THE END OF AN ERA – part 2

THE END OF AN ERA – part 2

“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.” – William James

How he found us, we may never be entirely sure. A true mystery if there ever was one. Vibes in the universe? Some sort of transfer of energy? It’s just basic physics after all. I do ramble on don’t I?  All of this to say R.E.D. has a new home.

We splashed for the season. Decided to sell.  Posted sale notice. Received an email. I responded with our contact number. Within minutes the phone rang. ‘Hi this is Stanley’ …. Deal sealed in principle.  Our heads were spinning.

Never realizing what we had set in motion by advertising a 2013 MacGregor 26M for sale, we were overwhelmed with the interest. Yeah OK, R.E.D. is kind of famous….and pretty….pretty and famous. The blog has a very healthy following. We’re the Crazy Canucks after all. What about the time  anchored near Boldt Castle in New York during the fourth of July fireworks and someone yelled out “Hey there’s R.E.D.”? Or in Ramouski, Quebec when someone approached us saying they had read an article about us in The Port Hole? Or the most epic of all, that moment we were photographed in front of the statue of liberty, the only Canadian vessel, in a flotilla of 145 boats, with the great French ship Hermione?

Hermione flotilla

Aside from feeling out of breath, I no longer feel sadness. Belly butterflies, yes. Sadness, all gone. R.E.D. has found a new family. I think that really it was our hearts that chose them. And believe me, there were easier options. Two other serious buyers and local at that. 

The change over was going to be anything but simple.  The buyer lives in the Yukon. You read that right. Way the heck on the other side of the country. Almost 7000 km away.  But where there’s a will, there’s a way.

First of all we needed to hatch a reasonable plan. Transport. And I felt we really nailed one that suits both parties.  We haven’t trailered R.E.D. a lot in our seven years other than bringing her home from Hamilton, Ontario to Montreal, Quebec. The second time was when we brought her from Montreal to Trois Rivière for our first summer adventure. The last time of any distance was when we moved from Montreal to Nova Scotia three years ago. But we were confident a good tow beast could handle it and that the trailer didn’t have any significant  mileage. We did however have the trailer inspected to make sure it could safely haul longer distances and it passed that first hurdle.

Final Haulout

Secondly, we decided to offer to bring R.E.D. part way. We do love our road trips and it just felt like the right thing to do…at the very least. So, crossing four provinces, we agreed to meet in North Bay, Ontario for the final hand-over.

First Leg

Keep in mind this is all happening during the Covid19 pandemic.  As of the writing of this, we in Nova Scotia currently have no active cases. Yukon has no active cases.  But there’s a whole lot of stuff happening in between.  We all will have to be extra careful. Once back home we’ll be quarantined for fourteen days as per Public Health orders.  As Francois said: ‘Kathy, sometimes you need to choose to do the right things for the wrong reasons or the wrong thing for the right reasons’. I’m still not clear which of the two we have chosen but I know in my heart it feels right.

Final Leg

So, the plan was set and agreed upon by both parties. We set off for North Bay, Ontario, stopping once for the night, buyer grabbing a gruelling long flight from Whitehorse. We arrived all positive and excited. Francois immediately jumped out to inspect. Cursory first look.  All good. A more thorough check showed excessive cupping on one trailer tire. Not the positive proud presentation we had hoped for when we met the buyer the following day. Keep in mind this deal was sealed, sight unseen. The reputation based purely on the merit of this blog (and believe me, I blog the good, bad and sometimes ugly) and a strong sense of two honest trusting parties.

Tire Wear

As if the buyer didn’t have enough to worry about…jet lagged, humongous rental tow beast to get used to and trailering a 26’ sailboat 5000 km through six provinces safely over seven days by himself. Without going into too much detail, and the fact that it was a Friday in a cottage country/ RV/boating region in the middle of summer, we took our chances and trailered to a nearby tire expert.  It was obvious he didn’t have the time, but he took the time. We asked a multitude of questions, had him mount two new tires and hoped this would be enough for a safe journey home. A million thank you’s Alex for making it right for us all.

