Of Biblical Proportions …

April 17, 2014 – Keys Log, Day 15:

It was around 4:30 in the morning.  Phillip had been holding the helm hour upon hour as we beat our way through the Gulf.  It was shocking to see the wind hold so steady.  We glared at the instruments like you would your mom telling your prom date how cute it was when you used to run around the neighborhood naked.  Please say something different.  Please!  But, no.  The wind instrument registered 25+ for hours, upon hours, upon hours.  Sometimes, it would fall down to the low twenties, or even 19 (oooh!), and we would start to get excited.  We’ll take 19.  But then it would crank right back up to the upper 20’s again and hold steady for hours, upon hours, upon hours.  It was a very rough night.  I think I might have fallen asleep for two minutes – twice – out of sheer exhaustion, but then a loud crack on a wave and my head would bang against the companionway and I was up again.  Phillip never shut his eyes.  Not once.  All night long he held that wheel.

After battling these conditions for 4-5 hours, we had decided a little after midnight to pull out of the Gulf and take cover in Charlotte Harbor.  It was clear the wind was not going to let up.  We had wanted to make it from Tampa Bay to Ft. Myers in roughly 24 hours to beat the “numerous thunderstorms” that were set to come in later that afternoon, but with the horrendous night we were having, it just wasn’t looking feasible.  And, we had both been up for about 20 hours straight at that point.  We were beat.

But, just when you think things are going to get a little easier, in sailing it seems that’s just about the time they get a little harder – always pushing you to your limits.  Here we were, 4:30 a.m., and we were coming into a new harbor at night, in 3-4 waves and 25+ mph winds.  We had made our way out of Charlotte Harbor one time before, during the Gulf Crossing when we brought the boat back from Punta Gorda.


Man, look at us.  There’s Mitch.  “Hey Mitch!”  And, my God, we still have the dinghy!  That seems like forever ago … 

But, when we made our way through Charlotte Harbor that time, it was in broad daylight and much calmer conditions.  We certainly wouldn’t call this a pass we were truly “familiar with,” and we were coming in at night.

Phillip gave me the wheel (for the first time since 9:00 p.m.) so he could check the charts to make sure there weren’t any shoals or other hazards.

CH Pass

It seems there are always hazards.  I guess we just prefer to call them “adventures.”  There were a couple of areas where we had to go outside of the markers to avoid the shoals, but I’m thrilled to say we made our way safely into Charlotte Harbor, at night, and left the tumultuous waters of the Gulf behind us.  We pulled into the Pass just as the sun was coming up.


I don’t think I’ve ever been so thankful to see warm rays of sun on Phillip’s face.  The Captain really stepped up that night and brought us in safe. We were both so grateful.  The sun was out, the horizon was visible and we were intact – me, Phillip, the boat and everything on it.  We had made it through that harrowing night.


And, we could see land on the horizon.  Yippeee!

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We pulled into the harbor and found the first place with a decent swing radius off the ICW to drop anchor and get some rest.


It was around 8:30 a.m. by then and we had both been going about 26+ hours.  I don’t even remember crawling into the vberth and shutting my eyes.  In fact, I’m not even sure how I got into bed.  (That’s not the first time that’s happened, though, and I’m sure it won’t be the last).

But, it was a short reprieve.  We hadn’t been asleep an hour – at most – and the Captain sprang back into action.  He was up, walking around on the deck, making sounds that sounded all too much like he was readying the boat.  I was cursing him from the vberth below.  But, I finally roused and asked him what the plan was.  “We’re going,” he said.  “It’s beautiful out here.  Not a cloud in the sky.  We can make it to Ft. Myers today.”

That man …  He’s got a sailor’s heart, no doubt.  But, his enthusiasm was infectious.  I started nodding my head slowly, then with a little more vigor, like a slow standing clap.  You’re damn right we can!  Our plan had been to make it to Ft. Myers that day and, after the horrendous night we had had in the Gulf, and we were now here, safe in the ICW, just a 5-6 hour motor away from our goal, then by gollie, let’s do it.  Let’s get to Ft. Myers today!  I started readying the boat with him.

And, if there is anything out there like “sea karma” or “gulf good will,” we had certainly earned ours.  It was a beautiful motor day.  Phillip was right, the sun was shining, the sights were superb along the ICW – Cayo Costa, Cabbage Key, all of the state parks along the way.  We had definitely earned some favors from the Sea Gods (if there is such a thing).  We tied on some swimwear and let our hair down.  It was a glorious day on the boat!

