Monday, September 17, 2012

a series of unfortunate events. well, really just the one.

I will start off with this: I am not a superstitious person. There, I said it. Now that I have, I am certain that ALL manner of bad juju will rain down over us. I do feel that at times we/I have suffered/benefitted from our fair share of bad/good luck. Oftentimes, it's good luck. Maybe we're just the type of people who make our own destiny and that's how it all falls into place, or maybe we are just exceptionally blessed.

This is how it all applies to this boat purchase: we had yet to have incident. It seemed that nothing was going to stand in our way. While I feel there has been a certain amount of foot dragging on the part of the brokerage, I never equated it to bad luck. We made an offer, it was accepted, no major snafus on the survey, etc. Imagine my surprise when we took her out for the sea trial on Tuesday and a major hiccup popped up. I may or may not have mentioned that this boat has a brand spanking new engine in it. To my knowledge, it has never been used for any length of time in the water. When they launched her on Monday they may have used it, but beyond that, it hasn't seen any major play.

Fast forward to returning to the marina from the lake: Josh and I were exceptionally pleased with the way she handled. She's cutter rigged and because of our time constraint we only put up the main and the staysail, not the jib. It was crazy windy so we reefed the main. Again, all was well. I was giddy with the gorgeous weather, indicative of the early fall here in our fair city, which is perfection when it comes to sailing.

We returned to the dock and all was well. The mechanic who was tasked with showing us how all the systems aboard her worked took the helm to dock her. To do this, you go forward slowly then throw it into reverse so your line handlers can jump over to the dock and use spring lines to pull her backward. It's all about iertia. What happened next was certainly inertia. When he tried to throw the engine into reverse, it wouldn't catch. Every time he tried, it went forward instead of reverse which increased our speed as we careened toward the dock. He was yelling, "It won't reverse!" over and over while this is all happening. By now I'm sure you've guessed it. Yup, we crashed. Right into a pylon. The bowsprit crunched and groaned as it twisted against the concrete column. Several boards splintered while doing so. I guess the bow hit too but it has nary a mark, thankfully. Beyond that, everyone was okay. All in all, it could have been worse. We both laughed and consoled the unfortunate pilot on this adventure. Sometimes you crash. It's life. And in this case it was certainly not his fault. I felt especially bad for him, as it was his birthday. Poor guy. After that he needed a cigarette.

We'll be closing on Friday once the issue with the engine has been resolved and the bowsprit has been looked over.