Grace under fire...NOT!
For several years, Al and I led a trip of divers to Key Largo for Lobsterpalooza. In the mornings, we were terrorizing the lobsters on the reefs, and in the afternoon, it was kick-back time.
In 2000, we started trailering the Hobie behind us. We moored it for the week and sailed every afternoon. Bliss! One day, I took it out myself, since Al didn't want to go. Now I'd like to be able to say that this was the first year we had her, but no, this was 2005, after I'd had plenty of experience with the boat.
I was heading back into the beach after a gloriously long sail, I was thirsty, tired, and the wind had kicked up quite a bit. I probably should have factored that into what happened next.... I noticed the beach was full of kids (some of them MY precious grandchildren) and put some port into the helm.
My idea was to sail in to the small area bordered by 2 docks and swing around 180 degrees into the wind and stop it on the mooring, jump off, and tie up in the waist high water. Piece of cake. Been there, done that, had the t-shirt.
Then I saw her. A lady was sleeping in the water, in a lounge chair, right in the path I was planning on using. Did I mention the wind had gotten up? I was flying, right down on her, and I needed to make a course correction faster than my brain functions. I pulled the boat HARD to port, missed her by about 3 feet.
Now I was on the correct approach to slam headfirst into the dock, I mean that sucker was right there! I could've reached forward and touched it! I kicked the rudders up, let fly the main and jib, and tumbled off the back. Well, tried to, my feet got caught in the steering rods and then the mainsheet, and I nose-dived into the water. Came up sputtering and sore, and much to my delight, the raunchous laughter of all our divers, who had had a front row seat to the afternoon's entertainment!
Grandma, the great sailor, now just a memory, as my grandkids gawked at the spectacle. I'm still trying to redeem myself, but gosh, it was a great sail up to that point.
It's creative licensing... really.
Back in 2000, Al and I found ourselves to be the proud owners of our first sailing craft, a 1980 Hobie16. I made the deal with the owner to trade my Nikonis camera that had been given to me (and never used by me) for the boat and trailer. We spent a few weeks fixing her up, and registered her.
Then I went to title/tag the trailer. The previous 2 owners had not bothered to title and tag the trailer, so the DMV said I had to find the last owner who had. Enter the $27. useless title search. While I now had the name of the last owner who had bothered to do the right thing, I soon found out that he was nowhere to be found. (Besides, if a stranger called you up and said, "I need your signature on this item that you sold somebody else 15 yrs. ago" would you figure that it was in any way your problem?)
Enter the fix. I found out that the state would not under any circumstance issue me a title/tag to make my trailer legal. However, if I had a "homebuilt" trailer, they would bend over backwards to get me legal (and that's all I was trying to do here) they even sent a DMV guy out to my house to check out the trailer and see that I had proper lights, etc... Boy, that trailer sure looked good with a new coat of paint too!
Now, all of this has a point, and that is that in 2005, Al and I bought a Plastimo 7ft9in dinghy at the Miami boat show. They ran my card and said they would ship in a few weeks. It arrived, sans packing slip or invoice. OK, I have my CC statement. ($450.00 to XXXX Company)
Last summer, a friend gave us a 2hp outboard for that dinghy. Took my CC statement to the agency to register it. No can do! They need a Manufacturers Statement of Origin, or a "real" bill of sale. I saw where this was going.
Went right home, jumped on that agencies website, printed out their bill of sale template, and went to work. I called my husband and told him to meet me at our bank for lunch. In front of a notary, I had him sell me our dinghy, and went right down and got my registration. The hoops through which a person will crawl to simply comply with the law is staggering!
I went home with my sticker and new letters/numbers, and blew the boat up and stuck them on. Next morning I let the air out and my carefully applied compliances peeled/fell off!
Was karma messin' with me? I jumped on a few sailing discussion boards and searched for an answer. I blew up the boat again, and with 5200 and a thick magic marker, successfully completed what I wanted to do all along, just be legal.
Last summer, Al and I were sitting on our boat at a slip at Discovery Divers/Beaufort, when one of the liveaboards came over to see the boat and introduce himself. "Where've ya been?" he asks.
We tell him about how we sail all over the sound and the rivers; how we would love to do some "real" ocean sailing, maybe head down to the Bahamas when we get a bigger boat.
"Go now!" he says. "Wait right here" and off he scrambles. He came back laden with charts and pictures of his trip to the Abacos in a 25 footer! "Go now' he says. "Don't wait to get a bigger boat. This is more than you need right here."
Well, before the week was out, Al had announced that if I wanted to (Do coconuts grow in trees?) we would plan on taking a 3 month sabbatical to sail to the Bahamas in November of 2009. (I love this man!)
Of course I want to do most of the trip offshore, and Al is thinking a ICW route would be more conservative, but the die is cast either way... we are going.
Prepping the boat has been an ongoing project. We started last fall, making our lists and chiseling away at them. so much to think about; and on a budget too. It's been an interesting mix of compromises.
For example, Al wanted an EPIRB. My thoughts were of group suicide for allowing my boat to sink out from under us. I didn't share that with Al - we bought the EPIRB.
I wanted new lifelines; ours are rusting and loose. Al felt that they weren't that bad. We are removing them to take to the rigger this weekend.
Other things are beyond us. Budget, remember. A reefer, SSB transmitter. We just got our Sony SSB receiver, and are grateful for the small victory that affords. We can listen to the weather at least.
We will continue to improve and outfit, and I will add to this as I can.
Well, we just put our sails back on Journey, after sending the 30yr old tatters to Sail Care, for cleaning, repairs and treating. We also purchased a Strong Track for our main track from them. WOW! What a difference. Truly, Sam and Jerry are magicians! We were able to make contract at the Miami Boat show, thus getting a show special and hence the Strong Track, which we wanted, but hadn't planned on right yet. Everything came in under budget, and there were numerous repairs made to both sails, including cutting off and reshaping our 150% before applying a new sacrificial. The sails looked and felt like an old pair of jeans before, but are now white, crisp and slickery! Love them!
Hi, We are Martha and Al along with our child, S/V Journey. We have owned Journey since August 2004, and have been steadily making updates and improvements to her. She is a 1977 Islander 28, a fine cruiser for the two neophyte sailors we were back then. While we are still finding our "sailing genes," we have done a lot of one and two week cruises around the Sound, over to Ocracoke,Oriental, Beaufort, and of course "the bite." We usually refer to these as our little "great circle route." We are always looking for folks to go cruising with, or to meet up with along the way when we are out and about. We try to sail pretty much year round, sometimes it seems that home scheduling gets in the way - exspecially during the colder months. (Funny how that happens)