Wednesday, October 22, 2014

OMG! That's About All I Can Say!

On Sunday evening October 19th at about 7:20 pm, I came face to face with the subject of my dreams for nearly 2 years - Olympia and I met for the first time!

My dear friend Laura, met me at the airport and survived a 45 minute ride from West Palm Beach airport to Allied Marina in Stuart.  Can I tell you those 45 minutes were among the most incredible 45 minutes I have lived through in quite a few months?!  The sense of anticipation and excitement was palpable in the car.  I couldn't bear the long walk from the car, down the dock (she was at the farthest point she could be) to Olympia's slip so..... I closed my eyes and trusted Laura to guide me to her.

Once she was in view, Laura prepared me to open my eyes..........OMG, OMG, OMG!  I cannot even begin to tell you the emotions flooding through me at that point.  I really could not believe I was actually seeing this precious boat for the first time!!!  So much preceded this first viewing, such a major life change following the tragedy of Tom's sudden loss, so many wrenching decisions, the digging in to do anything to make this work, the support of so many incredibly wonderful people - new and old in my life - the worry and uncertainty of taking this life-altering step - all of that and more collided at that moment.

I can only tell you that all of the above made my meeting with this boat something I will remember to my last day on this earth.  It was some time before I could stop the tears, the shaking, the laughing, and feelings I can't even describe  - to summon the strength to step aboard for the first time.

As I reverently stepped aboard, Laura raced ahead to turn on the lights so that I could see Olympia in all her glory.  If you thought the pictures were beautiful, I have to tell you that the reality will blow you out of the water.  This girl of mine is stunningly gorgeous, magnificent, outrageous, elegant, warm, inviting, spectacular and so many words I can't summon at this moment.

Even with her protective wrappings and signs of much work in progress, she is a vision to behold!  The blinds in their build outs exceeded my expectations, the curve of the staircase, the rounded edges of the granite, the way everything flows, the back splash, the storage, the cherry, the EVERYTHING!  I am blown away by the workmanship.  Remember this is my 3rd Krogen and I am speechless with wonder!

Since we were on board nearly 2 hours looking around, we managed to get this one picture to sum up the evening's events:

 Since I stepped off the plane after a white-knuckle flight home a mere 2 hours ago, I am going to get ready for a very busy work event tomorrow.  I do promise some really nice pictures of the helm (electronics were being installed the entire time I was there), salon, staircase, galley, NAME, and engine room.  She is leaving for her show season debut tomorrow as she heads for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show to be the belle of the ball.  Closing is scheduled for early December.

I AM IN LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mast is up!

Before I head out for a momentous meeting with our dream come true, I wanted to leave you with two of the latest pictures of the commissioning process - the mast and galley backsplash.

The mast is a work of art - even at this stage...
(Looks like an ad for Garmin)

The galley backsplash exceeded my expectations. The material is a combination of Travertine and glass.  Trying to choose material and a pattern (or not) from a small sample for a space I've only seen in pictures required some intuition, a leap of faith and plain grit.  I think the end result speaks for itself....

I was rushing to find a picture of the helm chairs that were installed this week, but can't find them.  Heck, I'll send you a picture of me IN those helm chairs, much better than just the empty chairs I think.

Here goes folks.  It'll be show time in about 8 hours!  Please think of me.

Friday, October 17, 2014

More Offload Pictures

Sorry for the interruption.  Here's a continuation of last night's offload pictures.
While I was looking at some pictures, I came across Serenity's offload pictures.  Almost identical - eerie!

Olympia continues her progress from the ship to her natural home - the water!

She's on her way....

Though she looks like a toy boat here, you can appreciate her size when you look at the workers on the ship's deck.

               About here is where Gregg steps aboard for the rest of the trip down to the water.

Olympia is still tied to the Eris J while her engines are started and the iPad is set up to navigate in the absence of electronics.  I think this moment would qualify as the time when one prays that all goes well and that everyone has done their job to all the specs!

                                           Bow lines off!  Olympia is almost on her own.....

                                                     .....and next go the stern lines!

    Steady girl, you're on your own and ready to head for home and your very anxious new mom!

                                                   Olympia is on her way home at long last!

This part of Olympia's journey concludes a 15 month-long odyssey that was fraught with the most extreme of emotions - the ecstasy of signing her purchase agreement, the despair of thinking I would also lose her after losing Tom, the uncertainty of actually going forward with the purchase, back to the ecstasy of voiding the amendment to sell her - and now, the excitement of counting the hours until I actually see her for the first time.   For those of you who have followed this saga, I thank you for being there with your interest and good wishes.

 There is so much more to come, so stay tuned!

