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Do You Believe in Destiny?

Frank and I feel that Destiny brought us together and to this very point in our lives, which makes it possible to live our dream. After reading our story you will understand.

When Frank and I met and began sharing our stories, hopes, dreams and ambitions it became very clear to both of us that we were meant to be together at this very point in our lives. Fate and destiny have played major roles in our lives, which was first revealed to us by the way we came together. Frank's sister, Mary, is married to my brother, Tom. Our families are very close and a friendship bond was forged between the two of us - thanks to Tom and Mary - that eventually blossomed into a bond of marriage. We were amazed to find that we not only shared many mutual interests and hobbies, but that we shared a common dream: to sail around the world. For me this was truly a dream; something which I could only imagine, yet for Frank it was a goal toward which he has worked for many years.

Since marrying in August of 2001, every decision we have made has been with deliberate intent and purpose in order to align our lives to make our dream a reality. Frank has spent many hours researching and studying dozens of sailing yacht designs and manufacturers in order to determine the best fit for our needs. I sought a different approach and began reading and learning more about sailing and reading true adventure stories of folks who have done this very thing, which made me both excited and terrified at the same time. I insisted that we needed a floating fortress complete with all the creature comforts, for a price that will allow me to hit the spa at every port along our journey. Frank on the other hand took a more logical and technical approach, seeking out features like hull integrity, the latest electronic gadgetry, automation, etc. Eventually, we narrowed the field to about three builders and decided the approximate size that would suit us as a live-aboard. He began contacting brokers and dealers, while arranging charters for us to “test drive” for a week or so at a time in order to prove to ourselves that we can do this and still remain a happy couple.

In 2003, Frank noticed that Island Packet Yachts (IPY), who was one of our top 3 picks, had introduced their center cockpit 485, which really impressed him. He made contact with a gentleman named Ed Whiteaker, the local IPY dealer down in Florida to inquire about the 485. Ed kindly answered all of Frank’s questions, and agreed to stay in touch knowing that we were at least 3 years out from making a purchase. Ed contacted Frank from time to time, keeping him informed of availability and of the latest and greatest upgrades. Frank contacted Ed from time to time asking more questions and getting clarification. We continued trying out boats but had yet to sail a 485, as there were none yet available for charter.

In May 2005, while chartering a sailboat on Shelter Island in San Diego, Frank noticed a beautiful IPY 485 on the very dock we were using. On the last day of our trip Frank saw that the owner had arrived and was working about on deck. Frank introduced himself, explaining that we had been admiring his beautiful yacht for several days and were considering purchasing one just like his, however, he had not yet been able to show one to his lovely wife (me) and would be very grateful if this gentleman would allow us to board his vessel and take a look around. The gentleman and his wife, Pat and Carol, graciously spent nearly an hour showing us around the Carol Ann, aptly named after the owner’s wife. We were so impressed that when leaving, Frank commented that we would be looking for a boat just like this one in a couple of years and handed Pat his card saying that if Pat and Carol ever decided to sell her we would be very interested in making an offer. They both made it clear that this was their dream as well (in other words, “don’t hold your breath!”), and wished us luck in our search. I remember saying to them that it is just as well because no one else would want a boat named after someone else’s wife. We all laughed and knew we’d probably never meet again. From that day forward, however, Frank modeled future searches on that very boat and her amenities. I continued to pray that this dream was truly meant to be for us and trusted fate to open the necessary doors.

Near the end of 2005, we set Frank’s retirement date for May 31, 2007, and prepared to go to the next level. Because the Colorado real estate market was not optimal for sellers at that time we felt that we should give ourselves a year to get the house sold, thus giving ourselves plenty of time to find a boat and to ready ourselves. We contacted our good friend and realtor, Mac Buckland in February 2006, telling him that we wanted to get the house on the market March 1, jokingly telling him that we were leaving town for a while and would appreciate his selling the house before we got home. We found that you don’t throw Mac a challenge if you aren’t serious! He sold our home in 9 days, delivering to us a full price cash offer explaining that the new owner would be taking possession on April 1. Talk about a WOW moment! We scrambled to find a rental property in Parker, CO that was available within 3 weeks, and set about to downsize 4800 square feet into whatever we could find. Prayers again got answered as we found a condo for lease with a one-car garage that happened to be available April 1. We happily unloaded furniture, heirlooms and electronics onto children and family members, while packing other items away for storage in the garage, then crammed ourselves into our 1100 square foot rental. This was a good exercise in downsizing for us. Shortly afterward, Frank discovered that it would not be possible for him to retire in May of 2007, and postponed until January 31, 2008. We both took it in stride and felt that somehow fate was at work here and we knew as everything else in our life this would somehow work out for the best.

