Rêverie

Saturday, January 30, 2016.

On the way to Almere. The place where Yachting Comany Muiderzand is located. Slightly tired and hung over. Grey skies. But no rain…

I do have a walk of 15 minutes from the station to the marina. And of course it starts to dribble. But fine, so i’ll at least wake up. 100m before i reach the marina it starts pouring down. Now i’m wet 😀

Mariëlle, the agent who i was in contact with all the time, welcomes me and offeres me a cup of coffee. We have a chat and she starts showing me equippment of the boat (tiller pilot and such) that is stored in the office. Then we head out to Rêverie.

I look at every corner of the boat for about 2 hours. I’m convinced. As much as i can. Buying a boat the first time in my life. Not knowing how this works… crazy? Yes, a bit.

Mariëlle and i sit down inside the office, i sign the contract in three copies.

That’s it.

She’s mine.

Point of no return.

Wow…

(Cover image: me in front of Rêverie, now mala moja)

T-2

Thursday, January 28, 2016.

I bought a plane ticket… yesterday the ticket. Today i booked a hostel. Tomorrow i fly to Amsterdam.

I do not like the thought of flying up there. I wanted to take a train. Keep my footprint small(er). But it’s half the price to fly. And i don’t loose 24h for a fairly spotaneous and pretty short trip. So yes. A plane ticket it became.

Nervous. Yes.

We’ll see how it turns out…

Tomorrow i’m in Amsterdam.

(Cover image: a nightly Gracht in Amsterdam)

T-3

Wednesday, January 27, 2016.

Sleepless. It’s 4:30 in the morning and i cannot sleep. Yesterday i did receive a confirmation for my offer on a boat. Dufour 32 Classic. Built in 2000. I am scared. Anxious. It’s just one signature away any more. If it’s true…
My mind is circling. I did not talk to or with anybody about it yet. So far it’s only 3 people who know about the acceptance of my offer. Excluding the selling party. And technically there is actually nothing yet. There still is no signature, so theoretically they could sell the boat to someone else as well.
Having a cup of tea. Maybe it will calm my stomach, body and brain. High expectations towards a cup of tea. Wouldn’t want to change with this hard-working tea in the middle of the night!
So now it’s about planning the trip to Amsterdam to visit the boat. This weekend or the next? The difference: 7 more days for planning! And i feel like i have no idea of anything yet.
Insurance, registration, what to do with the boat until i come (in April), can i work there on the boat, will they identify me as a fool and beginner right away…?
And before that: how will the inspection go?! Am i able to do this myself?! Will i miss a major problem? What mistakes will i make?
Racing, restless mind.
At the core the same question all over again. Am i ready for this?

It is not that i prepared myself consciously for this adventure. For this journey. But it adds up retrospectively. Earning my sailing license in 2012. Test-skippering for the first time in 2013. Taking part at a regatta in 2014 as crew to experience a boat on the limit. Skippering again, this time for a full trip, in the summer of the same year. Working on the cargo sailing ship Tres Hombres for two weeks in 2015. Including the experience of sailing in a storm in the Strait of Dover in the middle of the night. Skippering again a few weeks later. Realizing that it is feeling quite comfortable. Trying a first maneuver single-handed (with the potential backup of the crew ;)…
And now, 6 months later i’m sitting at 5 in the morning. Restless, in awe-stricken silence. Am i ready?

It’s my first time. So i am bound to make mistakes. And it is mistakes from which one is learning. But this project is a fairly big one.
Time will tell.

(Cover image: entering San Francisco harbour on a ferry)

Stepping into the fog

Friday, January 22, 2016.

The last month has been quite a busy one. Besides work I started searching for a boat to buy. And it was – again – overwhelming. The choice, the options, the price range… making me feel small and incapable all over again.
Talking helps and helped. And i see that the decision to unveil the project was a good one. Apparently the project has grown steady enough within me to not be abolished by the “reward” of talking about it.
Recently i read the nice advice that “things can only happen when you start to go”. And it is true. You will not see the open doors unless you leave the room you are in. It sounds so smart-alec. But if you think about it, it is purely trivial.
I started to carry my plans outside of my head. I looked for boats on the net. And when i was feeling overwhelmed i talked to Evi about it. Her advice was to choose three boats i like and simply write the owners. I did so. And then i contacted other people i know (my sailing teacher, my captain on the Tres Hombres and a sailor i met last year). And i contacted the boating magazine in which i read an article about a young family who did a similar trip.
And the reactions were throughout reassuring and positive 🙂
The author of the article contacted me and was super-helpful with advice, my sailing teacher offered to meet with me and “my captain” reassured me in my decision. And “the boats” i contacted responded and answered my questions. Form the questions and answers i learned to ask better questions.
And the sailor i met last summer called me today and was also super-friendly and -helpful. He told me that he has a spare life raft that he’d sell me and gas-cans which he can lend me for a season. He also gave me quite some valuable advice on equipment and energy supply.
To conclude, i can only repeat that all these doors only started to open once i got going. Would i have not decided to do it, i would not have spread the word and contacted all these people. And subsequently would not have received all the information and offers i got.

(Cover image: fog hitting the pacific coast near San Francisco)