Olympia's Offload Pictures

So here I am!  I skidded over to the laptop at the sunny hour of 11 pm, but then that's about par for me these hectic days.  My plan was to pop over to the barn after leaving work at a civilized hour.  That did happen, but when I got to the barn the sight that I saw made me gasp.  My usual clean, silky-haired beast of a horse was a different color!  Closer inspection of this sight revealed at least an inch of dried mud firmly adhered to his "beginning of a winter coat" body.  2 1/2 hours later, he was clean.  Emphasis on him cause now that dried mud became airborne and landed on me.  Anyone who thinks it's glamorous to own and ride a horse should pay me a visit sometime, especially around 9:30 pm on a  subzero night when most sane people are warm in their homes.  I do adore that brat though!

So though a bit out of sequence due to my ineptitude in uploading pictures at times, here are Olympia's offload pictures.  As said earlier, this girl likes to make night statements in all she's done so far.  The initial pictures are in daylight, but the finale takes place in the dark - again!  One of my followers asked about my reaction to seeing her suspended above the water by a mere 2 slings.  Let's just say if I don't ever see another picture of her dangling, it will be too soon!

So as they say in New York, get on with it, girl!

Olympia patiently waits with her neighbors for her turn to get off the ship after 6 weeks at sea.  There were many "show" boats on this ship, all bound for FLIBS, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.  That includes yours truly.

The drama queen is pretty much alone up on deck except for a boat in the background.  She is waiting to make her entrance.
Getting ready to go!

Up, up and away!  Even dangling from a harness, Olympia has class!

I'm going to stop here cause all of a sudden, it's midnight and I have a busy day tomorrow, actually today!

The next pictures are worth waiting for, with an exciting sequence of events.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Offload Pictures to Follow

Just wanted to let you know I got the offload pictures saved to my photo library.  They came in 4 separate emails from Tom B. with about 11 pics in each email.

It's too late to start now, so I just gave you a tease and hope to post the others on Wednesday or Thursday, social schedule permitting. Tomorrow is my monthly bereavement group meeting, followed  by dinner with my little group afterwards.

Got a report today that workers are like ants swarming all over the boat.  The helm seats and mast were scheduled for installation today.  Another part of the electronics team is working on snaking the miles of wiring for everything throughout the boat.

Someone took a picture of something and a very upside down, chaotic salon came into view.  So glad I'm not there this week!  I'd be underfoot with my Swiffer and army of cleaning stuff!  As it turns out, I should see quite a bit of progress when I arrive, including a cleaned up salon.

That's it for now folks.  More offload pictures will follow later this week.  Don't be grumpy cause you're gonna see some pretty fine pictures from yours truly next week!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Olympia is in her temporary winter home

I'm back!  Told you I had lots to do.  Finally settling down to write - and it's already 10:45!

 As an aside, Wiggles wasn't exactly jumping for joy when I arrived at the barn bearing carrots.  He had apparently just gotten his sweet, wet hay and found that far more interesting than me.  I least I didn't get his butt in my face.  That's the other reception I get, but he reserves that one for trips of a week or longer.

So before I share pictures of the fair Olympia in her temporary winter retreat (Allied/Apex Marina in Stuart), I have to tell you that somehow, I royally messed up the 45 offload pix Tom B. sent on Wednesday.  They are breathtaking, believe me.  Tom B. managed to take the especially thrilling sequence of Olympia being moved to the ship's rail, then being lowered into the water in several stages.  Of course the pix started in daylight, but ended at night.  Funny, Serenity's offload pix occurred at night, as did her Panama Canal transit.  These girls of mine are really so similar in many ways.

So without further prattling, here are the pix you've been waiting for.....

I don't know about you, but the sight of her actually in the water puts me right over the moon!  Olympia is even more imposing and beautiful than her other "land-based" photos.  She is now in her element and worthy of the admiration she will evoke from those who finally get to see the "real" Olympia after all these long months of waiting.  This week she may get her mast and antennae installed and really look like a proper ocean-going cruiser.

I couldn't resist this picture of Invictus on her way to the Rendezvous.  I took this picture of her from Betty's pilothouse on LiLi, right in the middle of Chesapeake Bay!  Even from a distance, I was awed!  Ironically, Invictus was our next-slip neighbor this past week.  Don't think I didn't take every opportunity to go aboard and just stare like a lovesick puppy.

I hope you enjoyed these photos and weren't disappointed.  I'll get all the photos my camera will hold when I'm there next week.  I also plan to be aboard in late January if not sooner, so if you're going to be anywhere near Stuart, please let me know.  I can happily accompany you on a tour of the real deal!

I'll get back to you with the offload pix as soon as I get them.

Olympia Arrived in Stuart!!!!!

Just landed on Long Island after 5 VERY fun and informative days at the Krogen Cruisers Rendezvous in Solomons, MD.  Got to "hang" with old friends and met a ton of new ones.

It was so hard to get a speedy signal at the marina (and since I was up at 7 and back in bed after midnight each night), there was precious little time to get anything not Rendezvous-related done.

Anyway, I do have some pictures of Olympia in her "commissioning" slip at Allied/Apex Marina in Stuart to share, but first......

I have to rush to the barn to check Wiggles, do a quick grocery shop (I only need stuff for this week, cause you know what's happening a week from today)  RIGHT?????????

Be back later and so sorry for the picture black-out interval.