At the end of 2006 Frank got in touch with Ed Whiteaker once again to let him know we were moving along with phase II, and that we would like to meet him at the Miami Boat show in February to talk about finding us a boat. Ed had sold his IPY dealership and he and his wife, Debbie had started their own boat brokerage business. This was really perfect for us since he would now be able to help us find any make and model we were interested in. We had narrowed it down to two makes of yachts; the Hylas and the Island Packet. By the time we met up with Ed and Debbie in Miami, Frank had pretty much made up his mind that the Island Packet 485 would be the boat for us. I was still sitting on the fence between the two. After meeting with them and looking at both models we walked away feeling confident that the 485 was it. Frank will never forget when we left the show he asked Ed what we needed to do next, and Ed’s reply was that it was time for him to go to work and find us a boat. We were more than a little excited, realizing that this thing is taking on a life of its own and is no longer a dream. This is the real deal.

We found that Ed doesn’t mess around any more than Mac does. Ed and Debbie got back to their office and began sending letters to all 485 owners - there weren’t that many since this model has only been manufactured for a few years – telling them that he has a serious buyer if any of them had an interest in selling. Not long afterward he received a call from an owner in Tampa, saying that he had recently moved from the west coast and might be interested in selling if it was going to the right buyer for the right price. The Tampa man did not want to list his boat nor was he willing to haggle. Ed called us saying that he might have a boat for us if the owner decided to sell. He told us about the boat and all the items that were on it, saying it was in San Diego. Frank told me about Ed’s call and said he had a strange gut feeling about this one, asking me if I remembered the name of that boat we looked at on Shelter Island. I told him I’d never forget the name; it was Carol Ann. Frank explained to Ed about our tour of the Carol Ann and how we nearly left puddles of drool all over her as we left. Ed called the seller, asking him if Carol Ann was the name of his boat. The man confirmed that it was but was surprised at the question and asked Ed how he knew. Ed explained to him that we were the couple to whom he and his wife had showed the boat in May 2005, and that we had remembered both the name of the boat and of the owners. None of us could believe that a chance meeting 2 years before had led us back to their boat again, and that somehow in the grand scheme of things this would work out so that we would come to own their pride and joy. They had not wanted to sell, but circumstances gave way to what was reasonable for them. And reasonable for them was a wonderful blessing for us!

We closed on the boat in May 2007 and then at the end of the month sailed our new baby to Ensenada Mexico where she would stay until Frank’s retirement. In September 2007 we held the renaming ceremony with Frank’s buddy Dick and several of our new friends from the Marina, christening her Destiny, and I think you can see why. The denaming/renaming ceremony is quite a ritual and great fun for all who participated. We of course took pictures and made a video clip which you can view on this site.

It turns out that we needed every day of Frank’s additional 8 months at work in order to do the things that we needed to do and to get things done in order to be ready to begin our journey.

As you can see it is our DESTINY to live this dream. From this web site you will be able to follow along with us and to share in our adventures.

Vessel De-naming Ceremony

FRANK: According to legend, each and every vessel is recorded by name in the Ledger of the Deep and is known personally to Poseidon, or Neptune, the god of the sea. It is logical therefore, if we wish to change the name of our boat, the first thing we must do is to purge its name from the Ledger of the Deep and from Poseidon’s memory. This is an involved process beginning with the removal or obliteration of every trace of the vessel’s current identity. This is essential and must be done thoroughly. To the best of our ability….this has been done. The name “Carol Ann” has been purged from this vessel.

Oh mighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans, to whom all ships and we who venture upon your vast domain are required to pay homage, implore you in your graciousness to expunge for all time from your records and recollection the name “Carol Ann” which has ceased to be an entity in your kingdom. As proof thereof, we submit this ingot bearing her name to be corrupted through your powers and forever be purged from the sea.

(At this point, drop the metal tag with the old name on it from the bow of the boat into the sea.)

In grateful acknowledgment of your munificence and dispensation, we offer these libations to your majesty and your court.

(Pour 1/4 of the bottle of Champagne into the sea from East to West. The remainder to be passed among the guests.)

"In the name of all who have sailed aboard this ship in the past, and in the name of all who may sail aboard her in the future, we invoke the ancient gods of the wind and the sea to favor us with their blessing today.

"Mighty Neptune, king of all that moves in or on the waves; and mighty Aeolus, guardian of the winds and all that blows before them:

"We offer you our thanks for the protection you have afforded this vessel in the past. We voice our gratitude that she has always found shelter from tempest and storm and enjoyed safe passage to port.

"Now, wherefore, we submit this supplication, that the name whereby this vessel has hitherto been known “Carol Ann”, be struck and removed from your records.

"Further, we ask that when she is again presented for blessing with another name, she shall be recognized and shall be accorded once again the selfsame privileges she previously enjoyed.

"In return for which, we rededicate this vessel to your domain in full knowledge that she shall be subject as always to the immutable laws of the gods of the wind and the sea.

I bid hail Aeolus and Poseidon! And seek your benefaction upon this vessel, May the name she carried before, be gone as the winds of yore, having served the former master with honor. I now, with deep respect, petition you royal beings, to give this vessel's new hailing and her next voyages, your kindnesses.

