Our First Boat
I had never sailed, in fact I don't think I had ever been on a sailboat when we first started talking about sailing. Darrin grew up sailing small boats on Lake Washington, so he had much more knowledge than I. When he mentioned living aboard was something that he wanted to do at some point I was intrigued, but I don't think I ever thought it would be something we'd do, although he did go look at an old Cheoy Lee many years ago with a view to living on it. The whole concept is so different from what "society" thinks is acceptable - work hard, buy a house, vacation once a year and retire when we're 65 - and we were right on track to do exactly that, except that tiny little idea of one day doing something different cropped up occasionally to keep the thought process going.
Over the years we've moved interstate a few times, accummulating all the normal detrius of daily life along the way as one does, and the sailing/liveaboard idea wasn't talked about really, as our focus was to buy a home, a couple of cars, take our kids on great vacations, have a nice date night once a week etc, etc - all the normal things people normally do, and it was fabulous! We have been so fortunate to have been able to do all those things and we loved every second of it!
A few years ago the sailing thing came up again and all of a sudden we felt like it wasn't out of reach after all - not the liveaboard part, but just being able to get a boat and sail around is what we thought about. Summer Saturdays became our day to walk the docks on Lake Union, looking at boats for sale. Everything seemed so out of reach and we were really discouraged for a while. We seriously looked at a Macgregor (a kind of hybrid sail/power boat we could trailer) as they were in our price range, but that would mean having to store it somewhere, buy a new car to tow it, add 2 hours to the day just to get it to the lake, put it in the water, rig it...not to mention it wasn't very comfortable as far as amenities went (I don't think I'm really high maintenance but a port-a-loo with a curtain just wasn't going to work for me). Several times we went back to take a look but each time we were less and less excited about it. And so the sailing idea was put on the back burner again as we focused on our separate hobbies, Darrin climbing Mt. Rainier and me on my vegetable garden.
One Saturday in August 2014 we woke up to one of those incredibly perfect Seattle summer days and I said to Daz, lets go take a look at the Macgregor again. He wasn't fussed at all. Didn't want to go. Not remotely interested. I talked him into it though - what else is more fun than walking docks looking at sailboats on a glorious summer day? So with that and a quick detour through the Starbucks drive-through, we headed down to Lake Union to look at the Macgregor. We got out of the car, looked at the one on the trailer in the front, looked at each other and just said "nah". Not the boat for us. So we went for a walk along another brokerage dock and behold...there she was...
You know those cartoons you see sometimes with lovehearts popping out of their heads? Well that was Darrin. The moment he saw the boat it was basically a done deal. A 2005 Hunter 27 - the perfect boat for us, cozy and comfortable inside and just the right length for us to be able to handle without things getting too crazy. We submitted an offer and after all the usual things one does to ensure a boats seaworthiness before purchase, we found ourselves the proud owners of a sailboat and nowhere to moor it. Thus began our adventures aboard Knotty Dog and our sailing life together!