“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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
…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.
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.
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)
Red Sky in Morning
It really is a storm isn’t it, this cursed virus that has descended on the world? No wonder words that describe it are storm related….tsunami …..the next wave…dark clouds ahead..the surge….hunkering down. I actually much prefer the storm analogy to the war zone descriptions though. It’s more positive believing that our collective sun will emerge from behind the clouds someday. We’ve all seen storms throughout our lives…or rather been through storms… in one form or another. Personal storms too. We came out better for it and we can weather this one.
For us here at RED by the Sea, aside from the obvious, like the physical isolation, our lives haven’t changed that much. Retirement has given us a framework for surviving this new reality…but I do believe when this is all but a memory there will be a new global reality. Attitudes, habits, routines with be forever altered. Change is hard though for some. My daughter pointed out that our generation has habits so engrained that we may be the most resistant to change. That may be so, but I personally think we are adapting very well under the circumstances. Francois’ forty years of military training had us focussing first on threat assessment and security. What do we need to get through this physically? The tough soldier attitude perhaps doesn’t address the emotional needs but he has me to help with that one.
I chuckle to myself seeing friends’ social media posts. You know who you are. First day of isolation and all organized with to do lists and by the end of week one, diving into a tub of ice cream still wearing the same pyjamas for the seventh day in a row. Oh, maybe that was me. Ha-ha! I like the race analogy from an article I read recently, that if you treat this like a sprint and don’t pace yourself you’ll be the one at the finish line vomiting on your shoes. So the message here is to go ahead and prepare for the worst and when you’ve taken care of that, simply ‘be’. Someday this will be over.
Because of our fairly minimal lifestyle we already had an edge up on managing the day to day. We maintain what we have and keep things running in good order. The simpler the better and I fully believe the more complex, the more bells and whistles, the more that can go wrong. It just makes sense on so many levels to keep it simple. And the more we can handle ourselves, the more autonomous we can be when needed. We’ve even streamlined paying taxes doing everything ourselves online saving hundreds of dollars in the process.
“It is no bad thing celebrating a simple life.” ~ JRR Tolkien
Since moving here we have become entrenched in buying locally whenever possible and the current situation has given us no reason to change. Many businesses have adapted by offering online services with no-human-contact pick-up.
Clean hands and garden supplies
With the recent run on hand sanitizer a local distillery offered their own brand of denatured alcohol and our favourite garden centre has adapted their retail operation to car pick-up only. No human contact necessary. With the Crow’s Nest in full swing, I can get a good start on our vegetable garden.
For me the physical distancing is the hardest…not being able to give Gramma hugs. Video chats have become common place with the occasional window drawings and through-the-glass-kisses. My three-year old grand-daughter took the initiative because she wanted to show Gramma her doll family and called me on her tablet. What, I wonder, was I doing at that age? How the world has changed! We even had a wonderful ‘visit’ with Francois’ daughter the other day. She, her husband and three kids are doing quite well in Rome.
Window art and smooshy kisses
My son Luke lives in a small options home with staff and 3 other residents and the latest restrictions mean we can’t visit nor is he allowed to come visit us. Also he is on a medication that compromises his immune system so everyone has to be extra careful – especially now. So far he seems to understand and one of the staff sets up video calls which warms my momma heart. I worry about him longer term since there can be no trips to the country to break up his routine until this crisis has passed but we’re taking it day to day.
Sweet Child of Mine
I spend a good deal of time in the kitchen these days, more than usual, making basics like granola and breads. My pantry is usually well stocked but there may be a time soon when staples like flour and yeast are in limited quantities.
Planning ahead I think I have worked out a system where we won’t need to go to the store at all. When supplies get low there are meal delivery services. Whole dinners, chopped and portioned so all we have to do is decide which bag to pull from the refrigerator, add a little cooking time and voilà!
This time of year there isn’t a lot of fresh green available so things like root vegetables…shelf stable carrots, sweet potatoes and celeriac are our go to choices. I can rustle up a very fine meal with a couple of taters, some lentils and a drizzle of tahini sauce in no time. And thirty minutes in the pressure cooker gives us many meals from that happy-free-range chicken that I had stashed away in the freezer.
There is also farm delivery service where we can order pretty much anything from baked goods, veggies and fruits, meats, honey, even cut flowers, fully prepared meals and artisan creations, all delivered weekly to a location near us. We have fresh caught fish and seafood delivered when needed. I buy ten pounds at a time and stash it away in the freezer. During lobster season I can walk down the road to buy a freshly caught crustacean or two straight off the boat for an occasional treat. Actually these are all the things we have been doing since moving to the country, supporting local businesses as much as possible. So you see, not a lot has changed for us. Hell, even the liquor store delivers.
Now that our movements into the community have been further restricted, I’ve sought out entertainment options…because after a while TV binging becomes dull. Our regional library offers online services like downloadable movies, ebooks and audio books. I’ve read more books in the past two weeks that I have in the last two years.
We miss our weekly gathering of friends, lovingly known as the Hubbards Hooligans, at the village coffee shop so now some of us gather virtually instead, to check in and catch up. One of the Hooligans even dropped off home-made masks, kindly left on our door knob. Humour can be strong medicine.
Some Hubbards Hooligans
So there you are, all up to date. Thanks for dropping by. It warms our hearts to know you are there. From our little RED by the SEA, we wish you strength and safe passage through to the end of the storm.
Post Script: For you bird fans, this year’s couple, Dr. and Mrs. Mallard, presented themselves at Duck Pond last week. And unlike some humans, they didn’t need to be told about physical distancing. The dozens of ducks that once inhabited the pond – nowhere in site.
Doctor and the Misses