Growing pains

The first thing Kim-Chi said when she saw Sookie is, “where is her mommy?”. Let me introduce you to Ooku, the mamma bear. Our first time aboard was short and sweet. We poked though lockers, thumbed through books and tried learn her systems. This boat is slightly larger than Sookie but as of today my opinion is that she has less storage and a less user friendly layout. All the small things aside, she is perfect. After just one day, she is already shrinking into cozy proportions. At a whopping 5’1” Kim-Chi struggles to reach into the galley top-loading lockers or the deeper recesses of her ice box/fridge. It’s hard for her to climb into the double bunk. Actually, it’s hard for me as well. The layout is nice but feels backwards to me. All in all we will need time to learn how to fit in our tiny new home.

Bonus section: We found three huge surprises – actually about a hundred. The first sail bag I pulled had a brand new red drifter from Port Townsend sails. There was also a tri and storm jib, both brand new. I’ll have to add a track for the cars but those sails were a giant win. The lockers were filled with treasures, great books, and all the nav equipment we could ask for. She has a VHF with AIS, an emergency transponder although it looks like it might need some work. There were piles of tools, manuals for everything, and even two self inflating harnesses. I’ve never worn a life jacket on a boat but because of my balance issues, I always wear a harness. We couldn’t find an anchor but that problem will solve itself. All her wood needs to be redone, at some point all new covers as well. Her cushions are serviceable but will be replaced almost immediately. With a little luck she will find a home base in the San Juans and so will we. As of today we have no plans on living aboard but that may change.

In short, she is perfect in every way. There may be some surprises when we haul her but nothing we can’t easily fix. On deck her layout is nice and simple, there is no pole or track so that’s going on the list. Also, I couldn’t find any sort of preventer but I can make something simple from her boom’s end. Her rudder fittings need to be bored and bushed but that’s a fun project. In my eyes she is a 10…not bad for having bought her sight unseen. Her engine was replaced in 2003 and has about 1000 hours. Her standing rigging is close to the ten-year mark which warrants a full inspection but looks very lightly used. What else is there? Well, everything. I’m writing this from the resort we stayed at last night. We are packing up and heading south in an hour.

We’ve had her for almost a month now, but today was the first day anything felt real. I’m praying for a warm winter and lots of day sailing. For now it’s city life and packing both of our worlds up for the next adventure. On the ride home we came across a mother and calf killer whale, such a good omen. Funny how long I’ve been talking about the next step. I just couldn’t make the move til Sookie had taught me all of the lessons she had for me.

2 thoughts on “Growing pains

  1. Hi Alan,
    Your new boat looks beautiful. Congratulations. I liked your back to the island thoughts. I lived on Orcas for 10 years and feel drawn back to this day. We always said it was like the hotel California. You can check out but never leave. You can’t beat the islands.
    You two have a great time with the dream.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You hit your nail on the head. Hotel California, that is island life on any given island on this planet. I had forgotten you lived on Orcas. Things are lining up fast. Our first conversation of today was how to move without a car and too many toys. Cheers


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