Six short weeks ago, having just registered this domain, I sat down to figure out WordPress. My first tentative experiment was a quick post I dashed off entitled Go With The Boat You Have. It was an expression of the uncertainty we felt regarding whether or not Eagle, our 33 foot Hunter, was large enough to allow us to realize our dream of cruising. I originally thought that Life On The Hook would focus on how it would indeed be possible for two people to live well on a smaller modern yacht. In fact, this blog was originally going to be called Go Small Go Now (which as of this writing still appears to be available if anyone is interested). But something inside me, that quiet inner voice that I’ve learned to listen to, said to wait. There may be another boat out there. A bigger, more comfortable boat that would better suit our needs.
Less than a month later, Rhonda and I were walking down a dock at a marina on Watts Barr Lake in rural Tennessee. We were there to see a boat. This boat:
Four and a half years ago, when we bought Eagle, we didn’t realize the scope of our “unknown unknowns,” as we say in the project management world. Those things that we didn’t know about sailboats, and didn’t know that we didn’t know. We’ve learned a lot since then, as experience is an excellent teacher. And we could tell immediately that this was a good boat. Solid. Sturdy. Well suited for our purposes. From the size of the winches to the weight of the pelican hooks, this boat said “Take me to sea.”
It’s amazing what a difference four feet can make. It doesn’t sound like much. But on a boat, it’s huge. It’s the difference between having a galley that can barely fit one, and being able to have a couple work on dinner together. Between having to play Twister to pass each other in the salon, to being able to easily move around without catching an elbow in the eye. Between having to crawl into bed, and being able to walk upright in the aft cabin. In short, it’s the difference between feeling like you’re camping in a rather plush tent, and residing in a comfortable efficiency apartment. After feeling the difference in person, my only thought regarding Go With The Boat You Have is “What was I thinking?”
Did this boat hug us the way the Eagle did? Truthfully, no. There is only one first boat in your life, and when we found the Eagle, it was obvious that her owner hadn’t given her the care she deserved. She reached out to us (particularly Rhonda) like a neglected puppy that had just been offered a kind word and a loving pat. This boat on the other hand had been well cared for and clearly loved, and the impression she gave was that we were going to have to earn her respect.
We’re on the road to Tennessee to take possession as you read this. I’m looking forward to proving to her that we are worthy of her. She arrives April 25th.
What a difference a month can make.