S/V SpazCat

Just sit right back
And you'll read a tale
A tale of a fateful trip, 
That started from a frozen port, 
Aboard this tiny ship.
                           
      


How did we get into this mess I can just imagine many people asking. A small catamaran, two cats and a husband/wife crew sailing from Virginia in the USA to Australia.
Well, it all comes down to me (the husband) wanting to sail across the Pacific for well over a decade. Well before I met my wife and well before she ever wanted to set foot on a sail boat.
We met in 2004, I was in Australia, she was in the USA and we met on a science forum. I went to the USA in December of 2005 and we got married. I came back while she stayed to continue
her schooling and she joined me in Australia. I convinced her to come to Australia because, "hey, Australia doesn't have natural disasters". Infamous words as time would later reveal.
Since she'd been in a big L.A. earthquake, a hurricane and  tornadoes, she figured Australia might just work out.
We stayed in Australia for about five years and managed to get caught in the middle of one of the worst bushfires in history. We managed to live through it and save our house and along with a neighbour save a few others as well. There is a bushfire link down there, so you can read about that seperately.
Anyway, we figured it was time for a change and we moved to the USA, opened a restaurant, and generally worked out butts off to go backwards.
So after the sale of the house we lived in during the bushfire, we decided to see what we were going to do. The plan was to stay in the USA for a lot longer but as it happens the wife's permanent residency visa in Australia was about to expire. After spending a lot of money on fixing the house in Virginia, as well as getting the cars all sorted out we found out we have to get back to Australia by July 2014. We applied for the visa extension but she missed out on the required 2 years of living in Oz, with a PR, by a couple of months. That holiday we took to the USA for near 3 months ended up not counting as part of the two years so we were told she can't get it extended. They also just changed the rules, prior to that it was 1 year and she would have qualified. Even when abroad you have to follow policy overseas. If they changed the rules imho it should be if you leave Oz after the change the new rules apply. If you left Oz before the change you should still be on the old rules. makes sense to me but this is government and it's not meant to make sense. So we got caught in the middle.

To cut a long story short, we weren't going to leave the cats behind - Gracie, my wife's older cat, and Spaz, the little kitten that decided she was adopting us. Trust me when I say she is appropriately named. Too many pets die in aircraft in the USA and the general attitude of the airlines is to give you a free ticket or a discount on your next airfare. Not going to trust any company with such an attitude towards loss of life. Thus, we looked at our options and the wife has known for many years that my goal was to sail the Pacific so the solution came pretty quickly.
I don't like monohulls. I understand a lot of people do and they dislike catamarans as much I dislike monohulls. To each his own.
We got ourselves a highly renowned catamaran that is relatively little known. The Catalac. Made in the UK by Tom Lack. Cat'a'lack...get it?
Most Americans didn't like the name, so sales were low here but the boat is great. Strong, seaworthy and safe. Just what we wanted.
So in September 2013 we transfered the funds to a broker and secured our boat, sight unseen, but with the option to bail if it's not in the condition described

The travelling part of our story starts in Virginia. Two men in freezing conditions followed by the wife and cats, who would meet up with me later in North Carolina.
And there you have it. From there, we started Captain's logs almost daily to keep friends and family informed. The email list kept growing.
Aparantly, we're like watching a train wreck so the audience is building and keeping an email list was becoming a problem.
Apart from that, we got our first spam on the email because the email address was harvested by some bot.
That was enough for me to bite the bullet, get a website, and start documenting it that way. Makes it easier to keep track of where we were and are, as well as post pictures.
The original emails in the email list are reporduced here with corrections for grammar, spelling, and, most importantly, comprehension. I was writing them after long cold days on the boat or early frozen mornings so in neither case was comprehension a big winner. We're still editing them so no need to point out mistakes. You'll be writing long emails.


Virginia

North Carolina

South Carolina

Georgia

Florida

New Yamaha F40 woes

Yamaha Warranty woes

Bushfire in Oz

Our position. Courtesy of George


Yes, this is a boat, frozen in water. That day I literally walked on water like some other famous guy.



The boats namesake, Spaz our nutty cat.



Gracie our possibly more sane or nutty cat. We're not sure yet as she likes big waves.













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