The second most popular question after “How’s it going?” has been “Can you even drive that thing?” And the answer is… yes, sort of. The boat works and it’s sea worthy…. buuuut no one in our family has really ever driven a boat this large.
We do have a Captain identified though. We are off to a good start. His name is Matthew and I love him with all of my heart. He has spent many a day on the water in the San Juans and Pacific Northwest when he was growing up in Washington. He grew up on a farm and in a family that boated recreationally. He is mechanically inclined, learns new skills quickly and he’s eager to get this boat out on the water. He seemed like the logical choice out of the four of us.
When we first started shopping for boats, trying to figure out what size boat we would need was very interesting and I learned a lot quickly. I became well versed in boat types, almost to the point where I can carry on a short conversation with experienced boaters. I knew that we needed something with at least two bedrooms, a kitchen (galley… see look at my new boat lingo) and a living room. I didn’t know boat sizes though. I found a lovely 60’ boat that even had a hot tub on the top deck, but we determined that might be a bit much and missing the point. We narrowed it down to around 40’ being ideal as most boats that size would work well for living aboard.
Seeing as how Matt and I have never been boating together, my first obvious question to him as we were looking was, “Can you drive a boat that is 40’?” His response was, “Yep, I think I can.” That little word “think” had me a touch concerned. I mean really, who wants to be in a giant boat drifting at sea or worse yet, hitting every boat in the marina as we pinball our way out. Not this girl. He assured me he could do it.
When we found the Wild Rose we knew right away we had to have her. She was perfect for us. She is a 50’ boat though and that’s no joke. If you have three minutes and tape measure, which I’m sure you don’t, measure out 50’. It’s big. She was located in Olympia, WA which is about 140 nautical miles, or a three day trip in the winter. At first Matt thought that perhaps he could just gather a few friends and they would drive it up. After a little research and map checking we decided it might be better to save the guy’s weekend for a different time. We discovered that you can actually hire someone to drive your boat places. We got in touch with Captain Gary, a very experienced boat Captain who spends his retirement delivering large boats to people on the west coast. Done and done. He was available and super easy to work with. We had ourselves a Captain to bring us our house.
Once our boat arrived, we felt way more settled. The thing is though; we just aren’t ready to take her out yet. I know, “a boat is safest in the harbor, but that’s not where a ship is meant to be blah blah blah”. The Wild Rose is perfectly happy in the harbor right now. Our Captain is taking boating classes once a week and will be working this spring to get up to speed on driving this boat. I imagine our first trip out will be in a few months. We are all still deep into an adjustment period and this is something we need to do on our own time.
This has been a huge lesson in trusting your partner for me. However, after much thought I have come to realize that the only way we are going to be successful is if we believe in each other and our abilities to learn new things on this adventure. I know I will want his full support as I take on learning new pieces of this life too. He deserves the same. I am pretty sure I will be an absolute nervous wreck the first time we take this boat out. However, I have always been a firm believer in trying new things that scare me, as past experiences have told me this is where I have the most personal growth in life.
When was the last time you tried something that scared you? Seriously, tell me… I might need your stories for courage when I am white knuckling the couch with two life jackets on.