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This way Cap’n!


We let the solar shower warm on the deck during the day and enjoyed a luxurious cockpit shower in the afternoon.  It’s amazing how much you can take for granted the feeling of just being clean.  That is one of the things I truly love about sailing.  How much it makes you appreciate the little things – a hot shower, a warm bed, a hearty home-cooked meal.  Many of the things that, in all the hustle and bustle of a stressful day-to-day life on land, just seem like an afterthought, feel like a lavish treat when you’re out on the boat.  It doesn’t take much, a good book perhaps, a warm cup of coffee, and you’ll find yourself warmed from head to toe with complete contentment.

We made easy way along the ICW that day through Pine Island Sound,


over to San Carlos Bay, by Sanibel Island,


and under the Sanibel Causeway Bridge to Ft. Myers Beach.



We were really excited to see the Beach in the distance.  We had made it!  The same day we had expected to – which was shocking considering the night we’d had.  It was strange how the howling winds and treacherous seas of the Gulf now seemed a million miles away.  Nothing could phase us here in Ft. Myers!


Do I really do that?  Make that stupid face and thumb-point to landfall behind me?


Apparently …   I certainly felt the need in St. Pete.  

Well, let’s just throw in a self-serving selfie while we’re at it:


Needless to say, we were thrilled to be coming into Ft. Myers Beach.  We even spotted a Pensacola boat headed in with us.

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“Look Captain.  He’s from P’Cola!”

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How fortuitous.  Take us on in Pensacola!

When we made it to the Matanzas Pass Bridge, we saw this massive pirate-looking ship just in front of the bridge – its mast easily too tall to get under:


And, there were these guys, way up in the rigging, doing some repairs or something I guess.  But, they were dangling there, hundreds of feet from the ground (okay, I don’t know – maybe 70 feet – some courageous number I’m sure):

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It was wild.  We learned later that the boat was used for filming some of the scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean.  You’re telling me Johnny Depp’s been on this boat?  This … very … boat?


Mmmm Hmmmm …   I would hurt him …

But, back to Phillip.  And, the boat.  We made our way nicely under the bridge and snagged a mooring ball in the Matanzas Harbor Mooring Field.  Operated by the Town of Ft. Myers Beach and again, great rates – $15/day – includes dingy dock, restrooms, shower, laundry, pump-out, you name it.  That place rocked!


And, I feel thankful now that we had really paid our dues the night before, fighting and leaping our way across the Gulf, because I think we ranked up just enough good will to save us from this one last catastrophe — a storm … of biblical proportions.

We made it to our mooring ball with ease and hooked up.  Ahhh …  Nothing to it.  We’re experts on the ball now.  I stepped up into the cockpit to snap a few shots to capture our new “home” for the next few days, and I’m glad now that I did.  Because this is what we saw come over the horizon:


You see the Matanzas Bridge there?


Good, because do you see it now?


The rain came in sheets.  Torrential, hard-hitting sheets.  Not ten minutes after we had hooked up.  Phillip ran up topside to get some our clothes and things off the “line” (the lifelines) and he came back soaked in seconds.


The sky grew an ominous boding grey,

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And, rain buried the boats around us.

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The wind was blowing 38 mph, with gusts of 42.  It was intense and immediate.  Frightening but thrilling at the same time.  I really felt like I was going to start seeing animals, paired in twos, running along the shore to safety.  And, while the thought didn’t strike me until the storm had passed, I can only wonder now what we would have done if that storm had hit 15 minutes earlier …

May 27, 2013 – Home Again, Home Again

Tired as dogs!  We sat there on the dock for about a half hour, re-living the “best sail of our lives” and re-enacting some of the more ‘harrowing’ and hilarious moments from the initial crossing, in awe, really, that we had finally brought the boat all the way from Charlotte Harbor to Pensacola.  It was almost surreal to see her there, glistening in the sun, at the dock in Pensacola.  The dockmaster came around 8:00 a.m. and put us in a transient slip for the night.  Once she was secure, we started unpacking the boat and looking for a hot shower and a warm meal.  And, of course, what every sailor wants after a big hearty trip?


