I knew we needed to get back to life near an ocean. Being landlocked in the arctic will do that to a sailor.
Donna tried sailing and liked it. She also liked kayaking in the ocean. She, too, liked comfort and security; states not always achievable at sea, and never in a kayak...
We narrowed down our vision of the next boat to be one of comfort and seaworthiness. All the previous boats were seaworthy and well traveled. All had the usual single outside steering station. This one would have both inside and outside stations. Be in the weather when you want or must be, but remain inside when it is safer or more comfortable. (Donna admits to looking forward to standing watch in her bathrobe...)
It still isn't clear if we are acquiescing to age, wisdom, experience, weakness of character, or a combination...
We spent over two years monitoring the boat market, and half of that time traveling to both US coasts inspecting candidates. She was one of the early listings we watched, but we had to look at the alternatives first. We had time.
She? I digress to share what happened years ago when I anthropomorphized my boat with a gender. My dear French Canadian sailing companions would turn-up their collective noses every time a boat was so engendered. One evening, while sharing our usual bottles of wine, I finally asked Robert (like 'row-bear' - silent 'T') in the company of his beautiful wife, Marie-Daniel, why such a mention always invoked his best look of disdain, bordering disgust. His reply was immediate and vehement; "SHE is someone you sleep with; NOT something you sleep IN...!"
But 'her...' is a compliment in French when a man refers to his woman in such a way... c'est la vie. We enjoyed many a bottle of wine together thereafter.
We found her. She (sorry, Robert...) was waiting for us in Seattle. She was even from our (then) home town (Fairbanks, Alaska.) Was this fate? (Or fait accompli?)
She was even named after one of our favorite places in Alaska. The second part of the name was puzzling to us initially, but we later learned the origin. (My mother will be ecstatic since it happens to be her first name- at least until she reads this blog and realizes we kept the original name... sorry Mom... It will always make us think of you, however...)
Another digression: Poor Mom. I'm sure she will get past us not naming the boat after her. But I am reminded she still has the long-stemmed (green pipe-cleaners) roses made of red crepe paper mounted in an upside-down cardboard egg carton I made her in early grade school. (She displays them during my rare visits; perhaps assuming they will invoke in me some sense of pride? I hope not...)
More telling, perhaps, is the card she also kept, written in my best (and still better than my current) penmanship at the time: "Dear Mom, I hope you like these roses I made you. They took me 4 1/2 hours to make. Yours truly, Billy."
Yes, she will get over it... Mom has had lots of practice, and nothing has really changed all that much...
Bill [June 2014]