Thursday December 01st, 2016

Our new friends on Wind Machine are at the end of their cruising experience. They have been at it since 1995 and have been everywhere and some places for multiple years. Across the Atlantic, England…you name it they have been there. The time comes when you know you want to do something else.

They’ve done their cruising in a classic C & C 42 Landfall. They have worked hard to maintain Wind Machine and have her in great shape for showing to sell. Decision made, call the broker he shows up the next day with prospective buyers and again two days after that with the same buyers…

We invited them over for happy hour yesterday and just as they arrived the broker called with an offer. It was a decent offer but not their ask. With the full price went all the equipment and stuff. They countered and it was done. They have an offer subject to the typical stuff, sea trial and survey. It was interesting to watch the mix of emotions they have about what they are doing.  They are comfortable with the decision to sell but they will miss the life.

They had some great stories and advice. The one piece of advice I thought most about was to get off the beaten path ( go where the typical cruisers don’t go ) and engage with the community. Not force yourself on them but stay and let acceptance and invitation occur. They reported some of their wonderful experiences when they went ‘off piste’.

If you are going to cruise you have to have a reliable outboard motor that is more than 5 hp. My new friend Michel from Gentlemen des mars or something like that. He is solo at the moment and has a bad hip. Anyway, I heard him spurting and burbling around the stern of Fracas with his 3 hp baking soda and vinegar power plant. He finally got close enough to grab something. Because Fracas is French the French think I can speak French.

Mooring balls as they appear when you are trying to catch one
Mooring balls as they appear when you are trying to catch one

Rick taught me to say a couple of phrases. One about your anatomy and a sandwich and the other “My sailboat is French I am not” or ” Mon voilier est français mais je ne suis pas“. I think I said the latter but maybe not… Anyhow Michel said “Pardon”? So I tried to recover in English and said “Hello”. Michel asked for help. He was anchored across the way and wanted to come into the mooring field. Picking up a mooring solo is tricky enough without having a bad hip (mauvaise hanche).

He said he would be 15 or 20 minutes so I waited and took a line over to the mooring to wait his arrival. Simple task, catch the boat right. Thirty minutes later I can see Michel’s boat which appears to not be moving. He has run aground. I waited and watched hoping he would get loose, not wanting to get involved… He unfurled the genoa and in about 15 minutes managed to get free.

We got him secured and he reported he was going to ‘float’ home and come back with his wife next week. I questioned his choice of travel and he countered with ‘not drive’…I suggested ‘fly’ and he jumped at that. We hit it off. I asked him what I said to him in French earlier and he said “I don’t know” but nice try. What has Rick taught me to say? Tabernac…Sister Mary Francis.

He further reported that this was not the first time he has had a grounding or an issue on his trip south from Levis. He was ‘floating’ home last night by flying for a really cheap price to Plattsburgh and  someone was ‘driving’ down to get him. I am to keep an eye on his boat while he is gone. Neighbourhood Neighborhood Watch.

Sailing tip #136 – When you wander on deck in the morning with your coffee in your boxers, check which ones you are wearing and prior to all that take a long look at yourself in boxers in the full length mirror. Now fully clothed I am having coffee in the cockpit.


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