Saturday, January 31, 2009

How we found the Cape Dory


Finally, things have begun to slow down. Since sailing school began, each day has been a challenge. My experience could be described in terms of a high learning curve. It's been tough but believe me, I can ‘talk the talk’ now. You would never know I had been a ‘landlubber’ all my life (sailors actually use that expression).


Since Patrick and I completed sailing school with our respective certifications, we have had a succession of misadventures so ridiculous that they end up hilarious. Allow me to elaborate:


Misadventure #1:

       The broker for the CSY (boat pictured in the first post) messed up the date of the survey, so we ended up with an extra day to kill i.e. no money, nowhere to go, etc. (we ended up sneaking back into the marina where our sailing school was located and secretly sleeping on one of their boats and disappearing early in the morning before anyone could catch us). So we ended up checking out some other boats for sale in the area just because we had nothing better to do…and found this little number:


The Cape Dory 30


Cute as a button, and in incredible condition for being over 30 years old. She was designed for crossing oceans so she is a stout sturdy little thing. If she was a puppy, I guess she would be a pug, if that helps at all. Overwhelmed by the desire to shrink her up, cut her in half and make a friendship bracelet out of her, we desired we had better terminate our contract on the CSY (which was a fixer upper and a half) and pursue the Cape Dory.


In the meantime we had nowhere to go, so we found the cheapest motel in America:

             The Mosley Motel “Where Class Meets Economy”

It was advertised to have WIFI, but as it turned out, you had to bring your computer and sit in the lobby in order to get a signal. So we are checking our email in the middle of the lobby when the quintessential white trash woman walks in pointing violently at the black women at the counter screaming “All you (n-word)s are goin down!” Patrick and I are understandably in shock, as the front desk woman proceeds to do NOTHING, the white trash woman begins swinging a parking cone at the black woman’s head. Eventually they move to the parking lot where an all out brawl ensues. The front desk woman looks at us and says, “I’d like to tell you this never happens, but it’s actually pretty normal.” A man walks by with a 30 pack of Natural Ice.


Patrick and I decided on the buddy system.


Misadventure #2:

        We decide to buy a car because Florida isn’t pedestrian friendly. We find a beater on craig’s list for 250$ about 30 miles away from our hotel. We make it there, purchase the car and go to the DMV to register it (because it had no plates).

Man at DMV: I need proof of auto insurance

Us: what insurance?

Man at insurance agency: I need a Florida license in order to insure you

Man at DMV: I need proof of Florida residency for a license

Us: Can we drive the car with no plates?

Man at DMV: If you want to go to jail.

...2 and a half hour bus ride back to the Mosley...

Total wasted time: 6 hours

 Later that night, upon seeing us cold, tired and hungry, tenants at the Mosley taught us how to get food stamps.


Misadventure #3:

     The sea trial and survey of the Cape Dory revealed a severe overgrowth of barnacles and other marine life on the hull, so much so that she can’t go back into the water without being scraped of parasites and repainted with super toxic “anti-fouling” paint that is essentially the destroyer of all life. I wish you could have seen the look on the shipyard workers faces when Pat told them that he was going to do the whole “bottom job” himself saying “it can’t be that hard, I got a book on it.”

     So our first night on the Cape Dory was on stilts in a shipyard (a glorified construction site) with no electricity, no toilet (unless you count the one bathroom that never had any toilet paper and was shared by 40 filthy, toothless men) and worst of all no shower. Patrick worked diligently, no, maniacally…for four days so that the boat could be put back into the water as soon as possible. This included sanding the entire hull, patching up blisters with epoxy, and repainting. All of this involved working with so much toxic chemicals, that Patrick had to wear this suit and a respirator (not pictured):



On Friday afternoon the boat was finished. As of now, Patrick's long-enduring dream of living on his very own boat is a reality.  

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