Monday, March 20, 2017

Asante is FOR SALE: Blue Water Brewer 44 READY TO GO in Tortola, BVI!

As most of you know, we bought a new boat. It is awesome and it has been a very welcome change for our family. But...we still have our old boat. It's been a stressful (and fun) few months with work and the general chaos of life with three small children, but we have finally gotten around to giving our old boat some TLC with a deep interior cleaning and hull polish, and thus have finally created our listing. Please see the downloadable/printable FULL SPEC SHEET PDF of our amazing Brewer 44, and *PLEASE* share! We don't want to own two cruising boats much longer!

She is ready to go in beautiful Tortola, BVI at the Nanny Cay Marina!

In a nutshell:

ASANTE is a well-appointed and proven blue-water capable Brewer 44 Center Cockpit currently Tortola in the British Virgin Islands - the perfect starting ground for live-aboard cruising! She has been listed among the 10 Best Center Cockpit Cruising Boats by Jordan Yachts and boast many, many features ideal for live-aboard cruising such as:  two cabins, two heads, a cutter rig, center cockpit, swim scoop, lots of deck space, and the ability to control all sails from the cockpit...She has a gorgeous interior with a nice, spacious layout, a u-shaped galley, an aft suite with a king size bed, an awesome aft deck shower and TONS of storage. In other words, the bones of a great family cruising boat. To learn more about why we chose her, read this post.

She has a navy blue hull, Raymarine electronics, full center cockpit enclosure, bow thruster, in-mast main furler, air conditioning and low hours on the main engine. In 2012 she benefitted from a soft refit and was converted to a cutter rig boat, which makes sailing her a dream, particularly in high winds. Her cockpit is huge and offers a great place to socialize, nap and sail underway. ASANTE has many upgrades including new SSB with Pactor 3 modem (2012), Rogue wave wifi booster (2012), custom 3” & 4” stainless dinghy davits (2012), 280 feet of galvanized chain (2012), and a high output 30 GPH Cruise RO watermaker (2013). She was upgraded with full-time live-aboard cruising in mind and therefore has all the comforts of home, with the full functionality of a well appointed cruising vessel. To see a  list of all the work we did to her when we bought her, please see our post about the mini-fit which outlines all the work we put into her.

We have been live-aboards for the past four years and are only selling because we needed a bigger boat to accommodate our family of five. She has been lovingly and very well maintained by and is ready to go sailing today. She comes VERY WELL EQUIPPED and we'd love to see her sail off to another horizon.

We are listing her "priced to sell" at $129K.
Interested parties please email windtraveler09 (at) gmail.com

That's her in a nutshell, now for some pics:

The main saloon. TONS of storage abound.

The galley, again, TONS of storage. Also boasts a front and top loading refrigerator, and an ample top loading freezer.

The nav station with new electronics and new control panel.

Forward head with two access doors so v-berth is en-suite.

The v-berth, again, TONS of storage. There is a large hanging locker to port not pictured.

Looking aft from the v-berth

The walk-thru to the aft cabin.

The control panel, easy access - it pulls down so working on wiring is easy.

Engine room access that most boaters DREAM of. Nothing was out of reach. Such a bonus.

Aft cabin with king-size bed and plenty of storage. 

Looking forward from aft cabin

Aft head with new corian countertops (2016)

Looking forward from walk-thru

Bright and airy main living area. Love all the light!

Lots of opening ports and hatches makes this boat super comfortable at anchor.

Roller furling boom makes Asante easy to singlehand.

She turns heads!

Miss this cockpit - so much space to play, hang out and entertain!

Aft cockpit is roomy making for loading and off loading the dinghy a breeze.

Foredeck

Trusty windlass with foot switches (and a helm control) and 280 feet of chain. Great set up.

We LOVE the cutter rig. We'd be hard-pressed to buy a boat without one. So many sail options and easy to change sails in shifting conditions.

The davits!! They are custom and amazing. Super ridgid and strong, and make hauling the dinghy up and down a breeze.

