Sunday, February 6, 2011

Between the tides... slack water. For several months I felt like the tide would eventually carry us out to the ocean on a new-to-us catamaran to start a new way of living. Pretty exciting, a thrill even, but maybe a little further into the future than we had hoped. Sitting by the fire late at night I would sometimes question the wisdom of such a leap, but could not come up with an alternate plan that seemed to work. Then along came last weekend's boat show and the current seemed to change a bit, leading to this weekend's adventure.

We lingered over breakfast this morning, the coffee was bold and hot while outside the snow was falling on Chicago yet again. Back at the room and packed it finally occurred to us to check the schedule for the second trip to see the boat. There was 7 minutes to make the train. We were still on the sixth floor of the hotel. Seven minutes later we stepped out onto the platform with the train just coming to a stop. Perfect timing.

Crowley's boatyard is closed on Sunday. We were given a number to call so the guard would be around to open the gate for us. Turned out it was the wrong number. Since we were already on the train there was no real choice but to continue. Walking to the yard takes 15 minutes from the end of the line. The guard knew nothing of our plans, but he was just pulling through the gate when we walked up. Perfect timing again.

Set against this cosmic serendipity was the semi-disinterested attitude of the boat broker. If I were trying to sell you a yacht I flat guarantee you would be picked up at the station, dropped off at the boat in play, taken to dinner, driven to the hotel, picked up the next morning, and taken back to the station with maybe a parting gift to see you on your way. No chance would you be left stomping several blocks though 20 inches of snow to an empty boatyard, even if it was Super Bowl Sunday. (Then again I am a pilot pretending to be a sailor. If I've learned one thing on this adventure it is the boat world and the airplane world have virtually nothing in common.)

But it would be stupid to let a walk through the snow stand between us and what might be the right boat. So stomp we did. And climb. And poke, prod, pry, move stuff, shuffle other stuff, and in general try to envision the Tartan as home, with everything we own in da whole wide world stored in her hull. Not a catamaran, not a sleek modern boat with all of the goodies, this boat; a little rough around the edges, some miles under her keel, nicked here and crazed there with outdated systems. (A LORAN for Pete's sake!) A boat that has huge potential but is a fair bit of work, and a serious pile of cash, away from being "our" boat...our home. She is also a boat we can move to our lake and learn to make home before starting out on a new way of living, and she may get us on our way sooner rather than later. Is this the way the tide has turned? I guess we'll ride it for a while and see.

No comments: