Monday, May 3, 2010

THE POWER OF A BOAT: Heading South Day Five

Great Bridge  36°43.368N | 76°14.751W

I was an art history major for a few semesters in college, until I realized I was as likely to find an art history job as I was to purchase the Mona Lisa. But during that deliciously decadent period, I ate up art history in great heaping spoonfuls. One of the theories I relished for evaluating a piece of art is placing it in its historical context, in the bigger world around it. To understand an artwork completely, according to this theory, it must be judged in its unique place and time, looking at what came before it and how that impacted what came after.

Despite the fact that I blog in real time, I find it much more interesting and compelling to look back at my own story in my historical context and in the bigger world around me, looking at what came before big events in my life and how that impacted what came after. Rarely am I able to recognize the big moments when they're actually happening. Except for sometimes ...

From the moment we made an offer on our new boat, Good Company, in December, it was as if we untied the lines of our lives and moved into the current -- after so many stagnant months of waiting. Her power to move us forward started resonating in our lives before we even got her in the water. The offer, the acceptance, the rare weather window in January for the sea trial, the idyllic commissioning and handoff, from the day our relationship with Good Company began, we've been plowing steadily through calm, deep water.

We closed the deal in January and hoped to bring our new boat from the northern Chesapeake to the Outer Banks in February, but the universe needed to tie up some loose ends first, so in epic fashion, the northern Chesapeake remained frozen solid, locking us out. On March 1st we got a contract on our old boat, Isabella. Yet again, we had an idyllic handoff, and the new owners sailed her away on April 2nd, releasing us from the specter of caring for two boats at once.   

By the time we came to bring Good Company home, our 5-year TO DO list was now reduced to one item: Sell the Wine Shop, an item we've been tilting at since listing the business in September 2008.

We left Great Bridge this morning on a short, easy trek to Coinjock, intending to give ourselves a break after the previous day's 12-hour slog, and excited to finally pass into North Carolina waters. It was apparent as we neared the state line that the weather was not going to give us a break. Chip hailed a northbound sailboat to check conditions.

"It's blowing pretty good, but stay to middle of the channel, and you'll be fine."

"Blowing pretty good" was a steady 37-knots -- straight across the beam -- in a very narrow channel through the shallow water of the Currituck Sound. We've learned that navigating the ICW goes much smoother with both of us on duty. I track our progress on the chart and scan the horizon for the path on ahead, giving Chip verbal directions as he concentrates on maintaining the immediate course.

We were taking the occasional cold spray over the starboard rail, when not 10 miles past the state line, we approached the more sketchy part at the southern tip of the sound that required more navigation finesse. 

That's when my phone rang. I'm not a big phone-answerer, often letting calls roll to voicemail, even when I'm not navigating in a 37-knot blow. But this time I answered.

For the next few minutes, I would say, "hold on a second," shout directions to Chip, then tuck my head back under the dodger so I could hear the voice on the other end. 

It was a broker alerting me that he was emailing me an offer on our business.

Looking back in real time, we can only place that phone call in the context of what came before. We don't yet know how that will impact what comes after.

Until then, we rely on what we do know: Good Company. Good fortune.

And so we continue, homeward bound and hopeful, navigating together through calm, deep waters.

Coinjock  36°20.276N | 75°57.399W


Laura said...

Oh, congratulations, again, Tammy! I hope the deal "sticks." I wish I had 50% of your good luck!

Suzanne said...

Congrats on what could be major progress. We're excited for you both and know life does fall into place for all of us!

We'll keep our fingers and hands crossed that on 5/28 you have a definite buyer.

Isabella is setting out in the morning for three days, not really knowing what direction but just happy moving thru the water!!!