Finding Karl

It is late April 2013, I am in Shelter Bay Marina, and I just bought a sailboat. My sailboat. Most likely the only one I will ever own in my life. I have never made an investment like this in my life before: nearly 10.000€. It’s not a lot for a sailboat, especially not for one made from Aluminum, with a length over all of 11,20m. Still, it’s a lot for me. But that is not the reason why I have this queasy feeling inside me. It’s something else…something that slowly works its way to my brain.


For about four years, I have been looking around all Europe to try and find a boat. People always say, that you will notice, when you have found the right boat for you. I looked at various different boat models, with a checklist in my head for the rational part of the decision and trying to picture myself sailing and living on each one of those potential boats, waiting for a certain emotion to settle in that would make me think “this is the one”. It never came.


And here I am, in Colón at the Atlantic coast of Panama, with a signed contract in my hands. For a boat that I have just cleaned for more than a week because it was overgrown with a forest of mold.

Seriously? Well, it’s definitely my name on that paper in front of me, so it must be true.


I lie down on the bow of my new to me boat, the air is hot and humid, and I gaze up at millions of stars. And I let those slightly scary thoughts take over: The moment has come. I have a boat. The adventure begins. Untie The Lines!