Wednesday, January 20, 2010


That "sea trial" nomenclature is becoming clearer to me now.

Six years ago during our sea trial on Isabella, we sailed out of the Fort Lauderdale inlet and into the Atlantic. Big, old choppy seas thoroughly shook up my excitement and Chinese lunch, and for the first time ever, I tossed my fortune cookies over the rail.

I couldn't help but wonder if the same thing would happen on today's sea trial, although, lesson learned, this time I skipped my date with General Tso and his damned chicken.

As we prepared to pull out of Gratitude Marina on Good Company, the bow drifted a little to port, so I threw Chip a line on the dock to pull us back. There was a very narrow channel to thread, and we needed a straight start.

I was taking photos when I heard a loud SPLASH.

I spun around to see Chip -- still holding the line -- dangling by his arms, with everything below his waist submerged in that frigid water.

And that was the last thing that went wrong all day. Our weather window opened a little wider giving us tolerable temps and avoidable ice floes. We would have liked a little more wind, but we whooshed along in a 9 knot breeze with all three sails flying.

The surveyor's tick list was amazingly short, a testament to the attentiveness of Marvin and Nancy. We selected an even shorter list of the things we asked them to repair, a request they immediately dispatched.

At the end of the day, Marvin and Nancy shared their cruising photos with us over dinner, and one final toast, to Good Company and new friends.

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