You’re darn right!  We were in desperate need of a big hearty drink.  It seems we had adapted quite well to the salt life.  Rum now ran in our blood, calling us the minute we set foot on shore.  Okay, while that’s not entirely true (that gives me the image of a grimy sailor busting into a run-down old wash house, snatching a bottle off the shelf and ripping the cork out with his teeth before he chugs it down), we probably would have done that, had there only been an old run-down driftwood bar at the dock.


That’s right, pass it this way Sparrow.

Honestly, though.  We just couldn’t stay away from her.  We didn’t quite get that “Ahhh … we’re finally home!” feeling.  It was more like, “Hurry, get cleaned up quick so we can go back and check on the boat!”  We invited some friends over to meet us in the cockpit for drinks and to check out the boat as a ridiculous disguise, but Phillip and I both know we would have spent the evening on the boat friends or not.  We just couldn’t stay away.  So, we headed back down to her, rum drinks in hand.


Can I get that to go please?

Rum Runner recipe

1 oz Dark or spiced rum
0.5 oz creme de bananes
2 oz orange juice

We like to add a little splash of juice from the maraschino cherry jar to give it that red cherry color, then add a toothpick with cherry and orange slice on top for garnish.  And, the umbrellas are certainly fun.  I got like 500 of them on a buy-one-get-one-free special at Party City months ago so we now find any excuse to stick an umbrella in our drink.  I sometimes stick one in my morning coffee and tell myself I’m sure that’s how they do it in the Islands.  But, I wouldn’t recommend you try it.  Few can really pull that off.

Finally back to tell our story, and now with friends nestled in the cockpit, captivated, begging for tall tales at sea, Phillip and I re-lived our docking in 20 mph winds in Clearwater, our hacking off the dingy in the middle of the Gulf, our 16-hour tack from Panama City to Pensacola, the heroism, the hangovers, the hooker, everything!  And, our tales probably got a little taller on round two (and were probably not recognizable as the truth on round three), but we had a great time telling them.  And, it may have been the nostalgia of home or the rum or a little bit of both, but I honestly think the sun called in a special setting to welcome us back to Pensacola that evening because it was absolutely stunning:





We all toasted the sunset and enjoyed a wonderful evening on the boat, and Phillip and I knew home was never going to be “home” again if our boat wasn’t there.

April 17-23, 2013 – The Crossing: Chapter Two – Sailor’s Delight

On the 18th, the crew woke to a lavender sunrise and a light breeze.  It was a beautiful day.  We were rested and ready to go.  We tore through the Hampton Inn schmorgas board breakfast and hit the road.  Our sail groupies were eager to make the big send-off.


The parents and I headed to Publix to make the big provisions run and, I have to say, I ran a tight ship.  Mary was assigned canned goods and other non-perishables while I ransacked the produce and meat departments.  I sent Paul to the back to gather boxes and bags and he cleaned them out.  We looked like the old Supermarket Sweep contestants



Minus the matching numbered jersey sweatshirts of course.  Man, these people are excited.  And, just for an extra laugh (so all my hard blog work doesn’t go to waste) – this is worth a minute of your life, trust me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UO_tm-C7yfU).

I texted Phillip a few pics to make sure I had picked up the right items.


Annie:  The pink right?

 Phillip:  That’s my favorite color.

This was for the shrimp feta pasta we made on Saturday night.  Yum!  (Although Phillip’s version is way better, this recipe will help get you there: http://www.food.com/recipe/michelles-penne-with-shrimp-tomatoes-and-feta-318465).

364 dollars later (ouch!) we made it to the boat and started stacking up all the goodies in the cockpit.  Down below, I was initially a little worried about how we were going to fit everything in the boat.  Remember all that crap on the Provisions List?  Well, now we had it – we just had to find a place to put it on a 35 foot sailboat.  But, I will say, that turned out to be a non-issue.  There were more nooks and crannies on that boat than an English muffin.  (Which, interestingly enough, are patented and were recently the cause of a top secret muffin scare.  Oh my!  A riveting read I assure you: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2010-07-29-english-muffin-lawsuit_N.htm).  Thankfully, we were able to cram all the crap in all the crannies in record time.  We shook hands with Barbara and Jack and engaged in a nice photo op to memorialize the big event.


They were excited for us but a bit sad to see their beautiful boat go.  We promised to take good care of her and they assured us if we did, she would certainly take good care of us.  We set off around 11:30 a.m. and headed out into Charlotte Harbor.