"In consequence whereof, and in good faith, we seal this pact with a libation offered according to the hallowed ritual of the sea."

(Pour at least 1/4 of the bottle of Champagne into the sea from East to West. The remainder to be passed among the guests.)

Vessel Renaming Ceremony

FRANK: We have come together this afternoon to perform a blessing on this vessel. In ancient times, a vessel was blessed with all four elements to insure it remained in balance with the forces of the world. Today we will do the same.
JOE: The first ancient element was AIR. (light incense and pass it to Barb).Air is the element of thought, logic and clear vision. By blessing this vessel with air, we ask that the skipper and mate be always blessed with clear knowledge and the skill to overcome all obstacles.
BARB:  (Take the incense from Joe and carry it around the gunwales from stem to stern and return, repeat these words over and over)I bless this vessel with air. May she grant us clear vision always.
PEGGY: The second element is FIRE. (light the candle and pass it to DICK) Fire is the element of change and magic; of transformation and of will. By blessing this vessel with fire, we ask that the boat behave well in the water - like magic.
DICK:  (Take the candle from PEGGY and carry it around the gunwales from stem to stern and return, repeat these words, over and over)I bless this vessel with fire. May she carry us magically through the seas.
ALLEN: The third element is WATER(Hold up the chalice filled with water and hand it to Barb). Water is the element of emotions and love; of relationships and friendships. By blessing this vessel with water, we ask that the skipper and mate always have many friends at hand.
BARB: (Take the chalice from JOE and sprinkle the water on the vessel around the gunwales, from stem to stern and return, repeat these words, over and overI bless this vessel with water. May we always be surrounded by good friends.
SUSAN: The last element is EARTH.  (Hold up the bowl of salt and hand it to Dick).Earth is the element of basic needs and sustenance; of material things and health and financial matters. By blessing this boat with earth, we ask that the skipper and mate always have health and happiness.
DICK: (Take the bowl of salt and spread it around the gunwales, from stem to stern and return, repeat these words, over and over)  I bless this vessel with earth. May we stay healthy, wealthy, and happily together with this vessel.
FRANK: Now, repeat after me: And as I will it, so might it be! Blessed be!  And as I will it, so might it be! Blessed be!
BARB: The blessing is done. May this vessel carry us always as free as the wind, as sprightly as fire, as lovingly as water, and as safely as the earth itself. Blessed be!

FRANK: Be it known by one and all!  This vessel, from this day, will be hailed as, “DESTINY”! Aeolus, whose mighty hand doth charge the wind, To this vessel gentle zephyrs send,

And we who sail within will bend
Our heads in tribute, never end.

With breath from high that maketh heaven's breeze,
To cause we sailors joy, or fear, upon the seas.
We call upon you Aeolus, please -
grant this ship and its mortal ease.

O! Poseidon, you spirit god of waters great and small,
On this vessel, by your grace, allow these sons and daughters all,
to pass from port of hailing to their port of call,
And on these sailing subjects make your gentle blessings fall.

You who cause the seas to rage or lie in sweet repose,
Please list to we mariners here, your servants of the flows.
This ship, the captain, crew and all of those -
Who love the wind and seas  - will follow where thee goes

(Each person is poured a glass of champagne)

Oh mighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans, to whom all ships and we who venture upon your vast domain are required to pay homage, implore you in your graciousness to take unto your records and recollection this worthy vessel hereafter and for all time known as “DESTINY”, guarding her with your mighty arm and trident and ensuring her of safe and rapid passage throughout her journeys within your realm.
MICHAEL: In appreciation of your munificence, dispensation and in honor of your greatness, we offer these libations to your majesty and your court. (Pour a glass of Champagne into the sea from West to East and each person drinks from their glass of champagne)
FRANK: The next step is to appease the gods of the winds. This will assure us of fair winds and smooth seas. Because the four winds are brothers, it is permissible to invoke them all at the same time, however, we must address each by name.
Oh mighty rulers of the winds, through whose power our frail vessels traverse the wild and faceless deep, we implore you to grant this worthy vessel, “DESTINY”  the benefits and pleasures of your bounty, ensuring us of your gentle ministration according to our needs.
BARB(Facing north, pour a glass of Champagne and fling to the North as you intone:)  Great Boreas, exalted ruler of the North Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your frigid breath.
(All drink some champagne)
DICK: (Facing west, pour a glass of Champagne and fling to the West while intoning:)  Great Zephyrus, exalted ruler of the West Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your wild breath.
(All drink some champagne)
PEGGY: (Facing east, pour a glass of champagne and fling to the East). Great Eurus, exalted ruler of the East Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your mighty breath.
(All drink some champagne)
JOE: (Facing south, pour a glass of champagne and fling it to the South.) Great Notus, exalted ruler of the South Wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your scalding breath.
FRANK: I name this vessel “DESTINY”, and may she bring fair winds and good fortune to all who sail on her.
(All drink remaining champagne)


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