Boats and Mermaids!

When I was a little boy, my days after school were spent out on my grandparents farm.  It was a magical place, complete with an old dirty barn and acres of pasture.  As most boys would, I spent a great deal of my time in the old barn rifling through all of the farm implements, scrap wood and wire, tools… My grandfather was a tool guy.  He had a tool for most things and another tool for everything else.

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Grandma and Grandpa Reed!

Much of this stuff had been collected for many years and really showed its age.  Imagine hand drills and old rusty saws, mixed in with brand new gig saws, electric saws, and an old table saw…(The only tool I wasn’t allowed to touch…Think severed appendages…)  Now the reason I was always messing around in the barn was in order to build things with all of the wonderful scrap wood I could find there.  And what did I build, you might ask?  Boats. I always built boats. 

The farm had three pastures of cattle grazing land and meandering through all three was an irrigation ditch.  I spent hours of my youth on that ditch… Wading, basking, and floating boats.  I built various types of boats: Long and fast, round and maneuverable, and ornately styled ones (that usually sank like rocks.) 

My parents helped a lot.  They sent me on a  fantastic sailing adventure in the San Juan Islands not once, but twice!  (www.soundexp.org) I absolutely loved it.

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Adventuress

We vacationed on Orcas Island where I got my first taste of the helm!

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Notice the steely eye’d concentration and proper use of a PFD!

 This boat building continued for most of my youth… stopping sometime before I discovered cars and girls… but I never really got them out of my head.

Fast forward to 2014.  I’m a relatively successful airline pilot enjoying living in Manhattan.  I spend my days flying airplanes and enjoying all of the delights The City has to offer. 

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Day job…

I’m in my 18th year of marriage now and suddenly out of the blue my beautiful bride says something to the effect of: We should buy and boat and live on it.

BANG!  Full stop.

Suddenly all of the love of boats comes flooding back.  I was dumbstruck.  I think I mumbled something lame like: That sounds like fun.  I’m not sure If I fully believed her.  Moving out of our awesome NYC pad had literally not been in the cards 30 seconds prior to this statement.  But she was serious. 

That brings me to why I think I’m married to the best girl in the world:

Debby is fond of telling me that I’ve always had the sea in my blood.  She, of course, is right. (lesson one for all newly wedded men.)  I just never realized how much it was in her blood. We’ve been married long enough to be at that finish the other’s thought point.  I feel like we are one person some days.  She knows everything about me, good and bad, and she still likes me!  I for my part can’t believe how lucky I am to have her! I have found that illusive mythical sea creature… That mermaid of lore… I have found a wife that genuinely and passionately enjoys sailing and living aboard a boat!

When d and I moved aboard, (selling most of 20 years worth of possessions) and took on this totally new lifestyle, she didn’t even blink.  Give up our amazing NYC apartment…  No problem she said,  “It was my idea!”  When we had huge issues with the initial purchase and pre-launch refit, she hammered through it like a trooper.  All of the cleaning, scraping, chipping.  The lack of hot water. No toilet while I fixed ours… Everything was accomplished without a complaint, and with complete solidarity with me.  Not only is she mentally on board, but I literally couldn’t have accomplished most of my repair work without her.  From the beginning we have attacked this move with the belief that she should be able to do anything I can do.  She is fully committed to this process.  She is learning to drive and land the boat.  She is learning all of the sails, lines and rigging.  She will be a fully qualified Captain…err, Commodore!  Her touch is everywhere aboard Devilfish.  Her focus on this life is complete.   

Debby has been asking me to write a blog post for some time… sorry for taking so long darling.  May this be the first of many… assuming you all want to hear my thoughts in the future.

Happy Valentines Day love!  May our adventures never end!

Why is this happening?

Funnily enough, the impending Tropical Storm didn’t weaken, didn’t turn South, and didn’t do what we wanted it to.  So strange…

There was my Better Half, alone in Beaufort, NC, relying on the kindness of strangers (Lou and Nancy from Barry Duckworth, we are forever in your debt).  I was in The Commune, commuting to New York, trying to make money and be a productive member of society.  And, for a little while, we had a third member of our relationship: Arthur, as he came to be called.

Continue reading “Why is this happening?”

What? you afraid of a little weather?

From the safety and comfort of my office in Manhattan I began to send out e-mail after e-mail to boat captains.  They went something like this:

Hi!  We are super nice and super stupid and would you help us bring our boat up from North Carolina to New York?  In our naivety we thought we could do it ourselves but we were incorrect.  Also, there may be one or two things wrong with our boat but you don’t mind, do you?  Also, also, we need it up in New York ASAP since we are going to be kicked out of our temporary housing and will be truly homeless post haste.  (You read that right, The Commune is disbanding.  It always had an expiration date on it, we just didn’t think we’d be there when it kicked in.  More on that later.)

Continue reading “What? you afraid of a little weather?”

The coming storm

While we were spending our 4 days on The Primrose Path we heard rumors and vague talk of an impending tropical storm. It was basically talk that, although there was a storm out at sea, it was going to turn south down to Florida and we would only get a little rain in NC.

Dad and I left with heavy hearts for not having a productive trip but happy that my Better Half would not have to worry about a tropical storm.

That evening, after I got to The Commune, I called him up and asked how it was going. Fine, he said, except for that tropical storm that’s expected to come up the coast.

Well, it’s just a tropical storm, right?  I mean, we survived Hurricane Sandy in our protected, 4th floor apartment in the center of Manhattan. How bad could it be?

Quarters in The Commune

At some point AllesGirls‘ mom bought state quarter collection books for herself, AllesGirl, and AllesGirls siblings. HerSpouse and AllesGirls’ mom send quarters to each other fast and furious and they know which ones are needed to complete their respective collections.

We are now trained to look for certain mints of certain states every time we get change.

After the yard sale it was Game On and we went through the quarters to look for Wyoming with a “D” (the East Coast mint). That was the last one needed to complete AllesGirls’ moms collection. We found one!  Triumphantly, HerSpouse sent it through the mail.

Only, it wasn’t Wyoming that we needed, it was Wisconsin.

We gave up.

name goes here

The boat we bought was named something that we didn’t care for, does not match our personalities or reflect who we are. It is also number IV in a line that we did not initiate (as a note: number III broke up and sank in the ocean; I don’t want that kind of juju…)

Therefore we are going to change the boat’s name.

We have had a name picked out for a long time, back before we had bought this boat. A historical name that means something to us; however, we haven’t officially renamed our boat yet.

The funny thing is that we have gotten a lot of flack for wanting to change the name. People we don’t even know have told us that it’s bad luck and shouldn’t be done. (On second thought, we have experienced extraordinary bad luck so maybe there’s something to that….)

 

While we were battling the elements on day 2 CoastieGuy was doing his best to keep the mood light. He said that we should name the boat Dameon. I said Lucifer. We all laughed. All things related to demons, the antichrist, and satan were thrown around.

Then CoastieGuy came up with the best name of all time:

Rosemary’s Baby