On to the closing details…

The Pen

This is the pen I purchased for Francois several years ago while in Paris. It has been used for significant milestones in our life. When we purchased R.E.D., our tow beast, our condo buying and selling, our little RED by the Sea purchase. It was first used during the handover of Francois’ military command in Shawinigan, Quebec so it seemed very fitting that it be used for this final handover….one captain to another.

My Motor

Francois’ Trailer

Stanley’s Boat

We feel honoured that the new owners are keeping R.E.D.’s name, her original home port of Montreal and the poppy logo referencing Francois’ military service. It’s part of what gives her soul, part of who she is. Because of this generous gesture  there is less finality and more of a continuation…a passing of the torch so to speak.

Registered Trade Mark

As a final act, I hid her heart somewhere inside the cabin for them to find. A little something to keep her safe on her long journey, a little treasure hunt for when R.E.D. reaches her final destination.

R.E.D.’s Heart

It’s a pure silver Canadian minted coin we bought in 2012 just after signing the contract to purchase R.E.D. In the centre is a Swarovski  garnet red crystal we chose because of it’s significance of safety, strength, prosperity, abundance, and gratitude.

Final Details

…so many details! Trying to fit in answering as many questions as possible before departure I can imagine we left R.E.D.’s new captain with an exploded head.

Friendship

After all the rushing and stress of it all to make it right and safe, we bid Stanley farewell with a promise to stay connected. Strange how this simple act of selling a boat has put into action a tidal wave of new possibilities for us all.  Even Piglet and new buddy Yukon Beaver are forever linked.

Pig and the Beave

Stanley and family, we felt such a wonderful and immediate kinship with you. We wish you nothing but good health and continuing adventures aboard R.E.D.

Post Script:

I delayed publishing this post until I had word from R.E.D.’s captain that all was safe. He seems to be enjoying the attention R.E.D. is garnering on this epic journey back to Whitehorse. May the road rise up to meet you.  May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face…and may your compass always be true….and may those tires hold out at the very least till you’re safely home.

New adventure. New direction (click on image for final departure)

ROAD TRIP and a SHOW

ROAD TRIP and a SHOW

The following is the story of our recent road trip to Bear River, Nova Scotia…

Hummingbird House

This is the amazing 150 year old captain’s house with a sprawling 5000 square feet of beauty, antiques and charm where we stayed. I had booked the two guest rooms well in advance for us and our friends and arranged for purchasing four tickets for the sold out performance of Hold Mommy’s Cigarette. So super excited but a bit nervous that maybe I just might be over-selling how wonderful it would all be. I needn’t have worried.

Hummingbird House

Before Shelley departed to prepare for her performance, she asked what time we wanted breakfast and before I could answer, she announced “OK, 11:00 it is then”.  Always the comic!  She told me that after the show she is usually drained and crashes while she regroups so I didn’t expect any special treatment

Hold Mommy’s Cigarette

She and her husband set up and prepare for the show with minimal help, the set simply a reproduction of her growing up environment.

The Set

During the performance she plays her seven year old self, her mother, her grandmother and her current self.  She deals with such emotional and traumatic events with such ease, moving effortlessly from character to character.  We belly laughed and at times felt our eyes welling up with tears. It was truly a world class performance.

Gramma Persona

Following, we returned to Hummingbird House, stripped down to our bathing suits and wrapped in the fluffy robes left for us in our rooms.  We skipped the sauna warm up and headed straight to the Nordic salt water spa that overlooks the Bear River and soaked and soaked and soaked until pruney, chatting and sipping wine.  Actually I think we stayed there relaxing with our friends until at least 1:00 in the morning.