The layout of Asante.

If you are looking to toss off the dock lines and go cruising in the Caribbean - this could be your vessel!! She is a great boat and has made our family very happy and safe the past four years. Please feel free to share this post and any interested parties should email windtraveler 09 (at) gmail.com. Thank you!

Our last boat sold in less than 50 days after we listed her on our blog, please help us break that record and get another great family out on the water! SHARE!

Monday, February 27, 2017

A Special Day in Trellis Bay: An Artist Community and A Magic Morning

We don't get to East End, home of the eccentric and eclectic Trellis Bay, often. For one thing, it's quite a drive - which I realize is laughable on an island that measures twelve miles by three - but as the car drives, it's a solid 30-40 minutes one way. With three little kids, and a mid-day nap that I will only forego for extremely special occasions - it's hard to justify an hour or more commute for an hour or two of fun. But when our friend, Cem (pronounced "Jem", like the jewel) invited us to see a special artist friend of his, I thought, "Why not!"

Trellis Bay is...unique. It's location - on the easternmost tip of Tortola - is a bit off the beaten path giving it a relaxed, sleepy vibe that is more commonplace in the remote islands down south. The bay itself is a horseshoe cove surrounded by thick mangroves and tucked-in by steep hills making it feel somehow hidden. It is home to a host of live-aboard boats (and a few derelict ones), a handful of great restaurants, and a vibrant artist's community. At first glance, it doesn't seem to have much to offer. There is not much beach to speak of, and the area isn't particularly 'beautiful' as tropical island coves go, but it is certainly 'picturesque' and what it lacks in sweeping visage it makes up for in character and charm. This place has more color than most and I've never been anywhere quite like it.

We kicked off our shoes and started walking down the beach to the sound of sand underfoot, rustling wind through palms,  and the call of the mourning doves until we came upon several local fishermen on the shore hauling in their catch in tandem. The girls stood and watched, mesmerized as the men - completely unfazed by our presence - grabbed handfuls of small bait fish out of their nets and headed to their boats to catch the bigger guys. We headed down the beach a little further, to Aragon's Studio, where we were to meet Cem and his artist friend.


***

Under the shade of a lush sea grape tree, there was "Green Eye" Joseph putting the final touches on a carving. Surrounded by messy pots of paint, with his head cocked to one side, he tentatively painted the various grooves and crevices of his creation, his hand smooth and steady. At his feet played his son, Ocean, a beautiful boy of seven who's general adorableness and effortless charm made me want to have a son and name him Ocean. Haven and Mira (Isla was at school this morning) were immediately taken by him and after a few bashful moments from the girls (who clung to my legs), soon they were all three jumping on the giant, purple, ad-hoc fishing net hammock set up in front of Aragon's.




Suddenly, I heard the happy voice of our Turkish friend, Cem. "Welcome, Brittany!" (he pronounces every syllable, Bree-tan-knee) "You came early! You meet Joseph? I have picnic and wine, but is chilling...wait a moment..." and off he was in a flurry. He returned with a bag of pretzels which the girls and Ocean happily indulged in and then he started giving us the run-down of Joseph's work. How he, and most of the (dead) wood he carved, came from Dominica, how it's sustainably harvested from the rainforest. We oohed and ahhed at his creativity, at which point Ocean showed up at my hip with a handful of his creations. "I made these ones!" he told me. "I sell my art too!" he beamed. God, this kid was cute. I would be buying something from him for sure.

Joseph, while incredibly friendly and kind, was a man of few words and for the most part stuck to his work, quietly laughing and smiling at random comments from Ocean or at some antics the twins got into. At one point he brought over some pictures of commissioned work he did for Richard Branson a few years ago. If you visit Necker or Mosquito Island, you might just see Green Eyes work. Our party migrated to a picnic table where Cem (an environmentalist and keen farmer who has an eco-resort in Turkey) produced a lovely picnic of a prosciutto-esque meat (the name escapes me), organic tomatoes and arugula grown in his very own garden. He also unwrapped a gorgeous hunk of grainy white cheddar and a few fresh baguettes. I was instantly transported to my solo backpacking days where this was the go-to meal of choice; often eaten on the steps of a church, piazza, or park under the mid-day sun in some new town... I had forgotten just how well these simple ingredients came together.


