This post is sort of a “retroactive” blog. Before Alex invited me to PBS, I was writing my story on a legal pad. So here it is:
Written on January 19th, 2015
I’m back in Long Beach. I flew in two days ago to buy Lorilee. Here was my plan:
- Fly in on the 17th, meet with an old friend from Hollywood for drinks/dinner
- Meet with the current owner of Lorilee on the 18th, and take her out for a sea trial
- Survey, exchanging of money, and official paperwork on the 19th. Then take the rig down with a hired rigger
- Load Lorilee on a truck on the 20th.
- Fly home on the 21st.
As with all best laid plans, they change. Yesterday morning, I got an email from my trucker. He was supposed to be delivering a boat from Virginia to Long Beach on the 20th. No doubt due to excessive government bureaucracy, the transit permits were delayed a week. This pretty much screwed up everything.
I did get to meet up with my friend Mars, who is a production designer in Hollywood. She and I go way back. In fact, I took her to my senior prom in the little one-horse town of Bellville, Texas. It is so refreshing to have a conversation with someone my age that has opinions, original ideas, and doesn’t revolve around sports or pop culture. We had a great dinner, a few beers, and lots of laughs. Thanks Mars!
On Tuesday, I went over to downtown Long Beach, hung out at a Starbucks with the rest of the blogsters, and enjoyed the beautiful morning. Long Beach is very expensive, very pretty, and very troubled with the homeless. All of the businesses have keypads on their bathrooms, all of the park benches have “armrests” every two feet to prevent them from becoming a bed. I’ll be honest, a part of me looks upon the homeless with disdain; as an eyesore. But, as I grow older, I realize how fortunate I am to be able to fly to California at the drop of a hat, and buy a friggin’ sailing yacht. I now look at these people with pity. What choices have brought them here? What health conditions have brought them here? How close am I to falling into that chasm??? Not very far me thinks.
Anyway, after hanging around Long Beach, I headed over to the yacht club to meet with the owner and her boyfriend for the sea trial of Lorilee. They had the boat ready to go as soon as I got there. We started the engine, motored out through the jetties and hoisted the sails. Lorilee under full sail was a sight to see. I was smiling from ear-to-ear.
After a few hours of sailing offshore, we reentered Alamitos Harbor under sail. There’s something so incredibly majestic about sailing. No noise, no exhaust, no burning diesel. Just the gentle rolling of the swell under the bow and soft sound of the wind through the sails. I highly recommend it. It is so choice.
In a few minutes, I’m headed back over to the yacht club to meet up with the owner, and we’ll take her over to Marina Shipyard for the survey. I’m incredibly fortunate to have been able to hire Bud Taplin for the survey. Bud is the former GM of the Westsail Company, and currently owns and operates the Westsail Parts Company. He is pretty much the leading expert on all things Westsail, and has a large inventory of parts and technical information for the boats – AND he only lives twenty minutes away. How friggin’ lucky? A marine survey basically consists of two parts, an in-the-water portion, and an out-of-water portion. Bud will review structural and technical aspects of the boat, checking electrical and mechanical systems as well. He’ll look for any major problems below the water line once she’s hauled out. The boat is dry, so I don’t suspect we’ll run into anything too major. I can think of a thousand projects for her straight away, but the motor runs, the sails hoist, and she floats.
If the survey comes out well, I will then officially buy Lorilee. I hand the check over to the owner, sign the coast guard document and a bill of sale, and she’s all mine. I must say this entire process has been nothing short of overwhelming and stressful. I now know why people do not transport boats very often, and if they do, they get a broker involved. For my first boat, this has been an educational experience to say the very least. But, after sailing her yesterday, all my doubts and worries washed away. I made the right choice.
I’ll update with more soon.