Making an offer

Last week we started to get sad about the house not renting already. This week, we make a reluctant and risky offer.

So Erik and I are fantasizing about this house getting rented when out of nowhere the text comes in from our yacht broker. He says the owner needs out of this boat as soon as possible and wants to know if we are going to put in an offer.

I set my glass of wine down and flip my computer back on to crunch some numbers. What is the highest we can go and still be able to drink alcohol? We realize that this boat we want is badass but also needs to additional equipment if she’s going to sail blue water. Namely, solar power and a water maker. A better dinghy. The rigging has never been replaced and she’s more than 10 years old. There are missing cockpit tables, the swim platform needs repair, and the trampolines will have to be replaced. Not all of that is needed in season 1, but it adds up. If you are a boat owner, you get it – so we factor all of this in and the fact that we don’t have a renter yet and possible won’t until the next round of TDY assignments – and made our offer.

My palms were sweating as we sent over the signed offer. And then we waited. Two days.

The owner, a nice Frenchman, was clearly offended by our lower-than-expected offer, but it was fair and it was right. Turns out he actually wants more like $35k MORE than what we offered. Uh oh – mon erreur!

I feel his pain, but at the end of the day, we decided that no amount of lust for this boat would put us into an unsavory financial position that would come to bite us in the ass later. So, we’ll play chicken and see who will blink first. Hint: probably us when we get this house rented!

Meanwhile, I’ve started to really imagine being on the boat and actually, you know, sailing. I’ve sailed exactly ONE TIME in my life. A quick 3 knot sail two years ago. Yes, 3 knots. Here’s what you need to know about me: I’m a little scared of open water and big seas.

Two years ago, three things happened to scare me.

  1. While out jet skiing on the Chesapeake, a storm came up with 15 knot winds and 3 foot swells. It was low tide so we had to take the Bay back going windward. I almost lost control of the ski more than once surfing up the swells and just kept imagining myself bobbing around a mile offshore unable to swim back to the ski.
  2. After going three miles offshore to a rig, Erik and I started racing the skis around it. I lost my grip and fell off, right in front of Erik’s ski. We were going about 20 miles per hour at the time. Doing this was dangerous and dumb. I blame the Mai Tais – yes, we’d been drinking at the beach club just prior. Now for some of you, examples 1 and 2 probably sound like a ton of fun, but I’m not the most graceful girl. Trust me, it wasn’t pretty.
  3. We decided to anchor our big boat off a jetty to watch the fireworks at Fort Monroe. In our rush to get there, I failed to bring our life jackets. Well, Sparticus needed off the boat to pee and rather than set up the dinghy to take him, we swam from the anchorage to the shore. On our tippy toes, we could walk from the boat so it wasn’t a big deal without the life jackets – except tide was coming in and I wasn’t paying attention. After Sparticus did his business, we got back in the water and within moments, the water was over our heads. The current was rapidly taking me and Sparky toward the rocks and my biggest fear was that Sparky would drown. Sure he had a life jacket, but I didn’t. Long story short, I made it to the rocks and handed Sparky up to some nice coast guard members. But the memory still scares me.

Look, all these examples boil down to human error. My human error in judgement. But it doesn’t change the fact that I’ve been a bit frightened to be on the water and am very cautious now.

So why the hell do I want to live aboard a Catamaran and start sailing? It’s pretty simple: I’m living in fear and that fear is preventing me from living. I want to face the fears head on, conquer them, and thrive. I can’t do that unless I pierce the bubble holding me back.

So as I watch other sailors going 12 knots and surfing 10 foot swells in 20 knot winds, I put myself in that world and imagine how I will feel. I know I will be scared. But I also know that Erik is a smart and capable Captain and once I’ve experienced the thrill of the ocean and testing myself, I will feel alive. And isn’t that the point?

Next: The importance of embracing change

Cheers, Lisa

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