Going. . . Going. . . Gone?

Make me an offer, please! Telltales from our October 2011 issue.

Oct 2011 Telltales

Steve Haefele

Dear Readers,

To humor you, I have made light of my fears of Anhinga outliving my usefulness. An illustration of your writer being buried at sea from her stern in a past installment of this column haunts me — I need your help! After 20 years I have decided to annul my marriage to Anhinga. There will be no lawyers or court-play. My only problem is that she needs a new sugar daddy. If just one of you will step forward, I will be saved from a watery grave!

I have never pandered in this column, but my broker Jon Burkard tells me that now's the time. He insists that Anhinga is part of Yachting history; therefore, I would be remiss in my duties as editor-at-large if I did not alert you, my dear readers, to this "incredible opportunity" — his words. He also suggested I mention that she's much more than simply a "perfect, fully loaded, highly customized, professionally maintained, blemish-free example of what knowledgeable watermen consider to be an icon of marine design. She's a steal!"

I have attempted to sell Anhinga in the past and I know Burkard is worried that I will have a change of heart. Mostly because he thinks I do not have the backbone to stand up to the Admiral (my wife, Nelia). On the other hand, if I do man up, he knows it's entirely possible that he could be banned from pig roasts at Camp Coyle for life — at least as a guest! He understands that the Admiral is disturbed by the mere mention of parting with what, for her, is a family heirloom. To get into the mood I practiced in front of the mirror: "This old boat means less to me than the frostbitten fruitcake that's been buried in our freezer since Christmas '05." Then I waited until the Admiral was out of the country to share the news. OK, I'm a chicken.

I had suffered three backbreaking days purging 20 years of memories from Anhinga's bowels. I made the call after several doses of "medicine." In the past I had become weak-kneed in the face of tears, but this time I was briefing the Admiral long-distance. After a bit of chitchat about the weather and the cost of our children, I saw my opening.

“Dear, you’re right, we have been spending too much money on the kids — and the boat too.” Pause.

“What does the boat have to do with it?” (She was suspicious!)

"Ahhh, well, I have decided we need a new boat and that it's time to sell Anhinga." Long pause. I continued. "The market has picked up. It's a good time to sell." (OK, I lied!)

“Have you been talking to Jon again? What is it this time, a lobster boat or a 31 Jupiter?”

“Oh, no dear. Jon didn’t even want the listing. I had to beg him to take it.” (This was true!)

There you have it. My loss could be your gain. Burkard also wanted me to mention: “With outriggers and a fighting chair, she’s ready to fish the Abacos or cruise the Exumas. Her engines sip fuel and she costs, er, pennies a day to operate.” (Good God!) “She’s the ideal boat for the demanding yachtsman (that could be you, dear reader) moving up, down or sideways.” Enough pandering!

The Admiral is on board now but she has one condition: Anhinga must go to a loving home, which I understand to mean that the price is negotiable. Landsmen like to blabber that "the best two days of boating are the day you buy and the day you sell." For me it will be the day I sell and the day I buy, for, as Warren Buffett suggests, I intend to "be greedy when others are fearful." Throw me a line!