24 December 2019 | Anna Maria
After a few idyllic days of walking the beach and relaxing, not spoiled by the end of the red tide epidemic, we headed out Boca Grande Pass and north to the Venice inlet. The algae in the water had only prevented us from swimming, but the water was a little cold for our thinned out constitutions anyway.
We had heard that work was going on at the Longboat Pass bridge with restricted openings so we elected to come inside at Venice and spend a night or two in Sarasota Bay. We waited out a frontal passage and spent the time starting the process of getting Allegria ready for her transition.
John, who had looked at Allegria in Annapolis, had made an offer and after a little back and forth, we accepted. We came in to the dock at the Seafood Shack in Cortez and began to get Allegria ready in earnest. We reinstalled the AC units and unloaded all our personal gear and cleaned things up in preparation for the survey. The survey went well and we spent a few more days correcting a couple of items noted and then closed the deal with John. This past Saturday we helped deliver Allegria to her new home at Maxima Marina in St. Pete and said good bye.
There's a lot of emotion associated with all this for me, the old saw about the happiest and saddest days of a sailor's life. I certainly have a sense of relief that Allegria has found a new home, since we have a new boat about to be born. I also have some sadness about her and am missing her already. She has taught us many lessons, what true freedom is and the glory of being self sufficient. I think she may have saved my life. Lisa, when she was 4 or 5 years old said to Molly that she wanted to visit Daddy at his house, meaning my office. I was up and gone before she awoke and home again after she was asleep. We were all caught up in the materialistic culture and trying to keep up with the Joneses and both working ourselves to death. I realized that I was missing out on my daughter growing up and so we hatched the idea of going sailing and being together, and that is when Allegria came into our lives.
She helped us learn what was really important in life, and what we really needed to live. She helped Lisa learn that there was more to the world that just her little sphere and brought us all closer together. We reveled in the magic of nature and what an incredible world this is. The feeling associated with moving through the water, propelled by the wind alone and feeing one with the earth and natural forces is indescribable and is very addictive and I can't imagine not feeling the wind and tides and weather.
All this talk of the boat's personality is hard to accept for the uninitiated, but sailors who have stood a night watch alone and had a conversation with their boat will understand. A boat will tell you how she is feeling and what to do to make things better. All you need to do is listen. If you're lucky, she will teach you much more. We will always cherish what she has taught us, and I'm sure she has many more lessons to teach.
At this time of renewal and the birth of a new year, we are excited for the future and what lies ahead, a new boat, new places to visit and new things to learn. We wish all who read this a wonderful Holiday season and the most wonderful things in the New Year.