The sailing was prime that day.  The sun was out.  The wind was blowing 8-12 knots and the waves were 2-3  feet all afternoon.  We started to play around with the sails some and learn the systems.  No matter how much you know about sailing, it always takes a bit to learn the rigging when you’re on a new boat.  For us, this consisted of a very complicated pull-and-wiggle approach where I would pull or wiggle a line from the cockpit and Mitch, up at the mast, would find the line I was expertly pulling and wiggling and determine what it controlled, the outhaul, or the boom vang or a reefing line, etc.   We, of course, forgot most of that when it came time to reef (pull the sail down a bit) but it just takes a while.  After we got the sails up and trimmed and on a nice tack, the crew took a collective breath and let the afternoon seep in.  We put on some good music, made some snacks (tuna salad sandwiches and homemade guac!) and, as all good sailors do, shed a few clothes.




Some of us relaxed more than others:


Now I did promise a full-fledged Chaucer rendition of Mitch, didn’t I?  You readers … so demanding.  Mitch.  Where do I begin?  First, I must say, he’s an incredible friend to give up five days to sail across the open Gulf with us and help get the boat back.  As fun as it is, remember what I told you about sailing, it is indeed hard work, and we were out of touch with the rest of the cellular world for days at a time.  That’s a big commitment, and there is no way we could have done it without him.  There, now that I’ve given Mitch his due praise, let me give him his due description.  As I’ve told you, Mitch is all of six feet, four inches.  While that may seem pretty normal for a guy … on land … it’s a bit much for a 35-foot sailboat.  Mitch lumbered and bumbled around that boat like an elephant going through a carwash.  Each step of his foot on the deck sounded like Neal Armstrong landing on the moon.  I honestly felt sorry for him while I watched him clamor up and down the companionway stairs and through the hatch.  He must have felt like he was crawling around on Playskool equipment.


I think the fear of getting stuck in the hatch prompted him, each time I got up to go down the stairs, to ask me for something he needed from down below, rightly earning him the name “Mitch, While-You’re-Down-There, Roberts” for the duration of the trip.  He was a talker and a screamer but he had a heart of gold.  Mitch taught me a great deal about sailing and he was a true asset on the trip.

We watched the sun set over the bow of the boat on Thursday evening and congratulated each other on an excellent day of sailing.



I got industrious and labored away on some sweet potato chili in the galley.  I managed not to blow the boat up and fed the crew right and proper.  It was a sailing miracle!  Clearwater was still another 15 hours away and we had a long night of sailing ahead, but the crew was full and content and ready to make way.

April 17-23, 2013 – The Crossing: Chapter One – Sail Groupies and Sardines

So the boat, while ours, was still down in Punta Gorda, with only one way home: across the Gulf of Mexico. The plan was to drive down on the 17th, a Wednesday, set sail on Thursday morning and, over the course of the next five days, sail her back to her new home port in Pensacola. Our first planned stop was Clearwater. That was an excepted 24 hour run from Punta Gorda (Port Charlotte on the map). Then we planned to make the big crossing from Clearwater to Panama City.

FL West Coast 3

(NOAA chart for all you sailing aficionados: http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/411.shtml).

As you can see, the crossing from Clearwater to Panama City (218  nautical miles total, the majority of which would be spent 100-150 miles offshore – hence the name: The Crossing) was going to be the real beast of the trip. “The hair on the dog” as my Dad would say. Assuming good weather and good speed, The Crossing was expected to take about 48 hours. Yes, you read that right. 48 hours. That’s a day and a half of sailing or motoring, someone always at the helm and another always on watch, i.e., awake, alert and ready to assist as needed in the cockpit or up on deck). That translates to just a few hours’ sleep for each of us over a 48-hour period. In other words, not much. There were also a lot of firsts involved. Our first time on this boat, our first time using the systems and learning the lines and rigging, our first time together as a crew, our first time crossing the Gulf and, not to mention, my first time, ever, making a passage like this on a sailboat. My primary goal was to learn quickly and perform well so I could become a dependable member of the team. Survival was a close second and enjoyment was never a concern. Adrenaline pumped through me daily, jumping and snapping like a dog on a tight leash, eager to feast on the adventure. I was going to throw lines, raise sails and hold the helm with the best of them. Eat salt for breakfast, lunch a dinner. I imagined myself a real sailor.

Avid sailor

Of course, in my mind, I was going to look like this:

Sexy Sailor 1

while doing ALL of that.    . . . Totally do-able.

