She is our ship, our home, our vector and sovereign nation.
In 2009 we moved back to the United States after a year’s adventure getting to, traveling through and living in the beautiful sub-continent of India.
…We came back for this boat.
In December of 2008, while still in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India, we found S/V Itinerant for sale on ebay in Norfolk, VA. We watched the auction for the last four days and after she didn’t sell we contacted the owner via email and started asking questions. After only a few emails we discovered that the current owner didn’t know that much about the boat therefore to get any kind of real-feel for what we were looking at online we’d have to travel over 12,000 miles. We let him know where we were and told him we were on our way.
We took a train to Goa, India, then a plane to Mumbai, hopped another plane in Mumbai, flew to New York and took another train from New York to Newport News, VA, a bus from there to Norfolk and then a cab to within a half mile of the boat that we came back to the U.S. A. for.
We met the (now) former owner the next morning at the Rebel Marina, where the boat was moored, and spent most of our first (non-traveling) day back in the U.S. aboard the boat that, before the end of that day, we knew we would soon be living aboard.
…24 hours later we were test sailing S/V Nomad in the Willoughby Bay, three days after that we were living aboard our new boat S/V Itinerant.
We knew from our very first steps aboard that she would present many challenges, but every single issue discovered prior to our buying the boat seemed so solvable. Indeed, they turned out to be, but there were so many unforeseen and unfamiliar issues looming in our future that our new learning curve quickly put us to task… keeping in mind that this post was written three years and thousands of dollars in improvements after we bought her and moved aboard.
To give you an idea of how drastic some projects have been, the photo above was taken 2 months after we bought the boat. It now looks like this…
We’ve rebuilt every major system on the boat. Electrical, 12 and 110 volt, solar and wind. Incandescent to LED lighting throughout. Plumbing, water tanks, cushions, cockpit sole, cabinetry, coamings, propane, rigging, chainplates, mast, compression posts, bulkheads, paint, propane heating, seacocks, oven mercury valve, hatch seals, hard dodger, and holy shit – we’ve done so much work on this boat!
…But the sailing, wow!
In December of 2009, right after installing our Force 10 propane heater and our new 12 volt electrical system, we sailed S/V S.N. Itinerant from Hampton, VA to Baltimore, MD via Cape Charles VA, Reedville VA, Solomons Island MD, and Galesville, MD. We sailed this boat through freezing conditions, gusty unpredictable winds and the first snowfall (almost 3 feet) of the fiercest winter on record. It produced some of our favorite sailing stories to date and the boat performed perfectly!
After that incredible winter we moved north from Canton, Baltimore, MD to the Cutter Marina on Middle River for the sweltering summer of 2010… Ugh!
…The only place we’ve ever run aground at our moorings.
After a stint on the docks in Annapolis and an incredible haul-out experience in the fall of 2010 we sailed S/V S.N. Itinerant back up the Patapsco River to Fells Point in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for chilly but almost unremarkable winter.
The winter of 2010 taught us that we could go sailing pretty-much anytime we felt like it and this boat is the perfect vessel for the two of us to discover the rest of the world on… We also came within 12 months of paying off the loan we took out on the boat when we bought her so we figured it was time to get her offshore ready.
We did more recreational sailing in the year 2011 than we had in the two previous years…
…And while I punched the clock to pay off that bank, Dena went to work on finishing the interior projects and filling our boat with the smells of the food we love!
With so many projects complete and the boat sailing so easily and safely we’ve decided to take it to the next level. 2012 will be the year we sail this boat off the continent. We’re going to power through the Northeast US, visit Nova Scotia, take a little time in Newfoundland, and jump off for Greenland. Depending on weather and timing, we might explore or we might head almost directly out to Iceland, where we’ve already made friends! After Iceland, it’s a straight shot to Scotland – Skye, Barra, and all the rest of the gorgeous Western Isles.