When we rescued her...
24 July 2012 | Madisonville, La
That day will forever be burned into my memories. It the day we rescued her.
We had been debating back and forth on getting another boat. The previous one was a Scrabb and was made for speed. (80+ mph) We never had time for it because it was either too cold, raining, or we had to work. (the later found to be the most common excuse) Now we had decided to sell one of our businesses and merge the other two so we could begin enjoying life.
My brother-in-law and sister had recently purchased a small fishing boat and decided to take Danny for a ride. That was it!!! It was in his blood once again. He began looking for a Sea Ray. He wanted speed, but I wanted comfort. We would cruise harbors on the weekend and he would search the websites during the week. I can't tell you how many boats we looked at but known called out to us.
Then one day, it happened. He found an old 55' Chris Craft. Nothing like we had even been looking at but it was an incredible deal! The website only listed the location of the boat in Madisonville but he recognized the harbor in the background pictures. That weekend the weather was perfect for a ride. It was a cool November day so we decided to take a look. Sure enough, there it was. Danny knew Margrett, the owner of the harbor (since he had docked a previous boat there) so he decided to ask her what she knew about the boat. To our surprise, the owner lived a couple of houses away and so we asked if we could take a look.
The moment he opened the hatch, I knew we had found our boat. It was georgous!! Corian countertops, deep red mahogany walls and cabinets. It looked like out of a magazine. Then it happened.... the owner opened the storage in the floor and there was standing water!! Not alittle. At least a foot. It caught him off guard as well, you could see it on his face. One of the bilge pumps had stopped pumping. He told us "all wooden hulls do that". That's when reality set in. How did we not think about a wooden hull leaking?
I quickly made my escape as Danny was still taking the tour. I knew by his face, he was no longer interested by didn't want to be rude. As I waited by the car, that's when I saw her underneath a covered slip. In the window was a small orange "For Sale" sign. She was covered with dirt, spider webs and dirt dauber nests. Her teak handrails and decks were mostly weathered grey. Her appearance had little to be desired but something drew me to her. Peaking in her windows I could see all the teak interior and the pocket doors. Stuff was piled up on the counters and I could see the shag green carpet and sea foam velvet sofas. I could barely contain myself waiting to show Danny the treasure I had found. As soon as the man left, I dragged him to her. The first words out of his mouth was "That's ugly. It looks like an old fishing boat". My heart sunk. I made him look at her anyway but he didn't have the same passion I had. He told me to call the number but since it was wood he was already counting it out. To our surprise, she was not wood, but fiberglass with the appearance of a wood hull. We asked when we could see the inside and had to wait until the next day. I don't think I slept that night.
The next day, we showed up alittle early and saw her being shown to someone else. "Please, please don't like her" kept running through my mind. I still don't know why I felt so strong about this boat. Once we stepped aboard it was all over for me. I saw beyond the dirt, outdated carpet and the unfinished teak interior. All I saw was archways, pocket doors, beautiful teak and the detailed work on the captain's wheel.
The original owner, Kenneth Orser, had pasted away 5 years prior and his daughter and son-in-law had intended to keep her since her father loved the boat so much. They knew in their hearts it was time to let her go. Kandi couldn't bare the pain she felt everytime she visited the boat. It brought back to many memories.
Danny was now hooked as well. The next night he had me call with an offer. Within minutes they called back and excepted. At that point, Danny got really nervous. Something must be wrong with it. He got cold feet and told them something came up and he just couldn't come up with the money right now.
First it started off as every weekend, I would ask him to drive by, just to see if she was still for sale. Then it became during the week as well. I just couldn't let go. After 2 months, Danny gave in. He decided we would deal with whatever was wrong with her. Within a week, she was mine. Kandi said she knew in her heart, we were the ones meant to have her.
I often say we rescued her but in fact, she rescued us. Anytime we step aboard, we escape from all our troubles even if only for that short time.
Thank you, Kenneth for putting her in that same covered slip 33 years ago.