I'd always been fascinated with wooden boats. They seemed to be vessels of time travel. I can remember as a child being fixated on the colorful wooden fishing dories in Portugal and France and the distinct smell of the ocean, the black rocks, the barnacles. It was like time travel to simply stand and look at it all.
The Cape Dory is like that. And if you find yourself turning around to look at the Cape Dory after you've packed her away for the night, you know the feeling I'm talking about. Just one more look and your eyes trace the classic lines and you feel so happy to be there. It is like traveling back in time and grabbing something in your pocket to bring back to your routine life. It makes you feel warm and happy.
And so wrapped in a huge blue Walmart tarp, I hid La Belle Vie in the Chandlery like a film star I wanted to keep a secret. Fearing that she might draw undue attention to herself I kept her on the hard in the chandlery where I could begin to work on all the little pieces that needed attention, refinishing, retooling, and changing. And, I removed the name from her transom to find another name underneath the paint, SeaDare!
How could she have...? I thought with a smile. Other dreams, other adventures had come before me. I bumped into time travel while removing the name.
But this was only the first of many accidental discoveries I would make on the vessel, destined to get a new name, to fit this new adventure. Of course there is a proper ceremony for a new name that must be adhered to. That will come later for her. But for now, I wondered if she had had her proper ceremonies in the past? Did her skippers take care to make those transitions and keep with the traditions of the sea? I thought to myself that Baggy Wrinkles would be safe with me. When the future time comes to the present she will be christened with a name, Baggy Wrinkles, but for now she must travel in my slow time and wait for me to catch up to her.
So there are many more things to discover on La Belle Vie. ( You see until the ceremony, she retains her name whether or not it is inscribed on her transom. Maybe she could be called "Sea Dare La Belle Vie" since neither name had been removed!
A skipper can imagine so many things about an old vessel. But for now, this Cape Dory is in "transition" from one name to another and from one place to another. And I am intersecting with her time travel and her classic form in an age where digital tries to mimic real with pallid success. In this photo you can almost see another time underneath the blue tarp.
The adventure continues as La Belle Vie goes to sea for her first sea trials....