Finally the departure date came and it was time for us to head down to South Florida. Because we had to drive down and sail back, we needed a one-way ticket to Punta Gorda. Cue Phillip’s folks. They did us a real favor by driving us down, but they also wanted to make the passage with us vicariously by meeting up with us at several ports on the way back. Sort of like sailing groupies if you will. We were thrilled to have them on board.


“Mary, you ready to go?”    “Why, yes, Annie, I believe so!”

It took some doing, but we finally got everything (recall the lengthy Provisions List) packed up in the rental and hit the road around 1:30 p.m. on the 17th.


Now I want you to note several things in this picture. First, that we had a truck (not an SUV), which means we had to tarp everything down in the back in case it rained and watch it flap and bounce around and generally cause trouble the whole way down. Second, that our trusty second mate, Mitch, whom you see to my left here, is about 6’4” – on a good day. He’s definitely a tall drink of water. Now . . . why is that important? Because that truck Phillip’s dad had rented was about as big as the inside of a sardine can. It was tiny.

Phillip’s dad protested:

Small car

But Mitch had to eat his knees (even in the front seat) the entire 9-hour trip. I’d feel sorry for him if he hadn’t been so damn vocal about it. It started the minute we climbed in, and it was enough to drive Phillip to drink!


Me, too, for that matter. Look who’s reaching for a swig.   “Save me some!”

But we crammed in there tighter than a van full of illegal aliens crossing the border and started heading south. (Why, here we are getting out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyrugCTk-xk&feature=fvwp&NR=1. Damn border patrol’s always after us!)

We finally made it down to St. Petersburg (an hour shy of Punta Gorda) around 9:00 p.m. and stopped for a feast at Mike’s Café. The chef there made us a special dish when he heard of our sailing endeavors:



That, of course, didn’t last long with this group. We were famished. We finally made it to the hotel around midnight and crashed hard. The plan was to get up around sunrise, get to the boat, get it packed up and get under sail before noon. We probably fell asleep before our heads even hit the pillow. All we could think about was that boat and the open ocean. Our adventure was about to begin.

April 3, 2013 – The Survey/Sea Trial

You’re probably thinking: Finally … screw the food and wine and Miami broads , I want to get back to this whole boat-buying business. Trust me. I get it. We felt the same way. It seemed like ages passed before we saw that beautiful boat again.

Pics from Phone 883

Totally gratuitous shot, I know, but when you own a boat this beautiful, you have unfettered bragging rights. (And I doubt I’m ruining any surprise by telling you we do, now, own the boat. If I did, you’re a terrible blog reader. Clearly you’ve been indulging only on the spoon-fed “front page” posts, while failing to dig deeper to the other, equally-entertaining tabs, namely, the one titled “The Boat.” Go ahead, check it out.  I’ll wait . . . http://havewindwilltravel.com/the-boat-2/).

So, the time finally came for the survey/sea trial. For those of you unaware (don’t worry – I was head of that department when we began this whole business), typically, when buying a boat, you put in an offer contingent on a satisfactory survey/sea trial, meaning contingent upon the boat passing inspection and proving it truly is sea-worthy. The survey is meant to uncover potential problems with the boat that you perhaps cannot see or test upon gross inspection, like issues with the hull or engine or the electronics, for example. Things you could not uncover when you first looked at the boat because you either (a) couldn’t access them, or (b) wouldn’t know how to test them even if you could. I’ll let you guess which of these two categories we fell in. Hence, the need for a trusty boat surveyor. But, I’ll get to Kip in a moment.

In order to do the survey, they had to do a “haul-out,” which is just about as technical as it sounds. They hauled the boat out of the water so we all could have a look at her.

Pics from Phone 897

(To appreciate the same from the boat’s perspective: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKpiV-Cn32E. Gotta love time lapse. Have lift, will travel!)

Our boat came glistening out of the water. Fin keel and all. She was huge! And, I mean that as a compliment. Little did I know at the time how important it is to have so much counter-weight under the water. I learned that when I found us heeled over to the tune of about 80 degrees during the crossing back. But, that’s a post for another day.

She hung there on straps, her underside exposed for all the world to see. She certainly wasn’t shy and, apparently, neither was Kip. He began digging around and rattling through his things and getting to work on her.

