Well folks, this may be one of the most difficult posts I’ve had to write….so if you will indulge me I’ll just tear off the bandage.  Our lovely RED is for sale. Yes, you read that correctly…FOR SALE!

We’ve both known for a while that this was coming…each of us individually struggling with the thoughts of letting go…neither of us talking about it to each other.  But the other day when we splashed her for the seventh season something was missing.  Certainly not the happiness of finally being on the water for the season. And certainly not the exhilaration of feeling the wind in her sails.

I watched with great amusement as Francois drew her from her off-season home using his new toy…and those who know him know how he LOVES his toys. I watched as he scrubbed away winter grime, caressed her sides with seasonal coats of wax and painted her underbelly with antifouling.

What I didn’t see was the usual enthusiasm and joy.  What I didn’t feel was my own enthusiasm and joy that always accompanies the beginning of each sailing season. The things I felt were resentment about paying insurance for a severely truncated boating season. And those docking fees…however reasonable…for what?…a couple of months?  For god sakes! We used to live aboard for almost six months each year.

What I felt was extreme sadness for how we were letting RED down in some way after all of those wonderful adventures from past years. It scared me to entertain thoughts of letting her go.  But I had to say something. And I did.

Oddly we had each been thinking the same thing. Once said…once it was out in the open…it felt right…so incredibly sad…but right.

I couldn’t help but go back through some of the things I wrote about our adventures together and the following was, I think, one of my favourites:  

“For us it was love at first site. We saw one (a MacGregor 26M) that a friend had purchased. We asked questions. Did some research about what the Mac could offer. Never owned a boat together. Never sailed together. We saw our retirement plan unfold in a few short months. Every time we think about maybe going a different route we keep coming back to the reason we bought her. People ask why not buy something different, bigger and it still comes back to this boat. At a club we used to belong to someone told us how stupid we were to buy a Mac (his words exactly). Francois’ comment: Who is he to crap on our dream!? We are entering the 3rd year of our 6 year R.E.D. plan and we can still see years beyond that. We can duck under bridges while others can’t leave the same lake. We can travel through lock systems. We can pull her onto a beach. We can sail off channel into shallower waters to avoid the bigger boats. We can trailer across the country and pull into camp sites. If this is stupid, I’m really happy being stupid.”  

Looking back over our time with RED, we did all of those things and so much more. And the weird serendipitous thing is, I wrote then, in our third year, about our ‘six year plan’.  This is our seventh, so maybe all of what’s happening now, what we are feeling, is right.

Maybe it is the right time for a change.  What Francois said to me tonight makes perfect sense…and made me feel less sad. He said: “Kathy, it’s the same adventure with a different heading.” We do have some exciting ideas we are hatching for future adventures and I can’t wait to begin writing to you about them and this new heading.  Maybe that should be the title of my next post: ‘Same Adventure Different Heading’.  Our journey is far from over my friends…..

PS If any of you know of a like-minded soul who will love and care for our dear RED as we have please pass the message. Here’s our kijiji ad: RED for Sale. Thanks

Post Script: our For Sale advertisement link has been disabled because R.E.D. has found a new home. Many thanks to those who shared for others to see.