My flight from Denver landed on Friday night around 11:30 in Hartford. After a short Uber downtown, I checked into the Hilton, showered, and crawled into bed. I felt a cold coming on as we landed, and the pressure equalized. Not a good sign to start the trip.
On Saturday morning, after snoozing several times, I hopped out of bed, put on the same outfit (having learned that a change of clothes while at sea is a waste) and checked out. I realized that I was in the heart of Hartford. The wind was whipping up, and it was rainy. Perfect travel day, but really nasty and cold weather.
The drive south to Westbrook was spent on the phone with my mom. It had been a couple weeks since we caught up, so was good to download the goings on in both our lives. I often credit her with this adventure mentality. Not that her “making it” to Sheboygan, Wisconsin was some grand feat, but escaping a one-horse town in North Dakota for college and an out-of-state move was well ahead of the times. She has always encouraged me to spread my wings, seek adventure, live life, etc. That said, she’s probably the most anxious about my leaving the safety of the shore and heading into the Atlantic. I imagine the call calmed her nerves a little. Talked Badger football with pops for a few minutes as well. Safe territory for us both - we’re too proud to share any emotion, but I know he loves me. Feeling is mutual.
After a few wrong turns, the driver found his way to Brewers Pilots Point Marina. It seems their missing some adjectives in there, but what the hell do I know? The wind and rain hadn’t abated, so I dawned my foul-weather gear, shouldered my duffel, and walked out onto one of the piers. The sailboats along the boardwalk were all well-kept and large. This would be our home until the planned departure on Tuesday, so getting to know the neighborhood seemed appropriate. I stumbled upon C Dock, as road signs in a yacht yard are non-existent, and before me, tied to the dock, was Tango.
Tango is a 2007, 56 foot Oyster Cutter rigged sloop. In non-sailor speak, that means Oyster built her, she’s 56 feet long, has one mast (sloop), and has two jib sails on the front (cutter rigged). There were 75 56-foot Oyster’s built in South Hampton, UK between 2002 and 2012 (appx). Tara and I want one of the 75, preferable in the higher numbers - newer, more advanced technology. Tango is hull number 57 of 75. If her hull were blue, I would either mutiny and capture the vessel at sea, or begin negotiations for a sale underway. For Richard’s own safety, he’ll be thankful that the hull is white.
I knocked, and then stepped aboard. Given the weather, the hatchway was closed. I openned the hatch, announced my arrival, was reprimanded for leaving my shoes on and asked to walk down the companionway steps the other way next time. Like I said, Richard wasn’t the popular kid in high school. So much for first impressions.
Once below, I introduced myself around, and wasn’t sure if I was in the correct country. Was this a Bavarian bar or the crew of my adventure? Despite the accents, the twinkle in Victor’s eyes made me feel at home, and Scott didn’t appear to want me dead yet, trained killer though he is. I felt good about the crew immediately, and I’ve had experience ignoring socially awkward high schoolers. Good start to the day.
We spent the day riding like clowns in Richards little Volvo all over Westbrook. There were odds and ends from West Marine, the outlet mall, grocery store and Bed Bath and Beyond. For the love of God, can we please stop at a liquor store? Are we going sailing, or preparing for a baby shower?
After a Hibatchi dinner (you can’t make this shit up) we FINALLY went back to the boat, opened our beer and wine in the club house of the marina, and turned on the Sox-Dodgers game. I learned that Robert is a big baseball player, even today - note to all, the Dutch have airplanes and baseball - and was an entertaining spectator. After Scott opened his boxed wine, which must be standard issue in the army, he came alive. I’m learning that a little liquor gets him going, and one only needs to stoke the fire with the mention of liberals, the Middle East, or New England sports - he was trained to crush them all. I tried to keep him on the rails by being agreeable, asking about the new house he built in North Carolina, and not bringing up Obama. See, Richard, be cool.
Night one ended with the Red Sox squashing the Dodger’s hopes of tying the series, and my head cold squashing all efforts of going to bed hammered. Oh well. Best of 7.
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We're the Zimmerman Family!
Home Base | Denver, CO
A family of six that
LOVES to sail !
Follow our crew (Royce, Tara, Avery, Charley, Nora & Ruby)
as we blog our sailing adventures
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