I know, I know — sleep. Sleep so I can be rested and ready. Sleep so I can be an attentive driver. I can’t sleep. My mind is filled with the events of Friday. I left Annapolis mid morning in what can only be described as a monsoon. So wet was the weather that my speakers in the car acted quite peculiar for the first 100 miles of my drive.
South and still further east. This time I was headed to Deltaville, Virginia. What pretty country. Water, trees and yes more rain, though it took to misting lightly, rather than the deluge I had experienced further north.
I looked at two boats in Deltaville. The first one a Departure 35 designed by Charles Whitzholts, the same designer as Toads About. The second boat, a French build aluminum sloop that had already cruised waters as far south as Usuhaia, Argentina (~80 miles north of CAPE FUCKING HORN!!!). Thought the little aluminum boat lacks the headroom needed by 2 people who hover around 6 feet. That being said, it was sad to know that we wouldn’t fit in such a well founded vessel. Enough Said
Have you ever met some one who at first amazed you? Maybe she was slender with strong lines. Athletic and had already had experiences doing the things you love. Then you get to know her and she is even more amazing. Even more exciting. Maybe she is a little rough around the edges, she can tell and laugh an off color joke. Then you start to get to know her, and there is something starting to nag at you. You’re a liberal, she is a conservative. You like dogs, she likes cats. Not something that is a total turn off, but something that makes you have second thoughts. Ever have that experience?
I did today. The Departure 35 was in rough shape. I am talking green things growing outside, varnish peeling off all the bright work. A cockpit full of pine needle soup because the drains are jammed with who knows what. The rig, needs some tuning, needs some lube. A frozen winch and lots of moldy running rigging. Her interior, immaculate. Mahogany and Holly. Brass and the worlds ugliest cushions. But there is something about the deigns of Mr. Whitzholts that just grab hold of me. Maybe it is the attention given to the protection of the rudder or the minimizing of the number of seacocks. Perhaps it is the dry and safe feeling I get about the cockpit. Who knows.
The rig, what a rig, Cutter with roller furling headsail and club footed staysail all lines lead aft. Sails that look almost brand new. And a rig set for heavy off shore work, running mid-stays to keep the stick up during the big blows. All with a deck stepped mast to keep the holes in the cabin to a minimum.
She has everything a guy like me could want, SSB, auto pilot, propane stove, heater, lots of water, lots of storage. But she is lacking. She has a clever double berth that converts from the port settee, Pulls out all the way to compression post supporting the mast. The dimensions are 40inches wide buy 78 inches long. Plenty long, not plenty wide. Making it fundamentally flawed for my needs.
So I spent 90 minutes going over her, measuring this, gauging that. Wondering and scheming. Could I take the storage up front apart and build a v-berth? Not with out totally moving the head or interfering with the chain storage. Potential yes. Project HELL YES!.
Worst part is that there is another one, who knows what shape or condition of gear, in Mobile, Alabama. It went under contract this past week. Timing is everything. So again I find myself awake at 3A.M. Though across the street from me is a Waffle House. Should be tasty by the time I get there.
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