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    Once upon a time, there was a family about to move on a sailboat...

Chapter 22. Welcome Pablo!

-So you are removing the boat name, huh Sam? asks Mike in the boat yard.

-Yep! Have to. Once it is registered, you need to have it written on the hull, replies Sam hands full of goo gone.

 

He would have million things to do more important, but legally, it needs to happen: Sam has to change the decal on the boat. And quite honestly, changing the boat name when it’s in the water is pretty hard.

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Chapter 21. The Final Countdown.

2 weeks before Sam leaves to go refitting the boat, he is talking with his best friend Vincent:

-You’re sure you want to spend part of your parental leave to come at the boat yard and work with me? I mean, it will be stinky, it will be crazy hot, I don’t have a fridge because it only works when the boat is in the water, the shower on the boat yard smells rotten eggs. Worst, I can only offer you American beer at the end of the day.

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Chapter 20. Love Comes In One Color.

No more cds in the house (we sold them all!), we’re listening to the radio in the car that morning. It’s commute time from home to the daycare:

-Who sings that song Mommy? asks Salty.

-Her name is Pink, pumpkin.

 

I see her coming… She will say she loves the song because her name is Pink.

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Chapter 19. The Skill No One Can Learn

Routine visit at the dentist before Sam leaves to go work on the boat for 2 months. He needs to prepare it before the rest of us arrives for good. It’s coming very fast.

 

-Man…these gums doesn’t look good, the dentist says to Sam.

-That bad?

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Chapter 18. What Did You Just say?

For the last time before we leave, we are with Sophie, our doctor guru. She is teaching us how to make stitches. Honestly : I hope if won’t need some. But if we need some, and cannot reach medical assistance, better safe than sorry.

 

We bought a pork leg to practice.

 

-So here, you  turn the thread around the plyers and you pull to make the knot.

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Chapter 16. Don’t Leave Me Yet.

Over the years, Sam started really enjoying wood working. Putting hours to bring back to life a complete collection of old planes that he used afterward, collecting special tools, saws, and buying some exotic wood.

Sam looks at his amazing band saw being loaded inside the pickup of its new owner.

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Chapter 15. The Demotion Of The Lucky Underwear

Very early that morning, we take the plane for a second time; heading to Georgia where a boat that Sam found is waiting for us.

– I am just SO excited !!! I say to Sam.

– I know! The boat is just perfect: our own bedroom with a bed not in the shape of a triangle, separate beds for the kids, two bathrooms, wind generator, solar panels, kitchen like we wanted, central cockpit that keeps us dry and the kids safe… 

– With white cream cushions on top! Brand new from 2014!!!

– Arrghhh…you and your cushions.– I love cushions, ok!

-The best I find is the new rigging as well as the new engine. Just that worth 75 000 USD$. 

– Can’t wait to see all that. I feel it, this is the perfect boat for us.


The next morning when we arrive at the boat, we have a shock. The boat that was so well equipped has been badly maintained in the past 2 years. And what a horrifying view when inside and I see the cushions: 

– They are BLACK with dirt, Sam… !!! 🙁   🙁

– Shit… (even him is disappointed!)


After our own quick inspection, we have to take a though decision. The price they ask isn’t realistic at all. Photos were lying, although equipment is there.

– We have to bargain a lower price. There is too much to do up front.

– Yeah…we have to bargain a lot, replies Sam to George suddenly unconfident.


George the broker (not the pig) calls the seller’s broker with a short but very clear message from us:

“You know as much as I do that it’s a real crime to ask for that amount without putting any maintenance for two years. We need 20 000$ less otherwise it doesn’t worth it for us to move on with the inspection as it was planned.”


10 minutes later, we receive a phone call from the other broker with their answer:

“They offer $10,000 less, and only if you don’t renegotiate the price after the survey of the boat.”


Our heart stops beating. We invested in plane tickets to come from Québec. We had payed for an inspector the next day as well as the fees to get the boat out.

This is how big the drink had to be in the evening trying to cope with the deception.

– It’s not enough Sam….

– I know, Sam replies (he just finished playing with numbers and budget for the 15th time in the past 8 minutes).

– I am really sorry guys, said George. I really think that if the boat doesn’t fit in your budget, it’s not a boat for you. 

Back at our Air BnB room, we have absolutely nothing to say.   Sam breaks the ice with a small voice:

–  … And to think I had put on my lucky underwear for today. 

 

I laugh. It is funny, and very sad. Because, yes, that boat WAS perfect for us. 