As we gathered, a few more people joined us: Aleksandra, a Polish print artist just out of art school doing a residence in the studio for a couple of months, an old salty sailer with milky eyes who has been a captain most of his life and written books, and Dave, a jack of all trades sort of fellow who lives near Trellis and does some work for Aragorn, maintaining the full moon party fire balls and general upkeep. It was an interesting assembly and some good conversation was had while the kids played happily in the background and we munched on Cem's generous picnic, sipping wine and chit chatting.

As the food dwindled, Aleksandra brought out a giant piece of sailcloth and a few pots of paint. "Is it okay for the girls to make art?" she asked me. Of course it was! Off came the twins' shirts and on went the paint. The girls and Ocean had a blast painting and creating on their giant canvas (and themselves!) and as I observed the scene I had a visceral moment of gratitude that our kids are able to have experiences like these. Moments like these are precisely why we live here. Everything I wanted and imagined.


Too soon, our time had come to pack up and leave to get home for naps. We finalized our purchases from both Ocean and Joseph, and made promises to return.

Which we will do, sooner than later.

The magic and organic evolution of this particular morning (one where we thought we were just going to check out some carvings!) would be hard to re-create, for sure, but you never know what might be in store for you when you visit Trellis Bay. At the very least, you can be transported back to a sleepier, simpler time and quietly enjoy the beauty and bounty this exciting little place has to offer. Or maybe just maybe, you will be treated with open arms to a lovely picnic with a talented artist, his eclectic and interesting neighbors, and walk away with memories to last a lifetime.


Joseph's art
Ocean

The meeting of new friends, always a bit awkward at first.
Cem, saying hello to the girls
Ocean constructing stands out of remnants of a fire ball
The commissioned pieces Joseph did for Richard Branson.
Our picnic
Joseph, methodically working away - Ocean's creations are on the front of the table.
By the end of our visit, the girls ADORED him!
More of Joseph's work.
Ocean serenaded us after we painted

Thursday, February 23, 2017

That Time We Were Models: Our Shoot with Vineyard Vines

When I opened my (very neglected) inbox and found an email among the unopened hordes entitled "Vineyard Vines Photoshoot" my interest was piqued. I clicked the message and discovered it was from one of their producers, Kerry, asking if we'd like to be featured in their next catalog as part of their "Real People, Real Good Life" campaign.

Um, YEAH!! 

But there were a few things I needed to clarify; namely 1) Scott is ridiculously busy with our business and often not available for a full day so we needed to really hammer down a date and timing and 2) [scrunches up nose] Did she know we had three (*kinda* crazy) kids ages four and under who would most likely have to be present for the shoot and could very well make said shoot end up...well, nuts?

Her response? WE WANT ALL OF YOU!!

Hooray! So I messaged Scott asking whether or not he'd like to partake and braced myself for some flack as Scott is usually not the most enthused about offers like these being that he's the more private of our duo, but I was happily surprised when he came back with "Sure! Sounds fun!"

Game on, Vineyard Vines. Game on!

***

Vineyard Vines, if you have not heard of it, is a Connecticut-based clothing brand that has a full-blown cult following. Their style is preppy and "east coast"; their look decidedly "yachty". People are obsessed with them and for good reason; the clothes are comfortable, well-made, and stylish. The styles are vibrant, fun, and classy... Seriously, check them out - soooo nice. It's not a surprise after having worked with this great company now; the people behind it (who we met at the shoot at least) are incredible.

I communicated a lot with the producers about what they wanted, and had to request that our shoot include a two hour break for the girls to nap (beauty sleep!) as well as blue M&Ms and coconut water in our trailer. I went full diva because, well, I was going to be a model (flips hair). Okay, joking. I did not pull a Beyonce, but I did request that nap time be respected under the preface that nobody wants pictures of my motley crew if we are under-slept! They happily obliged and before we knew it - the day had come.

