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Old 04-01-2012, 06:56 AM   #1
Rear Admiral
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 333
Default We're not really owners at all...

Head down bum up as we removed the last of the masking tape on Mico's deck after a two pack deck tread touch up this weekend, we found ourselves reflecting, somewhat tearily about the many adventures our vessel has had - both with us and previous owners.

Built in Maine USA in 1988, Mico was shipped to Germany where she spent a number of years sailing the Baltic, North Sea and then Mediterranean. She then changed hands and was sailed across the Atlantic back to the place of her birth where she spent a number of years sailing up and down the Eastern seaboard before ending up in Guatemala , South America.

It was in Guatemala that she was purchased by a young German couple working with the UN as circus performers (go figure) who had never sailed before but with their 6 month child in tow, sailed her around to Belize before coming back through the Panama canal and crossing the Pacific to Papua New Guinea and South East Asia. They wrote a book about their exploits (in German and we are still translating) talking about their time entertaining villagers with fire eating and juggling skills.

Mico then went south to Australia where she was purchased by a coastal cruising couple who sailed up and down the East coast of Australia before she changed hands again.

We came across Mico while we were antifouling our 23' Swarbrick yacht we had built and sailed from Perth to Cairns. My wife saw her down in the holding dock and before we knew it, we were a two yacht family. Velella eventually sold and all our attention went to Mico. New engine, respray, new electrical loom, electronics, radar and auto-helm to name just a few gifts we lavished on her and before we knew it, we were off on our first blue water to Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

She forgave our inexperience and kept us safe and dry in some very heavy weather and bought us back home again to Cairns. A year later, after new plumbing and water-maker, she took us up to the Louisiaides in PNG and safely home once more where we've sailed up and down the coast between Cairns and the Whitsundays on many occasions.

Now she is for sale

We've purchased a 44 Antigua Ketch in Borneo and once again - find ourselves - a two yacht family.

The owners of the Antigua have spent 3 years sailing across the Pacific from the US and are going through their own grieving for the adventures they have had and the love they have bestowed on their vessel.

It struck me today that we are indeed fortunate to have owned, if just for a short time, a vessel like Mico and our hope is that she will be purchased by another couple who will care for her as much as we have.

In the end - taken care of and treated with love and respect, there is no reason why many of our cherished vessels can't outlive us into the next generation - carrying with them all the hopes, dreams, joys and adventures of their many owners.

And there is the rub...

If you think about it - we are not really owners are we?

Part of me thinks we're simply custodians, entrusted with a living, breathing entity that for a brief moment in time - gives life and light to our dreams and transports us to places and adventures unknown.

Fair winds,


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Old 04-01-2012, 10:19 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,236

Hi, Mico,

You've hit on something that I find wonderful about being the steward of a historic sailing vessel--we're not owners, we're participants in the life of the ship herself. Our cruising boat, 80 years old, has many stories to tell if only she could talk. She's done coastal cruising all up and down the North American east and west coasts. She was drafted into the US Navy and patrolled the NE USA during WWII, she did cruising charter duty for a bit in the Caribbean post WWII, she went through the Panama Canal in 1962, she cruised the South Pacific where spurious rumors had it that she--sank! , but those were only rumors thank goodness. She returned to enjoy the West Coast and she's enjoyed being the center of sailing attention for several large families and at least 4 live aboard families during her life. With the rebuild we did between 2006-2009 we found the evidence on the keel of what was probably a grounding and repair (on a South Pacific reef perhaps?). She should live to see 100 and enjoy exciting cruising while reaching that age. We're happy to help her do so.

Fair winds,

"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

What we're doing - The sailing life aboard and the Schooner Chandlery.

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Old 04-02-2012, 03:58 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Home Port: Hamburg
Vessel Name: Aquaria
Posts: 281

Hi Mico,
nice post!
Yes I read about them in theit book Willkommen im Paradies (ISBN 3-7688-1787-3) , I remember her under the ship's full name "Mi Columpio"?
Interesting people and amazing how they started with no experience to sail her for from Guatemala in 1995 into the Pacific ocean, to Australia, where they sold her in April 2002 "with a crying and with a laughing eye to a young australian couple that had the same dreams as we had" ( Willkommen im Paradies - Unsere Reisen ) (Welcome to paradize . our journeys), I found this on their homepage which is unfortunately in german but it has lots of nice pics from their journeys.

So you are selling a boat with a great history!

Thanks for sharing this with us

SY Aquaria
If you have the time, you alwas have the right winds.

More on my Centurion 32:
I've Contributed to the Cruisers Wiki: Germany, Background, Cruising/Sailing the German Bight
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:51 AM   #4
Rear Admiral
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 333

They talk about only 6 degrees of separation and that's certainly been true with Mico. When we sailed down to Brisbane to join the rally to Vanuatu and New Caledonia we dropped into the Percy Islands on the way. In the forward cabin of Mico, there is a photograph of a swing seat with the writing Mi Columpio. We never knew why it was there but we knew it meant 'My little swing' It was then a big surprise when my wife cried out upon entering the 'yachties gallery' to find the very same 'swing' hung from the rafters at the entrance! The swing they had built and photographed.

Now fast forward 3 months and we are an anchor in the Isle du Pines in New Caledonia and have gone ashore for water at the jetty. An old tinney motors up containing an elderly couple from an ancient steel yacht at the end of the bay. The guy gets out and asks me what colour engine I had. He asked if it was white? I knew the previous engine was white and told him so. His wife then starts talking about the German couple they sailed with in Belize and how they were always getting into trouble and having to be towed back to port.

Life is full of twists and turns and I'm sure many of you here will have similar stories and sagas around your vessels. Perhaps we should sharing this rich history - they really are time capsules and by the sound of Redbopeep - I'd certainly like to here more of their story

Fair winds,

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