A few months ago I bought a sailboat at a repo auction. It’s like buying a foreclosed house, only a sailboat is way more fun than a house, and costs much less. The boat had basically been abandoned, but is in nearly perfect condition. It’s a 1972 Catalina with a blue hull and a small cabin. I was gone all summer, which prevented me from spending the five hours it took to clean the boat and get the inboard diesel engine running. The main problem was a bit of a catch 22. The boat was moored in Tacoma, about 50 miles from where I live at the north end of Seattle, which is way too far to drive to work on a boat, but I couldn’t move the boat to Seattle until I had worked on it a bit. Had it been in Seattle I would have been sailing months ago, but as is it took me until yesterday to take the boat on its maiden voyage.
I went out with my dad, who helped me get the diesel running, and we figured out the basics of how to operate the boat. The winds were light, so we were able to figure out what we were doing without any stress.
Today I went out with my friend Peter. Peter’s three years of sailing experience with Seattle Yacht Club adds to my two years of summer sailing camp experience to give us a combined five years of experience on boats under 14 feet long. Obviously we’re qualified to take a boat twice as big out on our own (or maybe people like me are the reason Washington will be instituting a new law requiring boat pilots to have a license.).
We sailed out and back and a to and forth, and now I feel confident enough with the boat that next week after Nationals I’m going to make a voyage from Tacoma to Seattle. The tides for Sunday the 21st are such that the current will be heading north starting just before noon, so I figure if I leave Tacoma around 11:30 I can make the trip in 5 or 6 hours. I want to see if I can make it entirely on wind power, but if it’s a light breeze and the sails aren’t full, I won’t hesitate to give it a diesel boost.
Once in Seattle I am going to rename the boat and have a naming ceremony (any excuse for a party). The current name is Isis, which has no meaning to me. I’m taking suggestions, but what I’d really like is something with three layers of meaning. So an obvious double meaning (for instance if I were visually impaired, like Aaron Scheidies â€“ who went a 1:58:30 at the Malibu Olympic Distance Triathlon, a minute faster than our World Record performance in Dallas last October â€“ I could name it See Worthy), but then I want a third meaning that is more of an inside joke where youâ€™d have to know me to get it (bc dot org knowledge is enough).