Spending 6 days with your colleagues. The thought probably sends a shiver down the spine of most people. Spending 6 days with your colleagues aboard a 42-foot boat, well now that’s just … crazy, right!? I penned those words nearly a week ago, while on the precipice of beginning what has been dubbed, the Arawak Adventure—a cruise aboard our Grand Banks 42 project boat to test electronics, gear, and the ability of our editorial team to live together for a week. And what a test it was.
We prepped the boat and provisioned in Islamorada, spent a night battling bird-sized mosquitos on a small river in the Everglades. We met an old friend in a new destination of Naples, and sat in seclusion on the Okeechobee Waterway. And ultimately concluded our trip in Lake Okeechobee.
Throughout our cruise we ragged on each other more times than we’d like HR to know about. We sipped rum cocktails at great waterfront restaurants, and warm Budweiser on the back of the boat. We feasted on the best steaks Islamorada had to offer and soggy bologna sandwiches. We argued, laughed, and got to know one another better than we ever could in an office. There were ups and downs but coming together aboard Arawak has brought us, and Capt. Tommy McCoy closer.
Our relationship with Arawak has changed too. When we first climbed aboard we saw her faults: a fridge and freezer that didn’t work, some wiring issues that need to be resolved, brightwork that’s losing a 20-year battle with the sun. But after living aboard for the better part of a week my perception totally changed. Much like Arawak’s owner, Tommy McCoy, the boat is as reliable as a day at sea is long and she’s capable of bringing her crew long distances safely.
The restoration of Arawak (which has been chronicled in Power & Motoryacht and at www.betterpowerboat.com) hasn’t always been easy. McCoy, Editor-in-Chief George Sass Jr. and the project’s many sponsors poured time, money, blood, sweat, and even a few tears into saving this boat. But now that I’ve cruised aboard Arawak and made countless memories aboard, I can attest that all the time and pressure of this project has transformed a lump of coal into a diamond.
So, if you see Arawak at one of the upcoming boat shows (she will be on display at the Palm Beach International Show) come on aboard and check out all the work that has been done and tell the old girl that, “Dan is going to find an excuse to go cruising with her again real soon.”