KORKZCREW setting out from Wilmington NC for the Bahamas, November 5, 2022
For 10 years, Ron and I dreamed of one day living aboard a boat and heading south. While we didn't know if this idea was achievable or if we'd even like living in a tiny space, we fed this dream over the years by watching YouTube videos of people all over the world doing the very same thing.
Simultaneously, Ron casually looked at used boats online that might suit our needs and fit our budget, and we made note of features that were important to us, and features that were more negotiable. We quickly learned that there will always be compromises when it comes to finding the "ideal" boat. Initially we weren't sure if we'd be better off with a sailboat or power boat, but over time narrowed our search to power boats with a shallow draft since we live in the coastal town of Wilmington, NC, and tend to spend our weekends at a nearby inlet with lots of sandbars.
After making a short list of our favorite contenders, visiting a few in person, and even having several deals fall through, we miraculously stumbled across a 2008 Great Harbour N37 (37 feet) trawler that was in remarkable shape, had low engine hours, and has a draft of only three feet. That was in May of 2021. We named her "KORKZcrew" — for Ron's company, KORKZ, for our family — its crew, and for our tendency to pop a bottle (or 12) on occasion. 😜
KORKZcrew took her maiden voyage in December of 2021, when we traveled the ICW south from Wilmington, NC to Miami, Florida, crossed over to the Bahamas, and made our way through the stunning Exuma Cays. We thought of this as a test run of sorts, to see what we thought of the boat itself and of the live-aboard life. You'll find blog posts (that I'm still catching up on 🙃) that cover this trip through early May of 2022.
The cruising lifestyle is not for everyone, and that's understandable. It can involve rough seas 🤢, few showers, and tight spaces, but for us, it seems to really work. At least so far. That translated into putting a little more money and elbow grease into KORKZcrew over the summer of 2022 — expenses and labor we didn't want to commit if we had come home ready to sell her to someone else. We've added (and by we I mean Ron — he can literally do ANYTHING) a water maker, a dinghy davit he designed and had fabricated, new instruments, an induction stove, and a lot of other things I'm sure I'm forgetting. But we're hoping KORKZcrew is here to stay for awhile.
Now she's off for round TWO of her Bahamian adventures. Ron left Wilmington on November 5, 2022 with his best buddy (and my cousin) Paul, our good friend George, and our four-legged companion Steve. Paul and George will be with Ron for varying lengths of time, and I'll join Ron and Steve in mid December in the Abacos once two of our three children are done with their college semesters.
Follow our KORKZcrew Chronicles as we journey south to who-knows-where exactly.
While our blog might fall behind depending on cell service and my inherent slackness, you can usually (!) find our latest news on Instagram. FYI, I've started a YouTube channel too, but it's very much in its infancy. If you're brave enough to check that out, you can find it here. Maybe if you can give me a follow and click the "Notifications" bell it'll make me look a tad less pathetic.
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– Katharine Hesmer