The preciously small real estate of my tiny house living room is shrinking. Piles of boat gear, sails, and personal belongings are adding up. Tomorrow we leave for Ooku and our first chance to board her. She will be kept in Sterling Cove, our top-secret location. I have no idea what comes with the boat and what doesn’t so it will be a bit of a treasure hunt. I literally left everything for Sookie’s new owner, including a new set of offshore foul-weather gear. For now, my time aboard will be minimal so this is a play date. The survey will come as soon as I can block a few days in a row to head south.
Like always, I will make a video diary of the whole process, sharing as I learn. I’m very curious how she will fit. Will I like the aft galley better than what I’m used to? Will a head be a blessing or a pain in the ha? You know where I’m going with this. I haven’t owned a boat of this size or complexity since before the turn of the century. In the beginning, I sailed larger boats. Of the entire fleet of charter boats I managed as a child, the Catalina 42 was the easiest once I got that damn main up. I would day sail solo and often. My second favorites were a J30 and C&C29. Soon after, I did my apprenticeship on a full keel 32 heavy displacement cutter. It was slow to react, heavy, and stunted-feeling compared to what I was used to. In the beginning, docking was frightening but I loved that boat. She was custom-built by captain Leah and appropriately named Wet Dream.
Captain Leah was hard on me. Everything she taught me was the most important lesson. Maintenance was always carried out to perfection down to waxing the mast twice a year. The Wet Dream was over a decade old when I met her, but she appeared cleaner than a new boat down to her smallest detail. When she set sail for the South Pacific, I was invited but the time had come to find my own dream ship and my own adventures.
Back to Ooku. I’m hoping that her tiny cabin is small and cozy. Each piece of gear will find its place. My favorite bunk will be discovered in time. I’ve been told that there are 37 storage compartments. Lots of people make boat maps but I always know my inventory down to the screw and where it is. Maybe that’s my superpower. Each visit will bring a little more of this and that until she is full.
My intention was to purchase on the east coast so I have no navigation books, charts, pilots, guides… this adventure is starting from the very basics. I’m slowly gathering sandpaper, paints, oils, varnishes, or maybe Cetol (?), fasteners, filters, and sealants. I have no idea where this will take me. I’ll just show up and start in a logical place. These old boats aren’t for everyone. Cosmetics are extremely labor-intensive. Parts have to be fabricated or cast. I can’t buy anything off the shelf for her. I’m putting together my first Bronze order from the Port Townsend Foundry and it will be a large one. Ooku will get all new fittings. As always they will be thrown into a locker and forgotten about until the time is right. Each process takes careful consideration, you can’t rush these things. As she sits, Ooku isn’t even remotely a project boat. She is perfect in every way. She just needs a quick spit shine and some jewelry.
I’ve reached the point in my life where slow, easy, deliberate movement is the name of the game. There is no more struggle. I’ve experienced every dream I made up in my mind as a wide-eyed child with the whole world in front of me. I had made up my mind that I would track down Seraffyn for the umpteenth time and take over custodianship. As usual, plans changed. I had chased Ooku for years but then one day, with the suddenness of a broken shoelace, the stars aligned and she came home. The very place I had thought I was leaving will now be my very familiar new home. For now, I need to install a new heater and I know exactly where it will go.
2 thoughts on “Island time”
so she isn’t in the states?
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I’m releasing a video with the whole story in a few weeks, which by now is old. Because of internet and YouTube… I’m keeping her location private till spring or maybe until we land in PT
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