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Working my way around the boat scrubbing and cleaning both inside and out these are the words going through my painfully simple mind.  All hosed off, aired out and prettied up I end on the last sentence, she loves me and why shouldn’t she, my love for her is constant, unwavering. She is always at the forefront of my mind. We have both gotten used to the fact that my wandering eye will always appreciate other fine yachts but better than any other she knows where I sleep every night and with who.

Yet another BCC is attempting to catch my eye, this one is already in the South Pacific, could be had for a song and a dance and has been lovingly maintained and appointed with a brand new diesel and new sails.  Sure she’s pretty but she’s not Sookie. Winter is getting tired, I can feel it.  The clock of time stands still for no man and anyday now the islands will settle into spring.

I arrived back from Hawaii and back on Sookie on super bowl Sunday last year, a day I couldn’t care less about other than it was a bitter sweet home coming.  Sookie was as I had left her in my rush to get Chloe to first rate medical attention but we both knew I would be returning alone.  Our last moments in Sookies cabin with treats and a bowl of cool water from the hotel.  I lifted her carefully and spun slowly in a circle giving her one last look at what had been her home for the last 5 years.  Our summer had been a blur of islands and beaches and everything she had loved her whole life but on this trip exploring was done while hanging her nose over the bow of the dinghy or laying  lazily in the shade of a new island paradise every day.

Returning solo was hard to swalllow and that first night back I elected to stay in a hotel not ready to deal with my future.  A year later it isn’t much different, her tag hangs from the lantern bell where I ding it every morning missing her pre dawn shenanigans  of attacking me with her wet nose and playful way until I would kibosh her,  grabbing her and flipping her over me for some morning fun, that’s how every day started.  It’s painfully lonely without her but there won’t be another on this boat.

So another winter is quietly slipping away, another spring growing close at hand and the list is longer than ever. My self imposed date of departure is 76 days away.  All I have to do is add a new water tank and cabin sole, install the new hobb.  Install the wind vane and replace all of my now very old lower shrouds, 7 of them to be exact.  A third reef point is on the list for very good reason and solar and a new panel to replace the ancient and dying one I have now.  New anchor line, a solar panel, a few charts, most importantly the one I needed most, crossing the straits of Georgia from Pender harbor to some other place who’s name I can’t remember and that’s about it.  Shit, rebuild the rudder, new berth cushions and ceiling boards. There must be more, there is always more.

I woke to a beautiful sunny day, the 34 degree temperature felt like 75 and it was finally a day to work on Sookie, her new engine survived the big freeze and runs like a champ as a motor with less than 5 hours on it should.  I almost got to rebuilding the gooseneck and in the morning will design a preventer, something i forgot to do for my last journey and paid dearly for my mistake. My log book has three probable futures for me.  A, just say screw it and leave totally unprepared and pennyless. B, sell everything I have in the world, put it all into the boat and sail away penniless.  C, stay right were I am, work all summer and save enough to ship the boat to Florida where I will arrive penniless. Not sure how to flip a three sided coin but each of these options is very appealing to me although plan B will be the first crossed off the list I’m guessing.

They call it yachting for a reason and after months of misery today I was given a glimpse of why I go through all of this.  A long bike ride, I restocked my empty boat, got a ton of work done and watched  the sunset with a nice glass of shitty scotch.  In like a lion out like a lamb, isn’t that what they say.  The tides are turning if I can just survive a few more weeks.

From the log of Sookie, winter is dead!