Hot Tub Heaven

That night we slept with the angels.  Morning came with the delicious smell of freshly brewed coffee and when we descended to explore we found the breakfast table already set for the four of us.  Cereals, toast, homemade jams and cake, freshly squeezed orange juice.

Good Morning

The sign she left on the table for us made me smile.  So very Shelley!

Host with the Most

Four hard boiled eggs gathered that morning, two blue, two brown, prepared with love and so much care.

Farm Fresh

We asked Shelley to join us while we sipped coffee and chatted about the show and her life in general.  She truly has had quite a challenging life and has come through the other side with such dignity and strength.  I could have sat there listening to her for hours.  Even as draining as it must be for her to perform then change costumes to become super host she carried it out with such ease.

Super Host

After breakfast was cleared away we packed up our gear and headed down to the barn to visit with Jason (Shelley’s husband) and the Farmacy menagery.

Farmacy Visit

I have such a soft spot for ginger cats! There was Marlowe, Peewee, Junior and Archie. Lucy Maude, the momma ginger, had previously departed for unknown adventures.  Then there’s Johnny the black feral barn cat who is not a favourite friend of the Gingers.

Lucie Maud’s Tribe

They have an impressive variety of critters all with very distinct personalities.  The shy and very grumpy pot belly pig. The curious sheep. One somewhat aggressive alpha goat who was insistent on challenging Francois to a head butting competition. The cautious feral black cat with vampire fangs.  The adopted cow that nobody wanted.

Oscar

Jason told us a hilarious story about the time Shelley called out to him and asked where Mork, the goat, was to which he answered: ‘out in the yard somewhere’.  To which she replied: ‘no, just got a call, he’s down at the legion and it’s not even happy hour.’  They said that one or other of the animals with wander off into the town from time to time but they have become such a well known fixture in Bear River that it’s never really a problem.

The Farmily

Let me see if I can remember the names of Shelley and Jason’s crew.  There’s Maynard the Indonesian Ayam Cemani Rooster (complete with black feathers, black internal organs and black bones), Rosie, Tammy the Silkie with feathered slippers and Susie. Then there’s Oscar the cow; Bean, Hana, Gilbert, Mork  and Mindy the goats; Molly B, Seymour and Audrey the pigs; Sweetie the sheep; and last but definitely not least, Steve the pony. I think my favourite of their critters was Phyllis the Frizzle hen with her perpetual bad feather day.

Phyllis Diller

Shelley refers to these wonderful animals as her ‘farma-suitables’. We came home totally relaxed and refreshed.  Great entertainment, beautiful healing surroundings.  The very best medicine indeed!

COMING FROM AWAY

COMING FROM AWAY

The CFA’s have arrived.

This was our third and shortest day. Only 389.8 kilometres.  It’s a trip that can easily be done in one day but we kept the speed at a steady 90 km/h, giving us better fuel consumption and because it was just a nicer way to travel, all relaxed and carefree.

Our tow beast and R.E.D. rolled as one solid unit.  After leaving the campground this morning though we noticed a sound that wasn’t there during the two previous days.  A sort of grinding sound.  I fully expected to see a trailer wheel drop off and poor R.E.D. tumble onto the highway.  But as we learned in our CPS Boat and Engine Maintenance course, first check the obvious.  Turns out all we needed was a little grease.  With all the rain the night before and accumulated road grit, the ball of the trailer hitch was rubbing metal on metal. A five-minute stop, a little lubrication and all was silent once again.  Once back on the road, Francois looked at me sideways and said ‘and this is why I bring ALL my tools Kathy.’

Nova Scotia Border

 

R.E.D.’s New Home Province

 

For Now

Total Trip Recap

Distance: 1365.5 km (848.4 miles)

Average Fuel Consumption: 14.4 l/100km (16.3 miles/US gallon)

Total Litres of Deisel: 193 litres (50.9 gallons)

Fuel Cost: $200

Accomodations: $67

Provisions: $23.53

Next on the agenda is to find a home for R.E.D.