The weekend was delightful and the winds were good the first day and great the second day. Meeting friends we'd made a couple of years ago was fun and the atmosphere was terrific. Yet all the while, we knew, "...this was the end."
Baggy Wrinkles knew too. She knew this time was different. The belts that lifted her slick bottom into the Carter Creek were careful not to scratch her bottom paint as she splashed into the brackish water of the creek. The water was cool and the Typhoons were everywhere. There was the $75,000 dollar Typhoon in the paint booth, getting a total refit, top to bottom and gleaming dark blue to any voyeurs who stopped by. And there was the ugly duckling Typhoons whose owners had let them go to "seed." The good, the bad, and the ugly were all around. Seemed like a bit of the bar scene in the Star Wars film. Baggy Wrinkles wiggled into the creek
|A worse than ugly nearby hull on Typhoon Alley|
So we settled into a great weekend of sharing stories and lies, and sampling the cuisine here and there and easing ourselves into the idea that we would be leaving Baggy Wrinkles in Virginia, at the RRYC, with her new owner.
It's like having to leave your favorite dog at the fish camp, this act of selling an adorable boat. My dad did this to us years ago. Sandy, a temperamental Cocker Spaniel, had an attitude to-boot, and Dad had finally had enough of being bitten by this canine rascal and had decided to leave the mutt in the Ozarks one summer vacation. The guy who owned the fish camp took a liking to Sandy and Dad figured that was all the compensation he needed and we drove away one evening, leaving Sandy at the camp. Nobody was sadder than me. I do hate departures. And I hate leaving something behind that I like. And we did not easily leave Baggy Wrinkles behind this past weekend. It was like leaving your dog at the fish camp, never to see her again. I patted Baggy Wrinkles on her stern as I dismounted one last time. A bit of grief passed before my eyes and I quickly refused to admit it.
Her new owner and I had done the checklist I had created and we checked off one item after another while Baggy Wrinkles listened quietly. She knew this was the end too. "Whisker pole," 'check,' "floating cushion," 'check,' "motor," 'check'...and on and on it went until, finally, there were no more items to check. Everything was accounted for. We dismounted. I ran my hand along her beam and admired how good she looked. Numerous sailors had said this while we loggerred about before races this weekend. Her colors were not brash or bold, she didn't have some French name on her stern and she didn't have any special equipment like a "boom vang," or a "roller furling head-sail." She was just an original Cape Dory Typhoon, with a number of spider cracks in her paint, a couple of wood crack problems, and probably the best looking varnish on the creek, and an original white hull color offset by subtle greys in her boot stripe and hull. She was quietly one of the darlings of the fleet. And she knew it.
And then it was done. Three years of careful maintenance, endless coatings of varnish on teak and fiberglass sanding and polishing, and money poured over her to sustain her classic lines, it was over. Our relationship had come to a suitable end.
She was worth every dollar. Under the shadow of a beamy paint chipping relic in the yard, we signed our papers and made it official. She was going to another skipper. I looked across the gravel to where she sat on stands and admired her lines and remembered how very well she sailed. I will miss her.
|Baggy Wrinkles being parked on 'Typhoon Alley" at the Rappahannock Boat Yard near the RRYC.|