It always seems to come down to a matter of perspective. I bought a steel boat in Portland. She was built in Hawaii by the John Hutton. Last week (Thursday) I was at home thinking that winter really had settled in to the Rocky Mountains quickly. It is much colder than it was last year at this time and the snow is already better in December than it was at any point last winter. Then I got on a plane and jumped up to Portland to close a deal on s/v Bluewater. The most remarkable thing is the shift in my perspective. Last week, I was thinking how long the winter will be, how much skiing and playing I will be able to get in. Then POW! I have a boat and all of a sudden mid-April is not far away, in fact it seems like next week.
A little background on the Bluewater and how we found her. In September Susanna (soon to be Ms. Sharp, Lady, First Navigator) and I went to Bellingham, Washington to look at a Spray 36, a modern copy of the classic Joshua Slocum boat, that the broker assured me was in tip-top condition. Which, well to say the least, was not even close to the truth. As we looked at the Spray, she seemed to be solid. Then poking around on her decks, I found a spot near the windlass that I could have put my finger through if I pushed (remember dear readers, this is a STEEL boat). This defect was not a deal killer, but definitely a few hash marks in the negative column. Then while looking at the mechanicals I found everyday, common garden hose fittings. That was the defect, after several others, that unplugged my interest. So there we where in Bellingham, the boat a bust and 3 days left. We looked at a few other crazy possibilities but they also proved to be rust buckets.
In the local sailing rag was a small 3 line ad for a steel, blue water boat with a price and an email. I sent a note and the owner and I started to correspond. A few weeks later, early October, Lady, First Navigator and I went to the Portland area to visit her Father and his wife and took the opportunity to look at the boat, aptly named, Bluewater. We liked the boat very much, and started negotiating with the owner. Eventually we arrived at a price we where both happy with and that is how I came to find myself in Portland signing paper work that has made Bluewater ours.
For something that is the culmination of a life long dream, the signing of the papers, the official handing over of control was anticlimactic. Sign here, sign there — ok that’s all. The previous owner (who had Bluewater built and has babied and cared for her ever since) loaded the back of his pickup with all the extra boating gear he had, things he felt he would no longer need, and included them with the sale of the boat. The contents of the truck bed pretty much filled the salon of the boat. It was not impossible to move around, but there was not a single spot to sit down on.
A few days a later I had arranged off boat storage of the sails organized and repacked several of the lockers and wrapped many of the cushions in plastic, all so that she can sleep the winter away snug like a bug in a rug. TO BE CONTINUED!
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