Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Who is Zephyr?

Tim and I have an affection for modes of transport that are older than us. 

OJ in the Cape Cod sunset 
OJ the orange VW bus was born on July 4th, 1975. We only know a small portion of her story that we learned when we bought her from the hippie in Maine. He bought her in California, drove her cross country, lived out of her in downtown Boston, drove her up to Rockland, Maine where he was a lobsterman.  The day he sold her  to us we bought him a Greyhound ticket south since he'd sold his home and was moving on to the next adventure. We love to think about all the adventures she's been on through her years. The families who camped in her in California in the 70's. The concerts she went to - did she get to see The Dead? The roads she traveled, the memories she made for people. We love building our memories upon the ones she already has. She shows her age sometimes, especially if we try and push her above 55 MPH. But we love her and we always 'pet' her dashboard when she gets us to our destination safely and without major incident. 

Zephyr's specs & history is contained in these binders
When we bought Zephyr we thought, "Well, she's younger than OJ!". Sure, it's only by 3 years and yes, it's still older than both of us but in the same way we love life moments in OJ, we felt we would love life moments in Zephyr. We know a lot more about Zephyr's past due to some very loving and meticulous past captains who kept copious notes and records. When we bought Zephyr we were gifted with 4 MASSIVE binders of maintenance notes, users manuals, ship's logs, past records, hand drawings of chain plates, detailed instructions of rigging - you name it, it's in there somewhere. 
A hand drawing of the refrigerator compressor
My favorite has been reading the past owners' cruising logs (green spiral book). Detailing where they sailed, who joined them, secret little general store where they ate breakfast, games they played aboard in the rain, swimming holes along the coast of Maine. It's both bittersweet and completely exciting knowing that we will get to do all that soon enough too! There's also great things to learn about Zephyr contained in those pages. What wind conditions she's her best at, what ground types her anchor holds the best in, anchorages she's the best suited for. We feel very grateful to have these records to learn from, it's like all her past captains knew that two young, new cruisers would one day have her and would desperately need these resources! Thanks to all who loved and owned Zephyr in the past! 

So here's what we know about Zephyr's life:

  • Designed by V.S. Lazzara; Berthed August 1, 1978 in Tampa Bay, FL (for more details on the history of Lazzara and the Gulfstar Yacht Company check this out).
  • First owner named her Testa Rosa and she sailed the waters of Florida Bay
  • At some point she was sold and renamed Dulcinea and hailed from Cape Coral, FL somehow she made her up to New England to Warwick, Rhode Island
  • April, 2000 - Capt. Jim & Judith Reed bought her 
  • This is the survey Capt. Reed had done on her in 2000 when he purchased her
  • Capt. Reed & his wife renamed her to Summer Time she was moored in Hyannisport, Cape Cod and sailed her extensively all around the Cape, Islands, Narragansett Bay and even in the annual Figawai Race from Hyannis to Nantucket. 

    The entry of our boat on the Gulfstar Owner's Website.


In July, 2008 Burleigh and Deb Loveitt bought her in Newburyport, sailed her north to South Portland, renamed her Zephyr and enjoyed many wonderful years cruising all along the Maine coast. 

A very Grateful crew!
And as you can read in past postings of this blog we found her in May of 2012 and purchased her in August of 2012. We are still deciding if we'll change her name or not, she's been very good to us as Zephyr and we know there are some serious things one must do in order to change a boat's name (think virgin & bow peeing). But the one name we keep coming back to is Grateful because that's the feeling we continuously find ourselves feeling. Grateful for the experience, grateful to the boat for being so stout and sound, grateful to past owners of our boat, grateful to the weather for not (YET) causing us any serious damage, grateful to Mother Ocean for her kindness thus far, grateful to our parents, family and friends for their support, grateful to our bodies and minds to be able to take on this huge life shift, grateful to be able to live in a society that allows us to follow our dreams...the thanks are endless. Oh, and we're also giant Grateful Dead fans! :)

So Zephyr's story continues with us and it's up to us to keep good records, logs and provide the fodder for many more stories. This is why buying something older is the best - your stories with that car, boat, house only serve to build upon the growing narrative of the story that was begun long ago by others. Boats especially have a soul to them and we're so grateful to share Zephyr's soul. 

Ol' Joe's got a Boston whaler
he bought in Key Biscayne
He swears since the day he's got her
she's been nothing but a pain
when the sun's at his back
and the winds in his face
it's just him and the wheel
he wouldn’t take a million for the
way it makes him feel

vessels of freedom
harbors of heeling

Newport is where John hung his hat
til he lost his wife Jo
now forty feet of sail and teak
is where Ol' John calls home
he watched his life pass before his eyes
in the middle of a hurricane
came out alive on the other side
that’s where "the other side" got its name

vessels of freedom
harbors of heeling

twenty years of a landlocked job
was all that Tom could take
sitting at his desk
all alone and depressed
says this just cant be my fate
went home that night and told his wife
you can tell all of your friends
it's been real but it ain't been fun
gonna get us one of them

vessels of freedom
harbors of heeling

vessels of freedom

-Kenny Chesney "Boats" off Lucky Old Sun

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