***

Top photo: with few days left with nothing to do, we headed to beautiful Savannah. Did not cheered us up at all. 

***

Darkside, named like this by the sellers (star wars fans) has literally gone to the darkside in the past 2 years despite awesome equipment. 

Something that kept us dreaming at this boat: a brand new ENGINE!
Dreamy kitchen where you can hold yourself in the waves.
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Chapiter 14. The Wrong George

Past February 2018.

 

-Look Salty, this is a photo of the man who’s helping us to find a boat.

She doesn’t look. Not sure why I thought it could interest her…

 

-He helps to find a boat?

-Yes! We’re going to go back to see him and visit a boat with him soon.

-But I don’t know him.

-No you don’t. His name is George. But look this time, here, that’s a photo of him on his business card.

 

Salty looks, grins and almost screams:

-This is NOT George mommy!!!

 

She goes in the living room, visibly upset.

 

I wait and think about when we met George back in Florida. He said:

“I will give you such a good service finding your boat, that when you’ll come back of your trip, you will call me.”

 

Salty comes back and brings a plush at 1 inch from my nose and says angrily:

-THIS is GEORGE, mommy!!!

***

We flew to to meet him again and visited no less than 18 boats in 1 week through the ENTIRE Florida.

 

There is not much resemblance between George the Pig and George the broker.  But I must admit that I cannot dissociate the two anymore!

***

Featured image: Sam and Cass driving a mini cooper from Turo through Florida, hopeful to find THE boat…

Chapter 13. End Of Summer Holidays 2017

Days passed and we slowly got back home after spending awesome time with the kids on that tiny sailboat. And just like that the holidays ended. The boat was back in his slip.  While Sam ties Sputnik to the dock, I’m already wishing for more. I break the silence:

– Can’t believe our vacations are already over.
– Yeah, I know. I wished they could last longer.
– Even after all the bad things that happened?
– What are you talking about Cass?
– Well, the anode that unscrewed under the boat.
– I had to dive and go under the boat to fix it, but nothing was broken, plus that wasn’t bad. Especially at Baie-Des-Brises where the water was crystal clear and warm!
– Hmmm…I guess. What about when we anchored in just not enough water and got stuck?
– You dramatize Cass. We were stuck for 5 minutes, the time to move on the boat while we put the engine in reverse mode. We were in soft sand, not rocks. That is definitely not my definition of a “bad thing”.
– Ok, ok. Are you saying nothing happened?
– That is not what I am saying.

He marks a pause. Then he continues:

– Salty got her arm squeezed in the doors at the grocery.
– Oh yeah. Poor honey…
– And then we were sleeping on the couch of the living room.
– And I also lost my best coffee mug. Did you notice we miss a mug?
– Mmmm.  Pretty curious…

We look at each other, blaming secretly the kids while wondering “did I forget the coffee mug on deck before sailing? No. It must be the kids… right??”

Our misadventures were nothing different than day to day life: being caught in a pooring rain without boots and raincoats, kids dropping their spaghetti on the floor or not napping well… Kids being the most common variables in the annoying stuff. Sam continues:

-I miss our vacations already.
-Don’t you think it’s hard to be with the kids ALL the time?
-It is as hard as it is satisfying. I am so grateful I could see Salty’s excitement when she went in the river to swim with you around the boat. She was thrilled. Seeing Matey starting to walk in the boat so proud because he can hold himself to everything (because our boat is so small!). You know, these little things. I want to be there for the most of them.

A horse improvised. The small things are the best.

He stops. Take a deep look in my eyes and say:

-I don’t know if I’ll last Cass. The dream is so strong. 2021, which is the current departure date, seems so far. I fear the suburban life will swallow me and we will never do it for real.
-…Let’s do it.
-What?
-Let’s make it happen! NOW! Who cares if we have diapers to wash and if Matey is still young. Who cares if they don’t sleep at night, they don’t in land anyway. We can do it. Let’s sell Sputnik, the house is already for sale,  let’s downsize our life…and…
-And find a bigger boat where we have our own bed!

 

 

I smile.

-Are you sure Cass?
-Yes. We are ready Sam.

 

Dring dring. “Hello? … What are you saying?! Really!???”

 

-Sam, the house is sold already! We are soooo not ready for this!!!

 

And just like that, the count down started, for real.

 

 

Who cares washing your kid in the bucket...
... when this is the smile you get!
We need a boat with a proper wardrobe on top of a proper bed. 🙂
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