Yesterday was a VERY big day in this journey of ours, we had our potential boat surveyed and we took her on a sea trial! When we set out from New Castle at 7am it was POURING BUCKETS, I mean torrential downpours as we made our way up I-95. We had our "foulies" on and had committed to a VERY wet day. We arrived at Centerboard Yacht Club in South Portland and our potential boat "Zephyr" was up on the boat moving 'hammock' ready to "splash in the water". She hasn't seen the water since last September. Inside we met the current owners, the broker, the boat mover and all the old men from the yacht club there to help the owner who is the Commodore. There was coffee, doughnuts and sailing stories being exchanged around the table - a very typical scene for a yacht club and one we could certainly see Timbo being a part of years from now. For us, we were too excited/nervous to eat! And, the rain kept pouring.
|Here the owner is below being sure she's didn't blow a hole!|
|The tender helped us maneuver her to the dock, she's a hefty girl!|
Then it was time to "Splash Her" - as in drop her in the water!
We climbed aboard and prepared for the ride. It was quite a thrill and all the while the owners were showing us different things with the boat's systems, electronics, storage, etc. etc. etc. It was phenomenal to have them aboard, though also bittersweet because we could tell how hard it is for them to let her go. The gentleman who owned and loved this boat for the last 5 years suffered a debilitating accident last winter while cutting trees in his yard and he's now on crunches and unable to really do the moving and work needed to sail his boat. Though yesterday, he was a ROCKSTAR - climbing aboard on the ladder, crowding into the engine room, taking the helm to guide us in. I'm sure he was in a lot of pain last night but in his mind this might be last time he gets to ride aboard his old girl and he wasn't going to miss it!
The surveyors arrived at 9am and spent the next 3 hours aboard doing their thing - inspecting every inch, every hose, every wire and connection and valve and spigot. As the hours ticked by the rain stopped, the clouds moved out from Portland and Casco Bay, it started to get warm and then THE SUN!
|At the inspection dock - with the SUN blazing!|
|Tim learning more from Deb, the current owner!|
We spent the time listening in on the surveyors work, learning more from the owners, the 'old men', the broker. At one point the broker said, "You've got combined over 150 years of boat knowledge here and we still all got our heads together to figure out this goddamn water pump! Welcome to boating!"
The assistant surveyor who was in his mid-70s said to me, "You see, this is the beauty of an old boat - you're constantly having to figure something out, fix something, jury rig something. You're constantly presented with a challenge and solving it. It makes the beer at happy hour taste a lot sweeter when you have that sense of accomplishment."
About 12:30pm the surveyor announced it was time to "take her out, shake out her sails and see how she does!" So we all climbed aboard, cast off her lines and set out into Casco Bay in the sun. There were seals popping up their heads all throughout the Fore River - amazing! We did some tests of her engine (Mr. Perkins as the owner instructed us to call him because, "he deserves our respect":)), her steering under power, her turning capacity, we raised the sails and eventhough there was no wind she sure did look pretty with her sails flying!
|Heading up the Fore River|
|Brand new sails - they so pretty!!!|
Well, our potential (can't call her ours YET) boat did AMAZING in her survey and sea trial! STUPENDOUS! Mr. Perkins, an old diesel engine, started right up and did all the tests without even a hiccup! Keep in mind this is a 34 year old boat that has sat for a year - this we were told from the surveyor and broker is PHENOMENAL! The Surveyor gave us a summary but overall he said, "This is a real solid boat". We could tell he was impressed and from the horror stories we'd heard of similar age boats that have sat we were very excited! There is one major and few minor things that we need to see remedied before we can 'sign, seal, deliver' this boat and the broker is working on that now with the owner.
This deal is becoming more and more real than we could ever imagine! We could not have asked for better results or better weather for this survey and sea trial. We are hokey and believe in karma, signs and astrology - The fact the sun came out for our sail was a sign. The fact that the owners and friends and surveyors (those in the know) were so unbelievably helpful, enthusiastic and genuinely happy and excited for us and our new chapter in our life is a sign. The fact that the results of the day were so good is a HUGE sign.
We are beaming from ear to ear and that will help as we pack up the U-Haul this weekend in 90+ degrees with all of worldly belongings that we're keeping to move it to storage! Life is very interesting these days!
|There she is at the dock with Portland's waterfront in the background|
|Our future home looking her best in the SUNSHINE!|