Our boat….the story
It started with a desire to “be the captain of my life.” For freedom. To live by my rules, not other men’s.
I remember our first step…a boat show in Chicago. It was in the winter and I’m not sure Vicki Muffley went with me cause she just wanted to get away for a weekend or because she was curious about boats. One show bled into another, then another and so on. Annapolis Maryland three years, Miami one year. Over 5 years…dreaming.
Then about a year ago, I wanted to give up. Doubt crept into our dream. Why do I deserve this? How can we do this? Is it really viable? Maybe we should give up. I stopped reading my sailing magazines from cover to cover. I stopped thinking about living off the ocean….stopped fantasizing about OUR boat.
Why? Why did I stop? Discouragement. Not from others, but from my own inner voice. Telling me, “be like everyone else”, or “you don’t deserve that” and even “you’re not smart enough to own a sailboat.”
But then a glimmer came back and we went to the boat show in Annapolis. I can hear Vicki saying, “Annapolis Again?” Yes, one more. It was crappy weather and boats were expensive. Even the boats I didn’t love were expensive. How can we do this anytime soon in our lives? So many obstacles.
Let’s get some food, get warm and grab a drink…so we went to Middletons. Wait for a table or sit at the bar? Let’s take the bar. A series of events unfolded that put Vicki and I next to Jeff and Shelly, a couple from Virginia Beach. We sat and talked for hours about boats, life, kids etc.
They told us of the fun they have in their Gemini and how great a catamaran is. They also told us “buy used!”. Was it chance that happened to put us together or destiny? Luck or fate?
The next day, we met them again to talk more, to get inspired and to add some kerosene to the dream that was just a flicker. Another 3 hours and more talking..more inspiration…the spark is back…and its a flame…wanting to be fulfilled. We can do this!
Shopping is fun for most people, but boat shopping is not only NOT fun, it’s strenuous. I guess I take things to serious sometimes, shocker right. Jeff was a big help, sending me lots of boats for sale up and down the east coast. Many calls, many discussions. Rovin Tar, out of New Bern North Carolina. A ten year old boat with only 120 hours on its engine. Hardly used, she just needed some TLC. She has air, water heater, 3 cabins and one bathroom. Plenty of storage and a 27 hp Westerbeke diesel. Sails were in great shape, she was just dirty, she needed love….our love.
Weeks of negotiations, a trip to test her out (with good friends mind you), a marine survey, more negotiations, financing…so many hurdles…but the dream was within reach. It was alive!!
The checks were sent, the dream secured. But it wasn’t “real”. Planning the trip to bring Exhale to Norfolk was not a small task. Jeff volunteered to help me and I Shanghai’d Peyton to come along. Vicki kept asking “was I excited”…I wasn’t. More stressed and nervous. Stressed to balance work and a “vacation” and nervous to sail OUR boat on a 4 day trip to its new port.
But now, today, while walking up to the marina from dinner, I saw our boat sitting in the water and I was overcome with joy. The dream was accomplished. Over 5 years of talking, reading, traveling, planning…accomplished.
For the next 2-3 days, I’m going to enjoy this feeling, revel in it…bask in the adventures and live in the moments. I’m excited. I’m happy, no thrilled, about not only the next couple days, but the next couple of years.
When I get home, Vicki and I will plan a new dream. One that people will probably laugh at and tell us we’re crazy to attempt. But that’s ok, it’s a dream and it will be ours…and we WILL make it come true together!