9 PDQ 34 powercats, 1 PDQ 41 powercat and an Antares 44 sailing cat = One Epic Flotilla
The Lobsta Crawlers, as they are affectionately known, concluded their month-long tour of America's quintessential cruising ground in New England, starting from Great Salt Pond on Block Island, RI and cruising through Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. In typical Rhumb Line Yacht Sales fashion, the group of powercats and one sailing catamaran, lead by Dick and Carol Tuschick, left quite the impression in their wake.
A (mostly) uniform formation of powercats would at times cruise together or break off in smaller groups and would rendezvous at specific locations for group gatherings and dinners - giving everyone plenty of opportunities to cruise on their own or with the group. For that one Antares 44i sailboat, this meant a bit of planning and a few early mornings.
“It was indeed a challenge to keep up with the others, but we were able to do so because of the relatively short distances they traveled each day. While we had expected to fall far behind and only catch up for the scheduled dinners, we were able to stay with the group most of the way,” says Elizabeth who along with partner Alan, cruise aboard the Antares sailing catamaran s/v Vivacia.
“We would leave very early in the morning, wave to everyone as they passed us by later on, and finally arrive well after the others. But we made it and are so glad we did. It was such fun being with the group and getting to know so many new friends. They really made us feel welcomed into the family.”
“I am very nervous about going into new areas. As slow as we are, I have to do very careful route planning and it can become quite tiresome. The incredible amount of work that Dick and Carol put into planning the itinerary and leading the group not only made my life much easier and less stressful, but brought us to places I would not have known or had the courage to visit. That expanded horizon was the biggest benefit,” says Elizabeth.
This is also Taryn and Nick’s first flotilla. They’ve owned their PDQ 34 m/v Taryn Away since January 2017 and have gotten to know several flotilla members since buying the boat.
“Dick and Carol put together such an interesting itinerary, we just couldn’t resist. In addition, Nick has never been to Maine, so the flotilla provided a great opportunity for Nick to see this beautiful part of America, and for me to return,” says Taryn.
“The biggest reason for joining the flotilla was the fantastic camaraderie of the PDQ community. The chemistry of the Lobsta Crawl group was the highlight of the trip! Also, we benefitted from the collective experience and knowledge of flotilla members on a wide range of issues; cruising secrets, mechanical problem solving, weather reports, and each boat owners unique innovations on their boats.”
“Dick and Carol’s experience in organizing flotillas really paid off. We, and everyone else, had the freedom to explore on our own and set our own agendas while, at the same time, we had the four dinner rendezvous to bring everyone back together. Great planning!” says Taryn.
For others, including Carole and Bill aboard PDQ 34 Tiger, this wasn’t their first flotilla with Rhumb Line Yacht Sales.
“The PDQ flotillas have been marvelous,” says Carole who has participated in 3 official flotillas led by Dick and Carol and have the t-shirts to prove it! They have been to the Exumas, Georgian Bay on their way to completing the Great Loop and, of course, the Lobsta Crawl.
“We have appreciated all the benefits of planned routes and stops by experienced boaters. The group dinners are delightful. We have gone to so many places with the group that we may not have wanted to do on our own,” says Carole. “It is beneficial to have so many captains help with, ‘How do I fix that?’ and ‘Who has a part for that?’"
“Rhumb Line Yacht Sales flotillas are never a parade,” says Carol Tuschick. “Every owner chooses their desired speed and daily destination. The glue that keeps the group connected is daily VHF chatter on a specified channel, a daily group text thread and group dinners every 10 days. It’s there that owners can trade info and sight seeing highlights with all. Each dinner venue is unique and was well prepared for this large, fun-loving group.
What made the Lobsta Crawl different to Dick and Carol who have been organizing flotillas since 2005, was the uniqueness of each port. Dealing with fog and countless lobster pots was a major adventure. Ten-foot tides (and resulting currents) were also notable. Needless to say the gourmet feasting of lobster, re-learning US maritime history and being in Boston for the 4th of July had special significance.
The best part of a flotilla? The answer is unanimous. The friendships made, the stories shared dockside, and the adventures had both on board and on shore.
“The last dinner together was bittersweet, knowing that this magical experience was nearly at an end. Words can’t express how happy and grateful Alan and I are to have been included on this wonderful adventure. We would absolutely participate again if the stars aligned to make it possible,” says Elizabeth.
And yes, it’s never too soon to plan for the next flotilla. Contact us to find out how you can join us on our next adventure aboard your PDQ Powercat or Antares sailing catamaran.