It was the trip of a lifetime, a cruising couple’s dream: 46 days out of New Bern, N.C., on a 32-foot sloop; 854 nautical miles, round trip, into Chesapeake Bay and back; 45 nights anchored, moored, rafted or tied — and only three nights at a marina.
Pamlico Sound, Kitty Hawk Bay to Albemarle Sound, the Dismal Swamp Canal and Norfolk, Va. — and then the whole of the Bay to play in. Karl and Elaine Mielenhausen call their 2008 odyssey “an excellent adventure.” It was just what they had in mind when they bought their 2000 Catalina 320 in 2005, hull No. 690 of the popular design (more than 1,200 built).
The switch from sail to power can mark a sea change in a boating life. It comes with both foreseen and unforeseen consequences.
But there’s one aspect Tom Davis and his wife, Vicky, never considered when they went from a 33-foot sloop to a 37-foot powerboat.
“We had all this foul-weather gear from the sailboat, and we haven’t had to use it since we bought the powerboat,” says the 64-year-old retired machinist. “And we still go out in the same kinds of weather.”