Pics from Phone 900

Now, Kip was quite the character. I’m sure my efforts will only offend Chaucer, but I will attempt regardless to give you a glimpse of the man. Kip clamored up to us that morning, pot-bellied and boisterous, lugging a large, seemingly vintage, toolbox of sorts, a satchel and a rolling briefcase. He began sweating profusely the minute he exerted the slightest amount of energy opening the latch to his case and he extended a wet, meaty paw to each of us, introducing himself only as Kip. I didn’t even know he was the surveyor (and wouldn’t have taken him for one with the two silver, pirate-like loops he bore in each ear and the incredulous, over-sized gold ring that hung heavily on his left hand) until he handed me a card, adorned only with the name “Kip.” Like he was more famous than Madonna. And, he was full of lewd jokes and inappropriate humor, most of which fell only on light chuckles and awkward shuffles. W didn’t know what to make of him. Phillip and I stood in bewilderment as Kip pulled out tools and began beating the bottom of the boat with a hammer, talking about how “every gal loves a good bangin’ in the morning!”

Pics from Phone 908

See Kip bang.   Bang Kip bang.

But, our broker assured us Kip had a reputation for being extremely thorough and brutally honest, which is just what we wanted. If there was anything wrong with the boat, we wanted Kip to find it and give us the run-down. And, find it he did. At each point Kip accosted the hull of the boat with his yellow hammer, we heard a high-pitched, ringing “whack.”  It appeared this noise pleased Kip as he would continue along un-phased by each shrill note, until he reached the area where the strut is fastened to the hull. When Kip struck near this area we all heard a dull, sickening, thud, much unlike the shrill, high-pitched sounds that had preceded it. Kip immediately stopped, struck the area again. Another deep, low thud. He struck the area to the left and right of it. High-pitched shrieks. He struck the area again. Thud. He started writing feverishly on his clipboard and he circled the area with his hammer. We all came around and examined the spot, a bit disheartened.

Pics from Phone 904

Kip explained it seemed there had been some water intrusion in the hull and there was a small pocket of water just above the strut joint on the starboard side. Thankfully our broker got his best “bottom-job” guy on the phone and got an estimate for a potential repair. For those of you wondering, a “bottom job” is simply that – work done on the bottom of a boat – cleaning, resurfacing, repainting, etc. – about every three years. (I’ll admit, I was shamelessly a little saddened to find that a “bottom job” search on Google (even images!) renders only nice, clean, kid-friendly things relating to bottom work on boats, other than this gem – which I include for your reading pleasure:

Bottom Job

Thankfully, the estimate for repairing the “thud” didn’t give us too much heartburn and it certainly wasn’t a deal-breaker.  The seller, Jack, even came around to investigate as well and seemed equally surprised by it. He assured us he had not noticed it when the boat had been hauled out in July of the previous year, which also gave us comfort. We determined later the fact that we had hit that speed bump early on actually turned out to be a good thing because it seemed the sting of it was quickly forgotten once we got out on the water and into the wind.  The rest of the day was then left open for a beautiful sail and only thumbs up and smiles from Kip. Kip even told Jack himself what great shape the boat was in given its age. Apparently flattery gets you everywhere with Jack because this warmed him so much that he grabbed the helm and took us out himself for the sea trial.

Pics from Phone 917

It was a beautiful day. Not a cloud in the sky and just the right amount of wind. We hoisted the sails and felt her take off.

Pics from Phone 922

Pics from Phone 937

Phillip and I were happier than Richard Simmons at a fat camp (that’s right, you heard me, I went there: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhZ2fYQj6IM) and we did a very poor job of hiding it. I don’t think smile is quite the word. Goofy, child-like grins were more like it.

Pics from Phone 918

Pics from Phone 925

After the sea trial, we pulled back into the marina and Kip packed up his bags and satchels and told us he’d write us up a “real good report.” Aside from the small issue with the hull, the boat had passed Kip’s rigorous test with flying colors. Phillip and I shook hands with Jack and Barbara and told them we’d be in touch (each of us feeling as though the day had gone well and the boat would soon be ours). For Jack and Barbara it seemed bitter-sweet. While they appeared to like us and felt the boat was going to good home with Phillip and I, they were also sad to see her go. They had sailed and cruised and enjoyed that boat for more than twenty years. That’s a long time to love a thing. And a boat is not an easy thing to let go. But Barbara and Jack hugged us warmly and waved back heartily as they left the marina to head home.

Pics from Phone 932

Phillip and I stood on the dock, breathing mightily, watching her go, thinking it would now, and forever, always feel like too long before we found ourselves back at that helm.

Pics from Phone 941