is made about the courage it takes to make this type of change, and that we will just know when the time right. That night, as we talked, we agreed the time was right and we were ready to take the next steps, which would be big ones. Six weeks later our house, the vast majority of our belongings, and one vehicle were sold and we were settled in a rental. That was the middle of August 2022, and of course the plan was to wait until spring 2023 to really start looking for a boat.
Wait a minute, we purchased One Life in November 2022, what happened to the spring? As we continued to work with the O’Kelly’s they helped us identify our needs and wants in a boat, helped us narrow our search focus, and taught us how to look at boats critically. They told us that we won’t really find a boat, the boat will find us. And they semi-jokingly assured us that the right boat will come along at the wrong time. Off we went to peruse YachtWorld and look at potential boats for the next 6 months or so. We made plans to stay in touch with the O’Kelly’s via email and possibly have another meeting when we are closer to really buying the boat, maybe in February or March.
A couple of weeks later Sandy forwards an email to me from the O’Kelly’s. They are letting us know that a boat that is potentially coming on the market that might be a good match for us. I do a little digging, discover the boat is the right size, the price is in our range, and the boat looks good. So, I thought, “Yeah, sure, let’s look into this more”. The O’Kelly’s put us in touch with the Pete, the boat broker, and we began talking. Pete Gulick shares with us that he does not know the O’Kelly’s, but has known the owners of One Life for some time and has overseen some of the work that was done on it. They picked Pete to be their broker because they trusted him. We decided if the O’Kelly’s trust the owners of One Life, and the owners of One Life trust Pete, then we would trust Pete too. As first-time boat buyers we knew we needed help with the purchasing process, thank you Pete!
The rest is history. We did a video tour of the boat, made an offer that was accepted, went to Florida to complete the survey and sea trial, and we are now the next care takers of One Life. The boat that will take us into our next adventure in life indeed found us, just a few months early. Would we have eventually found a boat on YachtWorld? Most likely. But, had that spearfisherman not had an extra lobster to share with a neighboring boat in that Bahamian anchorage, and had we not discovered the owners of that neighboring boat (the O’Kelly’s) on YouTube, and had the previous care takers of One Life not used the boatyard where Pete worked, we wouldn’t be the new care takers of this boat.
You never know where life is going to take you. There were a whole series of seemingly unrelated events that brought two different families together that would otherwise have no reason to connect in this universe. Here’s another way to look it. If that one simple act of kindness hadn’t happened, if the owners of One Life hadn’t taken a lobster to Clarity, we wouldn’t have found our new home either.