The Burnetts are at the historic harbor in Chania, Crete. That means we are directly across from the trendy Nama restaurant, med-moored in between some fishing boats converted into tourboats and some powerboat yachts. Because that’s where 48-ft catamarans end up. Every day we see people file past on foot, Segway, or horse & carriage, rubbernecking to see what a “Leopard 48” looks like. Because the builders of our boat felt obligated to write “Leopard 48” in HUGE letters on our sailbag.
We don’t mind, really. We’ve heard the words, “Shell Knob, MO? Where is that?” muttered in a variety of European accents. We’ve heard people snicker when they discover our boat name on our port transom – “The Amazing Marvin – Snaaargh!” We’ve even watched entire families stand there for several minutes, observing us living our normal lives – washing the dishes, crabbing about homeschool assignments, cleaning the catbox – like we were macaques at a zoo. In fact, Mel once thought it might be funny to act like she was picking nits out of her son’s hair and eating them. Everyone else didn’t think it was so funny. Spoilsports.
So Mel made a FAQ to hang outside their dinghy. This left them alone for a while. At least until the FAQ blew away in the 35 kt winds…Here is our FAQ, gleaned from several months of answering questions:
FAQ: The Amazing Marvin
- What kind of boat is this?
The Amazing Marvin is a 2015 Leopard 48 blue-water sailing catamaran. It was designed by Dutch designers Simonis and Voogd and built by Robertson & Caine in South Africa.
- How big is it?
Marvin is 14.7 m long, 7.5 m wide, and has a draft of 1.5 m.
- How did you come up with the name? Are you magicians?
That’s the name the boat wanted. And no.
- Is that a picture of a snail?
No. Marvin is a steampunk cuttlefish that travels the oceans and records things in his travel journal. He also enjoys his sunset cocktail. The kids made him up!
- How long have you been sailing?
Not long. We learned to sail in 2014 and left Florida in 2015.
- Did you sail it across the ocean?
Yes. Leopards are “blue water” boats. We crossed the Atlantic in June 2016 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Lagos, Portugal. It took 22 days on the water, with stops in Bermuda and the Azores. Just two people can sail this boat pretty much anywhere in the world (Marvin does not like ice)!
- Do you live full-time on the boat?
Yes. We sold our house and belongings!
- Do you homeschool the kids?
Yes. That is the hard part!
- Where have you been with the boat?
Florida, Jamaica, Colombia, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, St. Martin, Anguilla, US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Turks & Caicos, Bahamas, Bermuda, Azores, Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar, Sardinia, Italy, Sicily, Greece, and Crete!
- Where are you going next?
Malta, Gibraltar, Morocco, the Canary Islands, the Cape Verde islands, and then back across the Atlantic to Barbados for another winter/spring in the Caribbean.
- How long are you going to cruise for?
We are going to cruise until next summer, 2017. After that, we have to go back to work!
- Is Trump going to become President and destroy the world?
Don’t worry. America isn’t that stupid. Close, but not quite.