Monday, October 16, 2006

Fate, part deux

East Greenbush, NY

Our continuation of the saga of our first boat...

My wife, Kristen, finally gets in touch with a real person at the home insurance company. "We're closed today. We'll have someone contact you tomorrow". Groovy!

We decided to cool off and go to the boat show. We go through the gate, and the first exhibitor is "The Sailboat Shop". They are displaying Precision trailerable sailboats. Their largest at the show, the Precision 23, gleamed white, with a broad blue stripe down the side. High above us, set upon its trailer, I recognize a boat with a pedigree. "It was designed by Jim Taylor," said Steve from The Sailboat Shop. "That's the same guy who designs Sabre's and Americas Cup Boats."

I've been looking at Catalina and Hunter sailboats until now. Nothing against them - they are living rooms that float - just a different kind of boat. They didn't ignite any passion in me. The Precision 23, on the other hand, looked like a real sailor's boat. Did it have an enclosed head? Nope. How about lots of headroom? Nope. But it was beautiful and, as I would find out later, a great boat to sail and learn on. We swarmed all over it! The few pieces of brightwork were a nice touch. There was a huge lazarette, and I fit on the forward v-berth. It had a stove! All the comforts of home. The kids loved it. "Can we get it Dad?" they asked. "We can't afford a boat right now," I reply.

Ring! Ring! Back to reality. It's Kristen's brother. "I'm here with Dad and it's a mess! There's stuff everywhere, and it's over the base of your storage shelves, washer and dryer and lots of other stuff." Nifty. They offer to help clear out the basement and we take them up on it. In the meantime, the cleaning company has showed up and they start pumping out the water.

Some may ask why we didn't head straight home. Well, it's a 7 hour drive at best, and it was noon, so by the time we got home - well, I don't know why we didn't leave right away, but we didn't. The cleaning company and Kristen's father and brother would have to whole basement cleaned out by the time we got home, at that point, so we decided to keep looking around the show.

I keep remembering all of the stuff stored on our storage shelves. Irreplacable family pictures. Instruments. Computer equipment. Heirlooms. Kristen wants to stay at the show so we can keep our minds off the destruction, but I finally decide we have to go home. 8 hours later, we're at home - fans going in the basement, placed by the cleaning company; our belongins piled hapharzadly in our garage; glops of paper and cardboard sealed together like paper mache; boxes dripping like water through a collander. It's not a pretty site. It turns out it wasn't even due to the rain - our washing machine pipe burst.

So here's where fate comes in. Two months later, after working with our insurance company, who turns out to be one of the best home insurers out there (their coverage and interest in helping us was wonderful!) we got a settlement check for the damage. It wasn't small either. One call to The Sailboat Shop and I find out that the boat we inspected in Annapolis was still for sale. And now it's parked in our driveway. So the boat we were standing on as we learned the news about the extent of the damage in our basement turned out to be the very boat we purchased with the funds from the settlement. Funny how life works.

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