Our Boat

Caloosa Spirit

Catalina 42 mkII

Log #110 If A Boat Could Talk

Hi there. I understand that my owners, Alice and Jim Rutherford, have shared with you through these pages much of my life story. And a fine job they’ve done. But I’d like to tell you my story in my own words. You see, there may be aspects of our life together that they are unaware of—things that only I can tell you. Let me start at the beginning.

I was born—well, berthed—in July, 1997, in St. Petersburg, FL. In reality, I was built in CA and trucked cross-country, but I don’t really count that time, since it wasn’t until I reached St. Pete that I first touched water, where I am most at home. When Alice and Jim saw me for the first time it was love at first sight—for all of us. I knew right then that I had owners who would care for me as though I was their own child.

Together we made our first ocean crossing. I was destined for five years of charter service in the British Virgin Islands, and the only way to get there was off-shore. Alice found the trip arduous, but me—I loved it! The first week they had to run my 50-horse Yanmar almost constantly, and that wasn’t so much fun. But the second week we finally found the wind and I took off like a thoroughbred. It was awesome! Sometimes I was even going faster than the waves—more than 8 knots!—and they had to slow me down. I like going fast!

I spent those five years in the BVI being well treated and cared for. I got some very nice charterers, and Alice and Jim came to visit me every six months for some quality time together. I loved having them come. They checked me over carefully and made notes for the charter company about what needed attention. We had some great times together cruising the Virgins, and I enjoyed showing them around. I was always very easy to sail from one island to another, and I’ve always tried to keep my owners comfortable inside and out.

At the end of my charter service Alice and Jim moved aboard. I was excited to have them with me all the time. I got some extra TLC from the charter company, and Alice and Jim outfitted me with lots of other gadgets and gizmos—a watermaker, an SSB, electronic navigation, solar panels and wind generator, and other cruising amenities. They gave me a Harken Batt-Car system to make it even easier to raise my mainsail, and an EPIRB so that I couldn’t get lost. I must admit to feeling slightly insulted, though, when they loaded a life raft on board. Why would they think they’d need that when I’ve always been so stable and reliable?

For most of the next several years Alice and Jim and I were inseparable. We cruised together back from the Virgins to Florida, enjoying the off-shore and Bahamian waters on the way. Alice and Jim enjoyed visiting several stops in the Bahamas, and I was content to sit at anchor with them as they took great pleasure in the quiet and solitude of the island anchorages. Over the years we cruised southwest Florida, the Florida Keys, the east coast as far as Virginia, and the Abacos. Each new cruising itinerary and destination was a source of excitement and exhilaration for us all, and I wouldn’t have wanted any other life. During hurricane seasons, when they left me for a couple of months, Alice and Jim took great care to protect me from any harm, and they were also very careful to always keep all my systems well-maintained and my bottom cleaned. I’ve really appreciated their special care, but I always miss them when they’re gone. I’ve always looked forward to the day when they’ll be back so we can go cruising again.

But these days I’m bored. It just hasn’t been the same since Alice developed her mysterious lung ailment three years ago. We’ve missed so much cruising time together. After her surgery last year it looked like maybe we’d get back to the way it was when we were all out on the open sea. But now her lung ailment is back for the fourth time, and she’s going to have to stay in Indianapolis for who knows how long. I’ve been very patient in waiting for her full recovery from whatever it is (I don’t understand all the medical-ese), but I hated how dirty and neglected I got last year. They gave me a thorough cleaning and they’ve worked diligently on getting me back to ship-shape. But now it’s looking like Alice will never totally recover, and she’ll always have to keep spending time in Indy for check-ups and treatments.

I’d really like to go cruising again. That’s what I was meant to do. I’d like to continue waiting patiently for Alice and Jim, but I’m so tired of sitting in this marina, nice and protected as it is. Alice and Jim have been wonderful owners, but maybe there’s another wonderful owner out there who would be able to take me cruising again. It just doesn’t seem to be in the cards for Alice and Jim and I to stay together any longer. Is there someone out there who would share my dream of again cruising the ocean swells and breezes? I hope so. I have more tides to ride and more anchorages to snug into before I’m satisfied.

I haven’t told Alice and Jim how bored and impatient I’ve become. They haven’t been around enough lately for me to share my feelings with them. But we’ve always had such a connection, I doubt they’d be surprised. I know they want what’s best for me, so they may be thinking the same things about our going separate ways.

So that’s my story from my perspective. (If you want more detail about my life, you can find it in the other Cruise Logs on this website; Alice has kept a pretty accurate account.) I don’t yet know what’s in my future, but I hope there will be more days out on the water finding new and interesting cruising destinations. If you can help me with finding my way there, let Alice and Jim know. I think they’ll be happy to hear from you.

Fair winds and a faithful wake,
s/v Caloosa Spirit

Posted Tuesday September 6, 2011

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  1. That brought tears to my eyes Alice. Love you guys!
    — jdj    09/06/2011 03:04 PM    #
  2. Hang in there Caloosa Spirit; Alice will kick this demon and off you will go again soon.
    — Dawn Turek    09/06/2011 05:17 PM    #
  3. Where can I get the specs on this boat?
    — James Willliams    09/06/2011 08:37 PM    #
  4. Creative and clever…but sad. Wishing the best…for all three of you.
    — tom adams    09/07/2011 08:44 AM    #
  5. Poignant and well-written.
    Wish there were a magic cure for your lungs, Alice! Wonder what Avalon would write about our life with her… we too are selling our floating second home!
    — Ginger & Dave Kauppi    09/11/2011 06:20 PM    #
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