Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pilot house and helm

Sorry, sorry, sorry!  This has been a rather hectic week as I get ready to actually begin to pay for this baby girl soon to be delivered.

Many, many calls with the financial planner, underwriter, KKY and other interested parties.   This week has felt as real as it gets at this point in the build process.  Signing a Certificate of Inspection is an awesome moment, especially since I'm not a seasoned mariner - and certainly not a long-time widow.  Many firsts.  Lest you think I'm crying "woe is me", let me tell you that it really does take a village to do something of this magnitude.  I'm delighted to report that my village is populated by the most loving, caring and supportive "villagers" anyone could ever hope to have in life.  Lucky me.

I did get a chuckle when I asked Tom B. for more exterior pictures and was told that reps from all things that move on the boat were there that day, trying out their respective machinery.  Don't  pout, Tom B. will soon be off to Taiwan to sign off on the boat - holy cow!  There will be many more final pictures of the boat before she is loaded aboard the freighter headed for the US.  I will be like an expectant parent, worrying about my girl as she heads for home, needing to know where she is at every possible moment.

I remember when Serenity was US bound.  I must have checked my computer's SPOT tracker every hour to see where she was.  If an update was late (in my estimation), a call to KKY was next on my agenda, regardless of day of week or time of day (I was reasonable during the wee hours).  Folks, this is a big step for anyone to take, at any point in life.  I feel as if I've climbed mountains during these past 11 months, but my guides have been right there with me, helping me over the boulders and sheer cliff faces.  I'm almost at the top of the mountain - I'm told the view will be nothing less than spectacular!

So here are the last batch of  photos from the yard's last transmission.  If I was there, I would have bugged them mercilessly, but Tom B. has to work with these people, so I did back off a bit.  As mentioned in the previous post, there is only 1 exterior view of the port side, but at least the sheer stripes can be seen.

So here she is in all her glory!  Even though it's only a port side view, the view is still magnificent!  I'm told that by now she has probably been moved outside for the final painting to be done.  In this view, you can see the boat rails I had added to the boat deck.  Just looking at that enclosed space makes me feel more comfortable.  I was recently on a 34' FourWinns.  Though the boat was lovely, the rails all around the boat only reached my knees - made me feel insecure - even while still at the dock!  These railings are the real deal!  You can see the sheer stripes painted in Awlgrip Forest Green - Tom's choice.  This was the one choice I finalized in half a second.  How could that stripe be any other color than the one my Tom chose?  I think the stripe adds tremendous character to my girl.  You will recognize her anywhere now.

Here we get a peek at the portside helm with some of the area that will hold the Garmin screens.  They are at a 30 degree angle to be easily seen without having to lean over the wheel or perform other acrobatics to get a clear view of the gauges and dials.  I'll get a better feel for what will go where while in Stuart.

We're standing in the pilot house looking down the steps to the salon.  I love the way we can see into the salon instead of looking at a wall.  The view eliminates the closed in feeling the previous design provided.  Though it looks like a long flight of steps, in reality it isn't.

Helm waiting for electronics.  You can see the John Deere gauges already in place for the twin engines.  The thought of me standing there piloting my very own boat towards my dream destinations gives me goose bumps the size of golf balls (a very appropriate analogy).  The expanse of windows even in this small glimpse gives the pilot house an open, airy feeling.

All we need are the seats and table and we're ready to enjoy cocktails on a rainy evening.  Looking to port and aft, you can get a feel for the generous sweep of comfy couch that will make this space cozy but spacious.  I asked to add one of those small swing arm lamps that I love in the corner so that anyone sitting there wishing to read will have ample light.  The cabinet to starboard will house a fridge to keep the white wine and snacks chilled to the perfect temperature.  Those aft windows are like having giant rear view mirrors in the pilot house.  One only needs a turn of the head to see what's going on behind.  Besides, they provide natural light.  I eliminated hatches in this space.  On Serenity, we had to wear hats to keep the sun from beating on our heads.  I hated to use the canvas covers we had made to block the light.  They did such a good job blocking the light, that I felt closed in, even on a sunny day.  Besides, the hats wreaked havoc on my hairstyle.

Looking to starboard, you can see the dutch-style door that permits one to open just the top section if the weather and/or conditions preclude opening the entire door.  This feature came in handy when we seatrialed our first boat, For Us.  You can read about this adventure in the earlier 2009 posts.  Conditions were horrific, so the "crew" decided to hunker down with the doors closed.  My stomach decided otherwise; an emergency call for fresh air had everyone springing into action.  There is another door to port providing lovely cross ventilation when both doors are open.   The hand holds in the ceiling (is it called a ceiling on a boat?) extend only far back enough for utility; they stop short of the seating area so that passengers don't bang their heads in "lumpy" weather.  I tell you, these KKY folks thing of pretty much everything!  Because the steps are behind the helm, 2 chart tables can be accommodated, one to port, the other to starboard.  Two helm chairs will be installed stateside.

So that's it for pictures tonight.  Golf was rained out due to the biblical floods of yesterday.  The course first announced carts on paths only, but by this afternoon, conditions were downgraded to walking only.  The course I play on is hard enough to play; walking is virtually impossible.  So, I went to see Tucker and had dinner with the family - excellent sushi and great wine.  Hence, I'm home early enough to get this post in.  Guilt played a big factor I don't mind telling you.

Saturday will be a momentous day for me.  I'm heading to the marina in my old neighborhood where we kept For Us and Serenity.  I was there once before, when I first decided to go ahead with the boat.  It was one of the hardest things I've had to do.  The happy memories of times spent aboard our beloved boats with our adventures waiting in the wings just about paralyzed me - I'm not easily stopped in my tracks.  Due to the desirability of this marina, I  am going to reserve my slip for the summer of 2015 - accomplished with a signed contract and a deposit.  I briefly considered putting my girl in the marina closer to my daughter, but knew I really wanted to be back in the neighborhood I called home for 28 years, with the marina friends made over the 3 years we were there.  So I'm going into D2 East, in the slip next to the one Serenity lived in for 2 seasons.  It's a wide slip with a long broad finger, and great views of the harbor and hills surrounding the harbor.  Great sunsets too.

So think of me on Saturday as I walk alone into the marina office, head held high, with shoulders squared, some tears and a brave smile.  The dream is about to become reality and I'm on board.


  1. Hi Bunnie,

    Just know that you were not alone today to visit your new girl's home.Tom was certainly with you, along with all of us that you have let into your life along this portion of your journey.

    Rob and Patty

    1. Ron and Patty - though I only know you through your compassionate blog comments, I know we are already friends. Thanks for your loving support. It means more to me than you can know. Today was hard, but I did what needed to be done. My beloved Tom is indeed guiding me along. His guidance combined with the love and support of friends is my beacon. Thank you.

  2. Bunnie,

    Just wanted to say you are very inspirational. I read your blogs with earnest several years ago before Superstorm Sandy, as I dreamed of one day owning a trawler (hopefully a Krogen) and doing the Great Loop with kids before they grew too old to want to. The stories of whatn you and Tom were doing help to provide an image of what it could be like for my wife and I, when we got to that stage. With that dream deferred for the last 2 years as we dealt with the loss of both my wife's parents to grave illness, I didn't do much reading or research. I popped in tonight to see what was going on and was initially stunned by your loss. But the more I read about the build-out of KKY 55-005 and your incredible spirit and energy the more I became sure that you will come through this. I will continue to read future posts and look forward to following your progress to Jan 2015 and beyond.

    All the Best and God Bless,

    Grant Tormey