Hey. We recently accidentally bought a boat. And by accidentally, I mean we were causally educating ourselves and looking at different types of boats after realizing that maybe it wasn’t a summer weekend cottage that we needed on an island for a half million dollars; what we needed was a boat for a fraction of that cost and we could travel to ALL the islands in the vast waters of the Pacific Northwest.
We are both born and raised New Englanders – my husband hails from just outside Boston, and I’m from outside of New York otherwise known as the very teeny lower corner of southwestern Connecticut. We’ve lived all over: Los Angeles, New Hampshire, Maine and for the 15 years before moving to Seattle 5 years ago, we were in Louisville, KY raising our 3 kids.
We first lived in Maine just after our wedding and had a little Cape Dory in Rockport Harbor. We could see her from our apartment (which was the first floor of an old ship builders home) out on the mooring ball. She was a wedding gift and we named her Hansel – a gift given for good luck at the beginning of the year or to mark an acquisition or the start of an enterprise. We thought it was fitting as it was marking the start of our adventures in marriage.
We were both pilots, but neither of us knew a thing about sailing. Steven bought a book called “How to Rig a Sailboat” and would go down below, read a few pages, come back up, set up some rigging and go below to start the whole process again, until finally, she was rigged and ready for her maiden voyage – straight to the mooring ball out in the middle of the harbor. I’d come home from work and find a note from Steven to meet him out on the boat. I’d pack up the cheese, crackers and wine and head down to the dock where he’d meet me in the peapod we could borrow from the marina and we’d row out to our cute little boat. I loved everything about it: the harbor, the water, the boat, the sounds of the halyards, the cheese, crackers and wine, the cute boat shoes, the LLBean bag – all the accoutrements of sailing. But the actual sailing? That part, I hated.
I truly, truly hated the sailing part, mostly the bit about the winds blowing and the boat heeling. So, we never left the harbor because just beyond the harbor was the vast Atlantic Ocean, which terrified me. It’s a good thing that it was a big harbor, we could do a bit of sailing in it – but mostly I hated every moment we were not safely tethered to the mooring ball. We finally sold the boat to pay for the down payment on our first home and that was that. Kids and moves halfway across the country followed, as did other interests and we just put boating in the past, which wasn’t difficult being landlocked and all.
20 years after our brief stint living in our little Maine apartment overlooking Rockport Harbor, and after 15 years in Louisville, we found ourselves living in Seattle, Washington. While living in Louisville, we didn’t realize how much we missed the water until we were right back alongside it again. Steven would mention boating now and then and I knew he was itching to get out on the water on a sailboat, but I had no interest. I thought getting a beach cottage would satisfy the need to be on the water.
We started to think about summer get-aways or weekend cottages and did a lot of second house hunting, never really able to settle on what island we might want to escape to and also not really wanting to plunk down a half million dollars for a ramshackle of a place. So the boat idea started to creep back in. We’d have a weekend “get-away”, we didn’t have to settle on one place – we could go to all the places, we could really take advantage of where we were living. So one day, we were on the ferry to Bainbridge Island, and I saw a boat on the water that really caught my eye – and having no idea what kind of boat it was, other than the fact that it was very obviously NOT a sailboat, I said – “let’s get a boat like that”.
And no sooner did I utter those words and Steven was on Yachworld starting the search. We knew nothing about Trawlers and less about cruising the waters of the Pacific Northwest, but we’ve pretty much looked at our entire lives as a big adventure – we’ve done lots of stuff, we were ready to try something new, a bit of a second act.