Long overdue update on ARAVILLA

We finally have some time to sit down and knock out a proper update after a couple of months of complete insanity. This update is coming to you from our new home base – Simpsons Bay Lagoon – in beautiful St Maarten. So what has happened since the last update? Many many MANY things.

0_29647100_1442758668We sold our house. Anyone that has moved recently, or gone through a forced downsizing, can attest that this is a very stressful process. We made it more complex by attempting to not only downsize but effectively get rid of everything! Cindy diligently worked magic on Kijiji and unloaded most of the furniture, housewares, and anything else in the house, even the Christmas tree. There were what felt like 15 moving days as people would come, clean out a room, over and over. After one false start on the sale of the house, we finally found a committed buyer and the rest as they say, is history.

We were officially homeless for about 3 weeks and again our amazing network of friends came through. At one point we had slept in 4 different houses in 5 days – I don’t recommend it personally. Things start to get lost, you forget where you’re going to next. It was complete chaos. Next on the list were the vehicles, which took a bit more effort than expected, but ended well fortunately. We both ended our employment with our respective companies, more or less. Pretty hard to say goodbye to the steady pay cheques, but, nothing worth doing is easy.

Truly fantastic day sailing around the southern end of St Maarten. Here is a photo of Derek at the helm navigating near the cruise ship port in Philipsburg. Consistent winds, calm seas, and warm weather. Perfect day!We took possession of ARAVILLA. After what seemed like forever, the day arrived to fly south and close the deal, and move her to her new new home. With the help of many folks, we were able to find, survey, retrofit, purchase, move, dock, and clean our new home. There are a laundry list of people that assisted along the way and we thank them for helping us get this off the ground. Anyone thinking of buying a boat absolutely must check out The Yacht Shop and talk to Mike, they were the best through this whole experience. The boat was in very good shape post delivery however we wanted it to be perfect so decided to do a thorough cleaning top to bottom, inside and out. Huge thanks to my brother John for flying to St Maarten and basically being a cleaning guy for a week.

IMG_20151121_190624_edit_editOur friends threw us a big party. It wasn’t a surprise party, but it was a surprise the number of folks that braved the only snow storm of the year thus far, to come and celebrate and socialize. It was a real honour to have so many close friends and family make the effort – it was a zoo that night but we thank everyone. And of course, a party isn’t a party without the organizers and a venue, and Jill and Sherry were two of the best organizers anyone could ask for, while Penny and Stan from Chill Bar and Grill were tremendous hosts for the evening. Thank you all!

IMG_20151210_073141And here we are, now a little less than a week away and finally coming up for some air. All the stress melted away when we arrived at the SXM airport, 6 huge checked bags in tow, and piled into a cab for the ride to the boat. Upon arrival at the marina, she was every bit a beautiful as we remembered. The unpacking, and rearranging, and fixing, and provisioning is on-going. We’ve met the neighbours, made some new friends along the way, and are settling into the next few months nicely, where we expect many guests. Our days currently consist of about 15 trips to various stores and a lot of working on or around the boat. In fact, we haven’t even been to a beach yet! The area is getting crazy busy with more and more boats, yachts, mega yachts, and people arriving every day.


Okay, that’s it for now, we promise more frequent updates, and pictures!

5 thoughts on “Long overdue update on ARAVILLA

  1. hi Cindy and Derek! great to meet you two and i hope to see you again. later this year when ms natalie comes out of her hole! enjoy your summer!

  2. Merry Christmas Cindy Fortuna. I have obviously missed a few life changes for you. You are now a boat princess?

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