Sunday, June 15, 2014

Ravn's new owners

Paul, Ravn's new owner, takes the oars.
It was more than two years ago that my wife and I decided to buy a sailboat and go cruising. This was and is one of the most exciting and life-changing decisions ever and we are both fully committed to it.

It means selling or giving away everything that won't fit on our Columbia 43 sailboat Oceanus. Everything includes Ravn.

Over the last two years I've made some half-hearted efforts to sell her - a few ads on Craigslist and other places - but I was busy working on Oceanus and I didn't want to think about it. Then we listed our house for sale and right away got an offer. With closing looming in just a few weeks, I had to do something.

As luck - or fate - would have it, a kindred spirit appeared to take stewardship of Ravn, thanks to his observant and angelic life partner.
Paul and I discuss Ravn's rowing attributes.
A meeting at an informal social gathering lead to Mary and Paul visiting my dirty garage shop to look at Ravn. After nearly two hours of questions and tale swapping, we struck a deal. As Mary and Paul were leaving I said, "Paul, you're going to love this boat."

"I already do," he replied. There was nothing he could have said that would have made me feel better.

The following Saturday we went for a sail on Devil's Lake. It's was about 6 p.m. when we met at the launch ramp. I was tired from working on Oceanus all day and the previous day. My fatigue melted away once we launched Ravn. The wind, which had been blowing 20 knots all day, settled down to a more pleasant 10 knots.

All three of us rowed the boat. Paul owns a peapod and is an experience rower. He loves it and it shows. We talked about oar placement and he already is thinking of how he could improve Ravn's rowing performance.

Then I hoisted sail. After I demonstrated the querks of a push-pull tiller, I handed it over to Paul. Ravn sparkled under the breezy conditions. Paul put her through her paces with a smile on his face. Meantime, Mary moved freely about the boat and found her favorite perch sitting on the foredeck. Only the growing twilight put an end to the sail.
Ravn under sail just before handing the tiller over to Paul.
My big worry in selling Ravn was that she would go to inexperienced and unappreciative owners. Paul and Mary are just the opposite. I wish them well in all their future adventures with Ravn.

I have included Mary as an author for this blog. Below is her first contribution. Let's hope for many more.

Mary:
Paul, a lifelong mariner, is the proud new owner of Ravn! Recently retired, Paul spent his life on the sea beginning with service in the U.S. Coast Guard where he was stationed on the west coast and got his first taste of Alaska.

After college (where at 5’11” he was deemed too short for the rowing team), he worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, but the pull of the sea was strong. He chose life as a skipper in the king crab fleet in the heyday of that fishery. Later, after cruising with his family on the sailboat Moonshadow, Paul took a temporary job as a yacht captain in Florida which turned into a third career.

Alaska continued to beckon, however, and when a buy-back boat from the king crab fishery became available, Paul had the opportunity to combine his past boating experiences into a new venture as part-owner and captain of a privately-owned vessel in the Northwest and Alaska research fleet.

With his recent retirement, however, Paul is now proud to be the full-time Captain of the lovely and capable faering Ravn, rowing and sailing to his heart’s content. Paul plans to use Ravn to enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Northwest with life partner Mary, who gifted Ravn to him to celebrate the momentous occasion of his retirement. Look for news of their adventures - exploring, camping, and filling the boat with family and friends at every opportunity.

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