11 December 2009 | Ipswich
Another month, another trip up to Ipswich. The last one 'in limbo'. White smoke - at last.
We've got a deal. 'Alea iacta est' as Ceasar said when he crossed the Rubicon. There's no turning back now. Job accepted (apart from the rigging) and contract signed. Work to start 'soon'. Target is Easter-ish and boat to be re-launched not later than May 1st. Good, the old girl is in desperate need of some attention and TLC.
Guapa looked forgotten, neglected and un-cared for. Nothing much has happened since she was 'dumped' at Fox's way back in August. We had other, more pressing, things on our mind back then. And striking a deal by e-mail and phone is not easy.
Anyway, that's all set to change now. From what I gather work's about to start in the very near future. And we've left ample time to get the job done. (Where have I heard that before?) Anyway, here's hoping a professional boatyard of some repute will manage to deliver on time and on spec - something a one-man-band did not quite manage last year.
It was with some pain in my heart that I went on board. Down below Guapa looked abandoned (a bomb site) and damp and smelly to boot. Brought some clothing back with mildew on - euch. Everything ready for the mast to be stepped and the rigging taken down. Get going people. Another four months to put on fast forward.
The final stretch now - it's got to be. At times I find it so very hard to remain upbeat about the boat. She's cost so much, and we've had very little in return. Sometimes I find myself hating the boat, and all she's done to us. All the sacrifices we've made (and still make). To the exclusion of everything else. For what? For a dream. It's bloody expensive having dreams.
Like the kids often remind me: if it wasn't for the boat we'd be well off. But we do have a boat and we aren't.
This has got to be the last year of penny-pinching and living like misers. Next year's got to be the year we go sailing again. Next year's got to be the year we start having fun again. Next year's got to be the year we start doing what we bought her for: long distance cruising. Next year's got to be THE year. Our year.