Sailing Home

Continuing this Women’s History Month of quotes with this gem. Didn’t even know it until today, but man is it beautifully said.

“She must find a boat and sail in it. No guarantee of shore. Only a conviction that what she wanted could exist, if she dared to find it.”― Jeanette Winterson

It’s blog Tuesday, and today we dared to sail our holy boat down to Norfolk to, hopefully, find out more about what our next steps are. As we still don’t fully know what needs to be done in order to make it seaworthy again, or if it can be seaworthy at all, we are taking our chances and sailing to our home port with hopes of learning what our next steps are. We are relieved to be done with the marina that we’ve been at for the last four months, considering they have been zero help in diagnosing the boat. So, today is the start of a new chapter, and what a way to begin.

I don’t think I’ll ever get over the way the world looks before no one is awake. They way it feels like it’s only you and the moon existing under a sky of stars and the beginning glimpses of sunlight. This morning was especially beautiful being the first time in a long, and desired, time that I had seen the sun come above the horizon from the cockpit of our boat. I was priceless.

The last two nights however, were not as seamless as this beautiful morning.  But before we get there, let’s talk about how we prepped the boat in order for us to be able to sail today.

So, long story short, go buy yourself some Flexseal.  Yes, you heard me right.  The stuff that you’ve seen on infomercials is indeed what we used to patch our boat.  We got back to the boat on Friday, took inventory of what was there and what we needed to get done in order to be ready by today, and we headed to the river house where we stayed for two months last year while trying to figure out our plans for the boat.  On Saturday, we made our way to the boat.  We cleaned the mold off of the surfaces, completely emptied out the boat of anything that we wouldn’t need for our sail, and we began to patch the hole.  First, Steve marked off the inside of the hull where you could see daylight coming in with a red sharpie.  Then, I used the Flex Seal putty and covered both sides of the hull on the outside where the holes were.  I made my way up the ladder, in the boat, and under the V-berth where the red sharpie marks were.  We used Flex Seal paint for that.  When we came back on Sunday, giving the putty and paint some time to cure, Steve and I put Flex Seal tape over the puttied areas on the outside of the hull and I put a bit of putty on the keel where it looked a little rough.  The rest of Sunday and Monday we got everything ready – made the bed, packed our bags, put the paddle boards and dinghy back onboard.  On Monday the marina splashed us around 1:30pm, and boom!  We were back on the water again.  We immediately checked the hole and only one drip every 3 seconds was happening, so we added a little bit of Flex Seal tape and considered it good.  Steve went back to the library to work after connecting the bilge pump, and I stayed and did the final touches to make sure we really were ready for this sail.  Steve’s grandparents brought us back to the marina so we wouldn’t have to leave the car there, and then we were ready!  

The thing is, I wasn’t that worried, or at least I didn’t think I was.  However, my dreams told me otherwise.  On Sunday night Steve and I watched The Boondock Saints, which was hilarious and a great movie, but it’s a shoot-em-up/comedy/action movie.  So, naturally, I dreamt about the boat being patched and getting put in the water and then… we had apparently been in a shootout so there were now 2 or 3 new holes in the boat so it was sinking!  Talk about a weird (and bad) dream.  I laughed about it in the morning, but at the time it was a lot to worry about.  Then last night we stayed on the boat so that we could leave early this morning, and I could NOT sleep.  I’m pretty sure I woke up every one or two hours thinking that water was coming in, the bilge pump stopped working, or something like that.  So when it was finally 6am I was 1. Thrilled to finally wake up and stop worrying and 2. Happy to find that the bilge pump was working and we were in fact not taking on water.  Dreams are a funny thing.

Long story short, we patched the boat ourselves and we are finally heading somewhere that we know and trust the people to give us straight answers on the boat. WOOHOO! It’s been a long time coming, and it’s funny to think that just last week we were getting back to NC from our road trip home. We’ve traveled up and down, west and east, but nothing felt quite like this morning when we set sail on our boat after a long time gone. Regardless of what happens, if she’s fixable or not, I’m so glad we sailed her today. After all, life is what you make it, so we might as well be happy with what’s offered to us.

I almost finished the blog, and then I remembered something I haven’t written about yet…

This morning, as we were still in the creek by the marina, in the dark morning and trying to follow some confusing channel markers, we ran aground. Steve immediately started to put us going backwards and we almost made it, but the 3 foot waters were too many. So, Steve decided to go in, with nothing but shorts on, in the cold morning waters so that he could turn us around. It worked, but BOY was he cold when he got back in. Although, he was high spirited the whole time, especially because it woke him up really well. He even decided that we should go for morning swims when we’re at our new apartment for the next 3 months! I’m just glad he found the positive side of things (and that we didn’t get stuck at the beginning of our journey).

After arriving, we were taking the main sail off and when setting it down, Steve’s shoe made it into the water (thanks to the toe rail). Maybe Steve, along with his shoes were just in the mood to go swimming today! Steve immediately after I saved his soaking wet tennis shoe exclaimed, “I guess it’s flip flop time!!!” — Indeed it is.

Oh yeah! We signed an 82 day lease at a cute little beach cottage right near our marina. We are SO pumped to be there while we figure out what’s going on with the boat. So woohoo to new adventures in a new little (temporary) home!

By the time you read this, we will be docked, so cheers to fair winds and weather and getting home safely. See you next week!

Happy Sailing,


Published by skyepage

"She always had that about her, that look of otherness, of eyes that see things much too far, and of thoughts that wander off the edge of the earth." -Joanne Harris

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