We have come to the part of the adventure where, if I don’t do laundry, it will not be pretty. I have discovered that using shampoo and drying underwear with a hair dryer is not the most comfortable experience! We have been staying in some pretty industrial towns the past couple of days, but the hotels have been wonderful--luxurious and cheap! We have actually not gone all that far from the boat-that-got-away, as it turns out.
We tried to look at one more boat yesterday in Castellon, which was not far from Burianna, where the other boat was. Frank had found the exact same boat on YachtWorld.com for 5000 euroes less, so maybe it would turn out that the loss of the first boat wasn’t so bad. He had emailed the broker (located in Barcelona) that we would be in Castellon in the morning to see the boat. No answer, but we decided to go to Castellon anyway because it really wasn’t far and we didn’t have anything else to do, boat-wise, at least.
It took quite a while to find the office because we didn’t have a real street address, but fortunately I am married to a GPS (plus there is one in the car, but she doesn’t do much without a street address. Frank has a very love/hate relationship with this other woman in his life. Max is a major fan of the other woman and I don’t much care. She is sometimes useful and sometimes not. Another story, however...) and he did eventually find it.
The broker was not there, which began the comedy of errors. The secretary, whose name turned out to be Isabel, did not speak much English but she did speak some French. I was in the car waiting for Max to get his shoes on when Frank called me, so I went into the office, not realizing that Max didn’t know where either of us had gone. It didn’t take him too long to find us, but he was scared and I felt very bad. The Powies were allowed out of the car and that helped.
Isabel didn’t have a clue who the person was who had sent the email, but she called them, only to find out that they had never received our email and that the boat was in fact lying in Burriana, not Castellon. Red flag! Could there possibly be TWO of the exact same boat? Or was someone double-dealing? We told Isabel about the boat we had seen on Wednesday, which she knew all about--not because she had been there, but because she was (I think) the person who had done the actual posting of the pictures of this boat on her computer and the man who had showed it to us was her boss. She was unaware that the boat had been sold, however, as Vincente (who had shown it) was not back from vacation yet and had not told her about it.
There is no exclusivity in Spain--i.e., it’s apparently perfectly legal to list your boat with two brokers and not tell them about it. That seems to me unethical, but Isabel said that there is no concept of exclusivity. Consequently, the owner of the boat was perfectly free to list his boat with Vincente’s company and the company of the broker who didn’t know we were coming to see the boat at all. It puts everyone in a bad position, though, it seems to me.
The upside of the situation was that Isabel was very nice and promised to call us if the sale of the boat falls through for any reason. Max knows that we would never never never leave without telling him where we are going--and all this is positive, but we still don’t have a boat.
Enter Boat #2 (or 8 or 15). Now we are considering a Hanse 400 from 2010. It’s a demo model which has never been launched. We saw one the other day, but that one is six years older than the one we are looking at and I wasn’t blown away like I was hoping I would be. This boat that we actually saw (as opposed to the one we would get) had a different layout than our potential future boat and that layout looks better. If we do get this boat, though, it will be a few weeks before we can take possession because it will have to be transported from Germany. Consequently, we will need to find somewhere to be until then, so we’ll have to look for some sort of short-term apartment for a few weeks. All is up in the air and we will keep you posted!
We are heading towards Grenada and Seville today. Since we are in a waiting period with the boat we are going to do a little sightseeing and some laundry.
In other news, we had an email from Max’s school which says that school for him will start on the 24th of September but there are meetings and things to do for us starting on the 3rd of September, so we’ll have to be in Portugal by then, which we had planned to do anyway. It is another beautiful day in this not-very-pretty part of Spain (the coast is beautiful but these little towns are not) and we need to go start our day now. More soon!