It happened. It was sort of surreal. Not just that we bought a boat, people do that all the time. We sold our home and really most of our possessions AND bought a boat.
The last time we saw her, she was docked North of St Clair Shores, MI. Now here, we arrive to see her in her new home for the summer, resting between two very large motor yachts. She needed a good cleaning but other than that, she was just as beautiful as we’d remembered. We swept away the spider webs and climbed on board. We were so giddy that I don’t think we heard one word each other said for the first few minutes! We finally settled in and enjoyed our first sundowner on our new boat.
The next morning we started the coffee and emerged from down below to enjoy our first morning aboard our new boat. We had many conversations about our plans for her that week. We made more lists. Wish lists, to do lists, supply lists and destination lists. We are still doing all of the above, all the time. I’m a list-maker. We got used to her noises, smells and motion. We changed several of her sheets (ropes) and took her out for a sail.
When we first arrived at the boat, there was a note card with our names on it. It was from Betsy and Randy, the previous owners. I was so excited to know that they wished us well and hoped that we’d stay in touch. The good vibes just continued! I sent Betsy a text to see if they wanted to have dinner and so we met them just a few nights later. We had a great time! They were the best kind of new friends. The kind that immediately seemed like we’d known them forever. We laughed, told stories and got to hear all about the boat. We closed the restaurant down with a final glass of wine and a really big hug.
One of the things that drew us to this boat from the start was that no one had molested her. She hadn’t been cut up or modified from her original design and build. This has it’s pros and cons. Pros: every modification will be chosen and/or completed by us. All new electronics, sails, rigging, ground tackle, canvas etc… will be what we choose and we aren’t stuck with the choices of someone else. Cons: We have to pay for all of that! It’s expensive and we won’t see a return on the investment. But we decided early on that she is our home and we will make her what we want. We will also keep in mind that those choices may make her easier or harder to sell one day.
We also needed to name her. There wasn’t anything printed on her transom when we met but we knew she couldn’t be nameless. Betsy had informed us that her name was officially Lattimer and Bailey LTD. No offense but we tried to imagine spelling that out phonetically over and over and decided she will need a new name. We were all over the board on this one. We went back and forth, constantly vetoing each others ideas. Finally, while we were sailing her, it came to us. Shane was at the helm and I was dangling my feet over the side and enjoying the ride. He yelled forward “Rhythm”. That was it, we agreed. That one word said it all. The motion of the boat, our lives together, the way we approach our future and life in general. We had finally agreed on a name. Something we could call her other than “boat”. Now for the re-naming ceremony. I’m not superstitious and honestly I don’t think Shane is either but who wants to take chances when you are at the mercy of the sea! The idea here is that you must appease Poseidon (God of the Sea) before you can re-name your boat. In a nutshell, there is a ceremony, you recite a specific text and everyone drinks champagne most of which goes to Poseidon. So for now, we’ll refer to her as “boat” and accept her as family.
The week went by in a blur. As soon as we’d settled in, it was time to leave. Maybe it was the countless hours daydreaming of what our life would be like soon. Wondering what to expect and if we were even in the ballpark. I kept having that surreal feeling I’d had years before when the kids were born. That one where they hand this tiny being to you and you realize, “oh shit, it’s mine”. Like you’d read all the books, watched the videos and took the classes but when they hand that baby to you you’re thinking “don’t I need to pass some sort of test for this?” I had (and still have) that feeling daily!