Re Metau
People of the Sea
Pearls of
About Our Journey
Becoming Re Metau
Road Trip
~ Road Trip! ~
Survey – Sea Trial – Sale
A Gem
My daughter Genevieve had just graduated from college and hadn't yet accepted a job offer. So when I called her and said "Road Trip!" she was onboard. The 9 hour drive to Pawcatuck, Connecticut took us through the mountainous beauty of Pennsylvania and New York, not scenery that'd lull one to sleep.

It was too late to see the boat once we arrived, but we had massages and saunas waiting for us. Genevieve's stepmom, a luxury hotel chain employee, booked us a room and spa treatments to make the weekend even more special. After that hours long, nerve-racking drive, we couldn't have been more grateful to Mary Ellen!

The next morning we met up with the broker at the boat yard. Vulcania was up on the hard, and it looked as if all her gear had just been thrown onboard. Even her docklines were left hanging. As soon as I stepped foot on the deck, I knew we had found a gem (incidentally, my daughter's initials were GEM!) The brightwork had seen better days for sure, but she felt solid so I was fairly certain her bones were good. The teak deckbox, teak swim ladder, butterfly hatches, rails and belay pins were all in fine shape under the peeling varnish.

Below decks looked in a bit better shape, but to be honest, the purpose of most of what it was I was looking at baffled me. It all became a puzzle of sorts as Gen and I tried to fit the pieces together. I took hundreds of close up pictures of everything in sight to see if Don could figure it out, because I was pretty confident we were going to own it all very soon.

The Future Re Metau
~ The Future Re Metau ~
Road Trip…Road Trip
Don and I returned to Pawcatuck the following week, and he fell in love with the vessel just as I had. We scheduled a survey, launch and sea trial for Memorial Day weekend. A third day-long trip in a month was not something I was looking forward to, but we were so excited about this hidden jewel we didn't want anyone to beat us to it.

The survey turned up some issues with equipment, but nothing too terrible to turn us away. Finding problems is what surveyors do and it was already obvious the electronics were outdated. The important thing was that the hull was sound, the engine was in fine working order, and the sails were in good shape. She was built strong and seaworthy. So we readied for the next day's sea trial, and plopped her in the water. She floated! Really, that's what was most important.

Don and I spent the night onboard, and thus met the sailor living on his boat in the slip beside us. He eyed Vulcania with envy, and after Don told him how we'd come by this repossessed beauty, I heard the mariner mumble his inclination to negotiate a higher bid. My heart skipped a possessive beat as I lied that our offer had already been accepted pending tomorrow's sea trial.

"You let me know if it falls through. I'd love to own this boat!" he proclaimed.

From that point on he seemed to shadow our every move around the yard.

Foggy Sea Trial
Having a certified captain onboard during the sea trial was required by the brokers. The one knowledgeable in sailing who was recommended by our surveyor wasn't available on our schedule, so we settled on the guy who owned the boat yard. Though Jay wasn't a sailor, we knew how to set the sails, and felt we really just needed someone to navigate us down the river.
Floating in a Slip
~ Floating in a Slip ~

The plan was to drive back home that afternoon, so our schedule was tight. Regrettably, the sun dawned behind a blanket of thick fog. But more disconcerting was that the night before, it dawned on us we needed to rig the jib.A triangular sail set forward of the forward most mast. And its halyardA rope used to hoist a sail up. had been accidently hauled up to the top of the mast!

The fog kept us socked in, but gave us the opportunity to rectify the sail situation. So our tenacious neighbor lent us a bosun's chairA device used to haul up and suspend a person from a rope to perform work aloft the mast. and moral support, and Don hauled me up the mast to retrieve the errantly freed halyard. The lessons of what was in store for us were already being taught, but what a view!

The brume began to clear by noon so Jay gave us the go ahead and expertly motored us out to sea. However, the closer to the mouth of the river we got, the thicker the fog got. Once in open water, visibility was no more than the length of our boat. I sat on the bow blowing the air horn and trying to listen for other vessels, but no one – including us – should have been out in that pea soup.

The sails flapped lifelessly in the absence of any wind, so we'd just have to imagine what it'd be like to handle the boat under canvas. Jay flipped on the autopilot and let go of the wheel to ensure she stayed on course. We had no other functioning gadgets to test, so that was about the extent of our shakedown cruise.

Fortunately though, Jay grew up on this river and could have found his way blindfolded, which is essentially how the situation was – no visibility and no instruments save a compass. We were so thankful we had hired a pilot with the skills to do exactly what we needed for the sea trial – especially on this foggy, windless day!

Points Unknown
In hindsight, I think about what a leap this entire endeavor was for Don and me. We had but one season of sailing on Lake Erie; one very simple, small boat that we tended and navigated on our own. We were a couple of Midwesterners living comfortably in a nice house, in a nice neighborhood, close to family and friends and all we knew. The boat's survey wasn't exactly glowing, and the sea trial proved little. And still, we decided to launch ourselves into the complete unknown – unknown vessel, unknown location, unknown ocean, unknown way of life.

But there was one thing of which I was certain, in that I had never been more sure of anything in my life than I was about what the future held for us in that boat. And Vulcania was no longer for sale!

About Us
About Re Metau
About Our Journey
Becoming Re Metau
About Our Cruising Kitty
Tour Our Floating Home
Big Living on a Little Boat
About Our 1st Boat
A Morgan 24 – Points Unknown
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