CURRENT LOCATION: On the hard off the back deck of Crusader Yacht Sales, Annapolis, MD
38 57.798' N, 076 28.780' W
The sadness in the air was palpable from the moment we arose. Kirk was off to the airport, and it is always hard to say goodbye to old friends. In addition, we both knew that before the day was out another goodbye would be taking place. Today is our last day with Prudence
I rode in the taxi with Kirk for the first few miles of his run to the Baltimore airport in order to pick up our rental truck. While he continued to the airport, I filled out the paperwork for the smallest rental truck they would allow for a one-way trip. Our car is back in Norfolk, and we really only need a car's-worth of space to get our stuff off the boat; however, renting a moving truck one-way is much cheaper than a one-way rental car. Although driving a truck with no direct rear-view is a challenging endeavor. Especially for someone who has only had his license for a little over a week (following a two-year hiatus from driving).
I made it back to the marina without a traffic incident, and we proceeded to spend the morning hours unloading an amazing amount of stuff from the boat. We spread bags across the floor of the moving truck and tossed some items directly in the dumpster at the foot of the dock. Sheryl and I moved quietly through these labors, as the pall of finality blanketed our thoughts.
Once the boat was emptied of our personal belongings, the dreaded moment was at hand ... time to back out of the slip. The reason for my fear of this maneuver is the simple fact that our boat ALWAYS backs to port. In this narrow path between slips, there is no space to turn around, and we are too far in to even consider backing all the way out. Somehow, I needed to figure out how to make the boat come out of the slip with the stern turning to the right. For two days, this concern had occupied my thoughts.
Once the engine was started, I sent Sheryl to climb aboard a motorboat two slips down from us, to our right, with a 50-foot dockline in hand. She looped it on the outer piling as I held the other end. This was the only way I could think of to force our boat to back to starboard. I engaged the engine slowly and pulled gently but steadily on the line. Thankfully, the winds were light and Prudence
behaved well on this makeshift leash. We came out of the slip perfectly aligned to put it in forward gear and motor around the corner to D dock.
D dock was empty and we easily pulled alongside. Sheryl hopped off first, with a bow line in hand, I put it in neutral and hopped off with a stern line. Looking as though we actually knew what we were doing, we secured the lines and did the final in-the-water chore: holding tank pump out.
From D dock to the lift the guys handled the boat with boat hooks, so our close-quarters handling chores were now done. A huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. Sheryl, on the other hand, looked as though she was about to cry.
The boat was lifted and power washed, then the yard guys took off for lunch. We followed suit and sat at a picnic table behind the broker's office with salads and hummus. From where we sat, we could see Prudence
hanging in the sling. One hour passed, then two. Finally, our patience grew thin and we sought the yard guys to ask when she would be moved and blocked. "Five minutes," was the lead fellow's response. Sheryl, wanting to be certain that our wait was really
near an end repeated with a raised brow, "Five minutes?!?"
Well, true to their word (or perhaps feeling threatened by my 5'3" wife), we were able to board her again within no time at all. Sheryl focused on final cleaning chores below while I worked on shining the hull with a coat of wax. By the time 6PM rolled around, we were finished.
We checked and double checked, and all was ready for the next owner. She has been a comfortable home, solid transport in all kinds of weather, and overall a really good old boat. We sincerely hope that the next owner enjoys and appreciates her as much as we have.
[Note: No tears were shed as we walked away from Prudence
but strong emotions bubbled below the surface. Facing 14 hours of drive time to our new home/office studio apartment in Charleston, we tried to fondly remember the past and focus upon the future.]
P.S. Although the responsibility for selling Prudence
now lies in the hands of our broker, Bill Day, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have. Your first step is to take a virtual tour of the boat (a tribute to our experiences with her) by clicking below. If you like what you see, we'll put you in touch with Bill so you can arrange a viewing of our Southern Cross 35.