From Winter Sun in Gruissan to a Boat Viewing in Snowy Leiden
It’s 6:30 a.m. The thermometer is registering 45°F (7°C). If we’re lucky, it will claw its way up to 52°F (11°C) by mid-afternoon. The mid-January days we enjoyed basking in the sun from the comfort of our lightweight sun loungers are a distant memory. We’re at Gruissan’s Le Quatre Vents aire parked with a view of hundreds of bare masted sailing boats.
Even though we can’t wear tee shirts and shorts, we’re still happy to be here. We’ve seen one light frost this winter in France. The weather isn’t as benign in Leiden where Julisa, our Super Favorite mahogany and steel Dutch cruiser, is stored open to the elements in a steel cradle.
We’re trying to sell her. Two boats are one too many. Our new floating home, Dik Trom, is moored near Antwerp, waiting for us to move on board in April. Much as we love Julisa, we can’t afford to keep her. She has to go.
Our broker, Warner, took a German couple to view Julisa yesterday. The Germans couldn’t have picked a worse day to look at a canvas-topped summer cruiser. Heavy wind-blown rain swept across the boatyard. Rain turned to sleet and then snow. The Germans were aspiring boaters who still viewed boat ownership through rose-tinted glasses. Dark and dismal days filled with snow and ice weren’t part of their waterways dream. After a nervous climb eight feet up a slippery steel ladder, they spent just a few shivering minutes exploring the boat’s unheated cabin. They left the boatyard without a backward glance. We don’t expect to hear from them again.
We have a lot of work to do in April. We need to take Dik Trom from Antwerp to Leiden, and then take her out of the water to have a little welding done and to paint her hull. While we’re there, we will paint Julisa’s hull, put her back in the water and take her to a mooring where Warner can show her properly. Once that’s done, we’ll return to Leiden and a summer’s cruising on Dik Trom.
We’ll need a rest by then.
For now, we’ll relax in the slightly warmer Mediterranean climate and wonder how on Earth we’re going to pay for everything.
(Cynthia wants me to point out that it’s me doing all the worrying. It’s ME who constantly fears running out of money. She knows everything will work out for the best. She doesn’t worry about the unknown at all. Ever. We watched Will Smith’s dire After Earth last night. The dark cloud’s silver lining as far as Cynthia was concerned was the film title’s strapline, Danger is real. Fear is a choice. I wish someone would teach me how to not fear poverty. Until then, I’ll try to follow Cynthia’s fine example.)