Friday, July 10, 2009

Home sweet Home!

So our boat is home and is floating ever so proudly on can 38 at Belmont Harbor. I am not going to lie; I actually drive by just to see her. It’s amazing. She is beautiful. She is our “baby”. In fact, she even keeps us up at night...just like a baby. Two nights ago I wake up and Scott isn’t in bed, so I get up and find him on the couch. “Honey, what are you doing out here?” I ask. Scott stirs just little and mumbles sleepily, “There was no one at the helm and I wanted to be on watch.” WOW. I guess that’s what 4 straight days of delivering a new boat will do to you. I too was awakened in the night with a startled jerk when, in my dream, our boat had come loose from our mooring. Sigh. When I told this to my dad he laughed and said “welcome to owning a boat”. Indeed.

The delivery was fantastic and it reawakened and reinforced our love of cruising. We flew up to Traverse City on Thursday, July 2nd with the plan to gather what was left in the boat barn and bring it to the boat. We were met by our broker – loaded up the cars and headed to the harbor. That’s when it hit me. Holy crap! We’re taking this thing tomorrow morning!! I am actually buying a BOAT!! Step one in turning our dream into a reality is ACTUALLY going to happen. Folks – let me tell you, the realization of dreams is surreal. I nearly had to pinch myself.

The next morning we headed to the brokerage where I signed a litany of papers that all lead to my officially being the owner of a Hallberg-Rassy Rasmus 35. No fireworks went off; no streamers fell from the ceiling - just a handshake…and a hug (I had to hug our broker after all I put him through). I owned a boat (excuse me while I scream again). Once at the harbor and with all the provisions on (thanks to Scott’s mom, Sue!) and fully loaded – we hopped on board to get going. Scott, ever the practical thinker, said “I think I’d like to have Captain Dave come aboard to help us get started” (Captain Dave, if you recall, was our fabulous sea trial captain) and so we called him. In typical Captain Dave fashion he was over in 5 minutes with a smile on his face and a spring in his step and in 10 minutes he was in our engine compartment working away. Honestly, if it weren’t’ for Captain Dave I have no idea what we would have done. He helped us without any hesitation for FOUR hours (our engine wasn’t starting) – teaching us how to bleed air out of the system, how to drain our fuel filters, how to siphon diesel out of our tank and check for water… he checked our rig and showed us how to sanitize our water and he even had his lovely wife, Bette, drive me to the hardware store to pick up engine oil! His willingness to help us and complete selfless generosity reminded me of why I love traveling so much – people like Captain Dave who the universe puts in your way to hold your hand and take you along for just a little bit. Brilliant. I cannot wait to pay it forward one day.

So we were off! We motored out of Elk Rapids Chicago bound with the wonderful company of Scott’s mom, Sue. Our excitement was so palpable I swear it was bubbling out of the (enclosed) cockpit! The delivery was fantastic. If you have ever cruised along the western coast of Michigan you know what I am talking about: daylight until 9pm, deep, rich sunsets over an unobstructed horizon, azure water and beautiful dunes along the shoreline…it’s magnificent. We motored, on average, about 13 hours each day averaging about 7.2 knots. Our time was spent reading, tweaking things, talking, cooking (I got *very* creative in our little kitchen - we have no refrigerator and plan on leaving it that way). We cleaned the deck, organized lockers, tidied up, read all our manuals, played with the radar…Scott even designed an aft push-pit chair out of two deck cushions and a spare line!

But not all was “smooth sailing” so to speak. We did loose our engine twice (we still are not sure why), while tied up in Muskegon the post-fireworks boat wakes tossed us around so viciously I honestly thought our boat would end up on the dock (there is no seawall)…while turning into our slip in St. Joe (down the river) we got so swept up in a 3 knot current we hit the dock and the next morning, leaving that same ill-fated dock we ran aground (we only draw 4.5 feet). Our hydraulic steering got worse and worse as each day wore on – 15 turns of a wheel just to veer starboard? I think not. Oh – and our automatic bilge pump doesn’t work. We figured that out when I, as if tapped on the shoulder by a guardian angel, suddenly decided to check our bilge and it was COMPLETELY full of water. Which leads to another issue we have; our boat is leaking somewhere but we cannot figure out from where. Sigh. The list, my friends, goes on. There are currently 20 items to do/check with the systems on our boat. And it grows. Every. Single. Day.

But you know what? We have a boat. And it is going to take us around the world. And we couldn’t be happier. It’s kind of like changing a baby’s diaper; it just goes with the territory.



Last Paradise said...

Awesome :) Trust me (and your Dad) when I tell you those dreams never end! Can't wait to get together (someday) to talk boats! Congrats on your 'baby'!!!

Sue Blugerman said...

What a wonderful experience to have been on your virgin sail to Chicago...only we never flew any humbug! I was very impressed by the expertise of both of awesome you are as sailors and lovers...never an argument and always a great conversation, yummy meals, beautiful sunsets, fireworks galore on the 4th, great job of going into 3 different ports...I hope I will get a chance to board the Rasmus under sail before the major bon voyage!

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