The return from Bermuda, however, was rough. The couple agrees that this might have been their biggest sea challenge, so far. They were monitoring the weather and were supposed to see six-to nine-foot seas. Instead, there were 15- to 20-foot seas.
"We were never scared for our safety," Ron notes. "The biggest challenge was staying rested and sharp with just the two of us. We didn't get much sleep and what we did get wasn't restful, we weren't eating well. But we knew the boat could handle a lot more than the crew."
When they built the boat, the Rothsteins went "one step up with everything." They overbuilt it, and duplicated systems for total redundancy. "We have two engines-and full engines, not a main and a get-home, wing engine," Ron explains. "We have two generators, two radars, two full nav systems, even a redundant AIS."
The Rothsteins particularly liked the layout options and the comfortable feeling of the Kadey-Krogen over some other builds they'd investigated.
"We went with what Kadey-Krogen calls 'the office layout,'" explains Karyn. "We have two cabins with en suite heads-one with day-head access-and the third cabin is an office instead, with bookshelves, lots of stowage, and it's nice and open."
The Rothsteins circumnavigation dreams are coming together, but they're not quite ready to go. Right now, they have a daughter, Ally, who's in her last year of high school. Ally enjoyed living aboard the boat in Baltimore and bringing her friends for vacations whenever the family cruised. She has the diving bug that runs in the family and which is the main impetus behind the Rothstein's plans.
"We both love the tropics and love to dive, so we eventually want to do a circumnavigation that's close to the equator," remarks Karyn. But in the meantime, the Rothsteins are getting to work out every kink in advance.
"Communications have been a challenge," says Ron. "We typically turn off the cell phones and rely on Skype and e-mail to keep in touch. We also started a blog because it's such a great way to let all your friends and family know where you are and what kind of adventures you're having."
But a recent adventure was not so much fun. Karyn and Ron were heading out to dinner in the Bahamas with friends. It was a cool night and she was sitting on the rear seat of a golf cart with her hands in her pockets when a tight turn tossed her off the back. Unable to get her hands up quickly enough, Karyn sustained a head injury that was troubling, but could have been much worse.
Naturally, their normal communication routines went out the window as they conferred with worried friends and family. The $3,000 cell phone bill was a shock, but the Rothsteins can at least regard it as another lesson on preparedness. Karyn's noggin, meanwhile, seems to be on the path to a full recovery, though diving is off-limits for now. "And I don't have a very good sense of smell," Karyn adds.
"Hmmm," muses Ron. "Guess who will be cleaning the heads and bilges?"
One of the biggest challenges for Ron has been learning to relax. "I'm a total Type A," he admits. That was great while the boat was being built and as they improved their skills and knowledge base. But Karyn made Ron promise to "chill out" once they got underway. "If we're cruising and we get to a place we like, we're going to stay a while," Karyn clarifies.
Ron readily agrees and admits he's finding a lot of enjoyment in slowing down and "smelling the roses."
"Don't rub it in," Karyn jokes.