***

We have never modeled in our lives so had no real idea what to expect (although Scott does a mean "blue steel"). The Vineyard Vines crew flew down en-masse with a crew of about fifteen (maybe a few more?) and at least as many humongous duffles full of clothes, shoes and accessories. Our shoot was to take place in three phases: phase one would be us sailing to the beautiful Peter Island, phase two would take us on the beach at Peter Island Beach club and then finally, phase three, in the luxury villa at the top of Peter Island.

A producer and photographer came to our boat at 7:30am to give us the clothes we were to wear and the general run down of what they wanted. "Just be yourselves," they said, "We have seen your pics. We just want you to be yourselves." Super! Easy enough. The photographer stayed on the boat with us while the producer followed in a chase boat getting video. We sailed as we do, the girls happily playing about, chilled out and very curious with our new crew member, but lucky for all of us, the wind was great, the sail was peaceful and we got to Peter Island for naps. "I cannot believe how well-behaved your girls are" the photographer told us as we docked. "Kids in NYC, they'd never be able to sit like these girls did for two hours without a device or toys. You guys rock!" I took the compliment because, let's be honest, our kids can be downright unruly and rude at times (they are four and two, after all). Thankfully today, they were not those things and they slayed a few hearts. Phew.

After naps we headed to the beach with several other models where we raced the sun to get some shots, because if there is one thing you need for great photos, it's light. We got some fun shots on the beach but, unfortunately, the girls weren't exactly wanting to cooperate with what the photogs had in mind. "Walk in a line from tallest to shortest down the beach" was one request that was absolutely not going to happen with our crew. I joked that the twins basically killed our dreams of being professional models because they simply could not take direction! Luckily the crew, by this time, had fallen in love with our girls so all was forgiven and they let us just do our thing. I think the shots they got turned out pretty good.

Finally, we ended at one of the Villas atop Peter Island where the shoot was to wrap up. OH. MY. GOSH. Peter Island Resort is truly amazing. Just spectacular. If you are looking for an exclusive and incredible place to vacation, this place has you covered. Our villa was top notch. We were greeted by our friend Alec and his gorgeous girlfriend Elsa (who the girls ADORE because: 'Elsa'!) when we arrived. "Welcome to our humble home" he joked as he wrapped his arm around Elsa, "Can I get you a drink?" We got a few more frantic pics as the sun was setting, sipped some wine, had some laughs and then - it was a wrap!

***

The day was better than we could have imagined and we had a total blast. The people at Vineyard Vines - from the photographers to the make up people to the higher's up - are so. much. fun. They were all nice, relaxed, and *so* easy to work with. They doted on and adored the girls (which our kids ate right up!) and we now have these incredible pictures and this wonderful memory filed under "awesome opportunities we were given". We really cannot thank them enough.

If you want to check out the profiles of the other awesome BVI locals and friends in the shoot, check them out here: Real People, Real Good Life.

***

Thank you, Vineyard Vines, for choosing us to work with! We had SO much fun and we love you guys!

And now, for the pics...

First, some behind the scenes shots:
We did raise the sails, but this is leaving the harbor and we were really hoping to dodge the squall. Luckily we did!

One of the producers showing the girls the gear. They loved him.
There were no trailers at this shoot, but big power catamarans. So many clothes, shoes and accessories. And snacks ;)
The "look book" they also had all of the pics of the models (ours included) from Instagram and whatnot, as well as our profiles and outfits.
These shadows were getting in the way of the shoot!
Trying hard to get in some final shots while daylight was still good.

They put on a cartoon for the girls and made them popcorn, it was about 5pm and the wheels were coming off the bus.
We are completely fake laughing here. It seemed appropriate.


Now, for the catalog shots:





We are also on the website:


And Haven and I are on the little mailer that goes out:

And here are some more shots that didn't make it into the catalog:









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