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The Captain’s baby, a fifty-foot Viking Cabin Cruiser, is for sale.

Has been all summer.

Potential buyers have come and gone.

  • Boat is too big.

  • Boat is too small.

  • Boat can’t be handled by only two people. (Really?)

  • No reason given.

  • Just looking.

  • We first have to sell our boat/house/condo/the dog/the kids/ etc.

So it went.

Finally, a serious buyer appeared. If you are prepared to fly from Florida to where we are, pay a surveyor, pay to have the boat hauled out of the water, you must be serious, right?

All of this finally got scheduled for Friday September 14th.

Hurricane Florence happened.

Everything got postponed for a week later.

I worked up momentum all over again. I really wanted this boat to sell. I want to go home.


And everything went south.

The witching hour was scheduled for 9.30 am. The previous day I’d cleaned and washed. Project bags and books stashed in the V-berth cabin. Guest cabin immaculate. Owner’s cabin tidy. Towels folded and neat in bathroom.

We planned to take the dogs for an early walk. Feed them. Pick up in the galley and lounge. (Think dog toys and files where I work. And a mess where the Captain is installed.)

Reality was finding the surveyor on the boat BEFORE 8.00 am when we returned. Then one realtor showed up at about 8.30.

Final pick up and tidy became history as I scrambled to get myself, my computer, books, knitting, dog toys and water bowl off the boat. Everything I might require for a day on shore.

I estimated that –

  • The morning would be taken up with surveying the boat and inspection by the prospective buyer.

  • At midday the boat would be hauled out for a bottom inspection.

  • In the afternoon, boat back in the water, she would be taken out for sea trials.

I settled into one of the cottages. My accommodation for the day. Gave the dogs their toys. Filled their water bowl. Got out my notebook.

My phone rang. (Bad line to use in a novel for interruption but this was real life.)

“You can come back,” said the Captain. “They’re gone, they didn’t like the boat.”

What? They didn’t “like” our beautiful boat? Why?

The mother in me sprang to the defense of the Captain’s boat.

“The broker said it was too messy,” the Captain told me. “Buyers expect a pristine boat.”

Whaaaat? Do they realize we live on this boat? Have been living on it since June? It’s not dirty! It’s not untidy!


I fumed. Grabbed pen and paper. Started writing. Calmed down some. Still irritable as hell I looked at the flip side.

We always had a Plan B.

Plan A, which no longer existed, was the boat being sold. Packing our personal stuff. Loading the car. Renting a van for the overflow. Driving back to Florida.

And I’d be home!

I could feel my house wrapping its arms around me as I walked in the front door. My Happy Chair would be waiting. And the heron on the back-lawn fishing.

And for a while, I guess not going home was at the bottom of my disappointment.

Plan B was heading North to Washington DC with the boat.

Staying for a week. Catching some culture. Going to see –


It no longer mattered that the potential buyer didn’t like out boat. Well, not as much.

Plan B started looking really good.

And I couldn’t help but be reminded that Man Plans and God Laughs.


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