A Backstory Post, November 5, 2012...
I acknowledge sea trial and surveys are expensive, time consuming, and for me - scary. What if they drop me out of those big stirrups and I crash down on land? I hate land. I don’t want to be on land, and I especially do not want to crash into land. But, I cannot let impatience, guilt and a sense of duty to my current humans cloud my judgment in choosing my next set of humans. I must be cautious. It is far more difficult to escape a less than desirable situation than to avoid the situation in the first place. This is a very important rule to remember! If you get the inkling that your Humans are stuffed with newspapers and bananas before the sale, you must back out even if you had your heart set on this particular sailor. Even if it creates hard feelings, inconvenience, or embarrassment for your current owners.
The morning of the survey, I gather my wits and remember I need to take one more deep look for newspapers and bananas. I must be ready to cancel the deal, even if it seems everything is all right. My owner takes me around to the haul out dock. They place me in giant stirrups and lift me out of the water. Oh, the humiliation. I look around at the sky, at the boats around me, at the birds, anywhere to take my mind off the fact that they are poking, prodding, hammering at and inspecting my underside. From stern to bow, bow to stern, underside, topside, inside, they inspect. Flashlights, hammers, they unpile all my gear, climb around in my Lazarettes (big lockers in my stern where we store all sorts of things). A Rig Surveyor climbs my mast like a monkey.
Andrew is not very systematic, but bounces from thing to thing, exploring whatever it is he feels like he wants to explore. Leslie is…always around, following everyone with a yellow notepad and pen. She listens to the surveyors carefully, makes notes, asks questions. She trails the air of suspicion like smoke.
“I see one keel bolt has been broken off at the top, and there is a rust streak on the keel,” She says, and I scowl. Leave it to her to see my one imperfection… maybe I don’t like her after all.
The surveyor gives his opinion that the top of the bolt was knocked off by the large anchor that had been rattling around in my bilge. “I don’t believe there is any structural loss,” he says. I peer over her shoulder to see what she is writing in her notepad.
“Research cost of repair to keel bolt.”
This is my chance to call it off if I want, but even this notebook entry is to her credit I suppose. Instead of writing me off, she decided to look into what it would take to fix me. Nothing! It’s no big deal, I swear!
Okay, maybe now is a good time to admit I don’t have just one imperfection, I have two. Two conditions I already know might cause fretfulness and the retraction of their purchase offer if they realize the problems are there. The keel boat is one, but I have another. It’s totally fixable, I promise. It’s not so much that I want to hide this problem as I just don’t want anyone to notice, per se - especially, if I want this sale to go though. I figure, I’ll leave this one to fate: if they notice the second problem, it means it wasn’t meant to be. If they don’t, I’ll stick this one through. I wait. If I had hands, I’d be biting my nails at this point. As Andrew and the Rigging Surveyor poke around in my cabinets, I shift just slightly to the right or to the left, hoping to shade the light pouring in through my open hatches.
They close everything up. That evening, they sit in my cockpit and ask the surveyor his final analysis. “You plan to re-do the rigging before you go offshore, right? It’s 7 years old at this point.” Andrew confirms this. “I don’t see anything that would prevent me from buying the boat,” the Surveyor says. “I’ll get you a full write up in the next couple of days.
I nod with satisfaction, “That’s true, I would buy me,” I think.
Leslie sits in the open hatch of my companion way, feet supported on one stair. “What do you think, Sonrisa? Do you want to sail with us?” She rests her hand on my bulkhead, the same place she patted me the first day we met. How does she speak boat so well? How does she know I can hear her?
“Windchime taught me,” She answers. I blush because I’m a little embarrassed. I didn’t realize I thought that aloud. “Windchime is our first little boat. She’s a lake sailor on Lake Mead.”
Ah, so that’s it. I guess it’s good news that they have owned a sailboat before. They know our “ways”.
“When do you want to leave?” I ask. The answer will be telling. If she says she doesn’t know, then this softness of uncertainty I sense could be the mush of old bananas at her core. I still can’t tell. She doesn’t seem to be filled with bananas, but she does smell of fear.
Without hesitation she gives me the date: “February 28, 2016.”
I raise an eyebrow, ponder the meaning of this then say, “I like it, I think we should sail together.”
It seems everything is wrapped up, but Andrew and Leslie decide to undertake one last analysis to be sure: they call one of their long time best friends, Taro Card Reader Extraordinaire, Terra. Leslie tells me Terra’s cards are known to be always accurate. “Sometimes, you don’t like what they tell you,” Terra says, “but they are never wrong.” Andrew and Leslie have consulted Terra’s Taros before, so they already know this to be the case.
“Let’s hear it.” They say.
Terra draws the first card, “Prudence”. I grumble with disappointment. This can’t be in my favor. Terra pulls a clarification card to understand more, we receive the “Universe” card.
“What does that mean?” Leslie asks.
Terra reads the cards in combination and states: “Money is not to be accumulated but to be used for life experiences.” Then, she pulls the “Lovers” card, which she interpreted to mean that we need to make sure Leslie is on board with the trip.
“I am on board with the trip. That can’t be what the card means.”
“Let’s pull another clarification card, then,” Terra says.
“The one you have been looking for has arrived or is about to arrive…..”
“Sonrisa!” Andrew and Leslie cheer as I simultaneously squeak out "That's me!"