Live Your Dream. Sail around the world.

Living the Nightmare

The last two months have been the worst of my life. Period. Getting ripped off once. Getting ripped off twice (I’ll get to that later). I have sat down many a times to write something. Each time failing to hit the ‘Publish’ button. Why? Because everything I had to say was dry, boring dribble. Stuff about how crappy our life has been. No one wants to hear that. Least of all myself. I would have had to change the tag line; “Hey, welcome to a blog about two people living in a boatyard. They’re at each others throats and he is borderline depressed.”

I attempted to write about how shitty some people have been to us. How life on the hard is, well, hard. It’s all garbage. Here’s why; We hired those contractors. We were responsible for managing them. We decided to do this refit. It’s garbage because my attitude was garbage.

We’ve made a few mistakes in the last few months. First, we under estimated the timeline. Second, we hired a contractor to build our first top without direct supervision (he needed babysitting). Third, we hired a second contractor to build another hardtop but again, we did a poor job at managing and believed his web of lies (they were extensive).

I’ll tell you this. It’s been a hell of a ride.

So what’s the deal with the second hard top? We waited two months for a hard top. The guy came out and measured. Measured again. We talked about the details almost daily. Everything seemed right other than the constant delays. The legs were made & mounted. The questions got more detailed as we progressed as they typically do. From a general template to specific details of where the wires will run. Where the legs will be mounted. How the sliding hatch will work. Everything made sense. Everything was normal, other than we had never laid eye on this ‘hardtop’. We tried. We were evaded. We should have caught on sooner. Turns out there never was a hard top. The “expert”, led us to believe he was constantly working on it. Little did we know he was an expert liar. In the end we confronted him by waiting at his shop until he finally came out (yes, he was hiding inside). He came up with a new lie: “It flew off the trailer while transporting.” What a bunch of bull shit. I have never seen such an elaborate web of lies. His deceipt was amazing in it’s own right. Pathological. We’ve asked ourselves many of times “why?” Why build and install the supporting legs? Why come back and get more measurements, more templates? The only answer we can come up with is drugs. It is evident he did drugs in the past and likely he took the materials deposit and went on a month long ride. That, and like many boaters in Deltaville, he thought we’d eventually just give up, leave and head south.

We are picking up the pieces now and trying to figure out what to do next. Virginia is cold. We are done here.

But none of this matters anymore. We’ve left. Our bow is pointed south. Every day, every hour it get’s warmer. The wind is in our face. The fishing lines are out. Already landed one massive King Mackerel and we have dolphins on the bow.

Life starts now.



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Alan Ruddiman
December 21, 2015

Hi again Ben and Ashley;

Arhh… pretty miserable and frustrating to say the least. We are glad to hear that you have decided to press on despite the major setback. Karma will no doubt come in play at some point, and you deserve tons of the good stuff.

We gather you will be headed back over to the Bahamas, and then a bit further afield?! The George Town (Exuma) cruising regatta in mid to late February is always a blast. So, drag your heels a bit and find yourselves on the hook just off Stocking Island for a few weeks – you deserve to be spoiled!!

Best wishes from a rather mild winter here in southern British Columbia. Merry Christmas to you both.

Alan and Christina


    December 23, 2015

    Thanks Alan & Christina,

    I think we will be back in the Bahamas in February no problemo! We were dead set on getting to the Caribbean but now we realize it’s not about the destination. We can have just a good a time in the Florida Keys, Bahamas and everywhere in between. I suspect we’ll do a passage to the Virgins come early spring when weather allows. But we’re in no rush anymore. Time to chill out and enjoy life for a while!


December 19, 2015

Surely you have been tested- but you have come out stronger…older… and wiser. Always sad when the lesson is how some people have no moral compass…but I suppose it helps us reset our own! Hope you have a great Christmas


    December 19, 2015

    Nicely said and so true; it is all about morals. Some don’t have any.

    Merry Xmas to you and the farm crew!


Ron d
December 18, 2015

Wow, sorry to hear about that guys. Glad you are rolling with it and moving on. Looking forward to reading many more stories of your exploits.

Happy sailing!


    December 19, 2015

    Thanks Ron.

    And yes, many exploits to come!


December 18, 2015

Oh guys…I’m so sorry to hear about your hardtop woes. Can’t say I had a great experience in Deltaville either. Or with having a hardtop built (two or three attempts and I coudn’t even get anyone to start).

Glad you are heading to warmer climates (I’m sitting here in a knit cap and gloves dreaming about heading south).

In the end…or at least close to it…I think I’m glad we ended up building our own hardtop. It took far longer than I thought (5 months instead of 2). It has been a trying experience for both of us as well. How’s this for irony…I’m currently waiting for a welder/fabricator to make me some supports. Between the two of us we have one complete hardtop.

I hope your trip south goes well. Hopefully sometime soon we can meet up in a tropical anchorage, share sundowners, and laugh about (or forget about) cold Decembers in Virginia.

Fair winds and following seas,


    December 18, 2015

    Ha! That’s pretty funny. I’d take the hard top any day over legs. I’m sure yours will come together quickly now.

    Once you do head south, it’ll get warmer everyday. I was surprised how fast it happens. We’re in shorts & tshirts some days now. Still waiting on the barefoot component. Likely make the last push south to Ft Lauderdale tomorrow.


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