Sunday, September 1, 2019
I know that we have a lot of explaining to do.
After Hurricane Irma on September 10, 2017, I lost all desire to write and photograph. The aftermath of that storm for Marathon, while it did not have any adverse effect on our personal material possessions, affected me in such a way that I would have never imagined. Even now, whenever I talk about the experience, I become emotional. I can’t fathom what happens to people who live through trauma from war or other physical experiences.
When the bridges and roads were cleared and declared safe after Irma, we traveled back to Marathon and our boat, continued on with our life and jobs and wondered what would be next for us.
Fast forward a few months, and you will find Flip and me sailing our new 48′ 1995 Tayana sloop from Coconut Grove, Florida to Marathon, where we still had our beloved Beneteau for sale in Marathon Marina. Tayana boats, made in Taiwan, are what the industry considers ‘blue-water’, worthy of the seas and oceans of the world. This is why Flip wanted it. One of his many aspirations in this short life here on earth is not to necessarily sail around the world, but sail about the world. This sailboat, in fact, was damaged in Irma and, by insurance estimates, required $80k worth of repairs. Before the hurricane, it was listed for sale and Flip had already had his eye on it. But the asking price was $244k. Way out of our price range.
A long story shortened so as not to bore our interested reader, we bought the Tayana, named Tonica. While working our real jobs full-time, we repaired Tonica over the course of 3 months. Some of the work required professionals, and we performed the rest.
We decided the appellation Tonica meant nothing to us and felt no emotion toward the name, so we christened her Reverie. For a short period of time, Flip and I had two sailboats, each named Reverie, moored side-by-side at Marathon Marina. Reverie Beneteau was eventually signed over to a nice young engineer from the Boston area, who in fact, planned on sailing around the world in ‘our’ boat for which he had just given us a fair price.
Fit and finish work continued on our new Reverie and we were elated with our purchase. We felt fortunate to have acquired such a nice, expensive vessel for much less than the asking price.
In July, 2018, the boatyard where I worked was sold. I was approached by the software company that developed the back-office accounting system that we had used to run the boatyard with a proposal of employment. Since I have been self-employed most of my married life, the idea that someone would come to me seeking my skills was very beneficial to my ego and wallet. This was a software company with 500 customers utilizing almost 5000 licenses who use the product to run their marinas, boat dealerships and boatyards. I traveled to West Palm Beach to the company, named DockMaster and accepted a position called Product Owner. (more on that later)
Flip quit his superintendant position in Marathon and we set sail for West Palm Beach in August, 2018. He obtained another construction position with Black Fin Homes, also out of WPB. We decided to live at Riviera Beach City Marina on our, now not so new to us, Tayana, which still is not fully restored. It is there that another full year of our mid-life passed with full-time work and not much play, with no serious weather concerns until last week.
We left West Palm Beach, which Riviera Beach Marina is not technically in, but sounds more impressive if you look at the demography, on Friday, August 30 around 5pm to sail towards Marathon in order to escape what could be a devastating storm to where we currently reside.
Motor-sailing thru the moonless night, we hugged the coastline just off about 3 – 4 miles. The electric light from the populous cities along the west coast illuminated far enough into the water to create a magical aura for us. I felt safe in our ‘blue-water’ boat and wasn’t scared once. A few fast-moving storms, free of lightening, pelleted our faces and soaked us to the bone. The journey was so fulfilling that I didn’t sleep and the 24 hours it took to get to Marathon Marina at 5p Saturday, August 31 sped by like it was only 4 or 5.
We will continue watching the storm while enjoying time back in Marathon.