After 17 months, Gracie is done.
And here’s what I started with:
Unlike the celebrations and inaugural launches I’ve seen on YouTube, the inaugural launch of Gracie was low key as fitting a high functioning introvert like me. Just Sandy and me. No marching band. No champagne. I backed my truck up to the boat launch at the Port of Kingston, pulled her off the bed extension and set her gently in the water, locked in the oars, responded to a few comments from some fisherman, took a few photographs, and then I was off, pulling out into Appletree Cove.
It was a big moment. And yet I felt terribly out of sorts. On one hand, I had been working hard to get her done and out on the water before summer was completely gone. But “done” meant I had to say goodbye to a routine that had become as anticipated as a greeting from an old friend. When I wasn’t working on my boat, I was often thinking about what I was going to do next, and when I was about to attempt something I’d never done before – and I had plenty of those with this project – I was wrestling with how in the hell I was going to do them without committing an error so egregious it would ruin everything. The project was very nearly all consuming at times, but more importantly, it was real, unlike so much of what I do. In other words, it’s hard to sink your teeth into web-based training courses, but my boat was something I could quite literally bite, and I certainly breathed enough of her dust when I was sanding to make darn sure she was part of me in a way that wasn’t particularly healthy.
Enjoy. It’s a fairly common word with a less commonly used worked, joy, buried inside. But that’s the word I would use to describe every moment of this project. It was a joy from start to finish, and now I’m experiencing a different kind of joy when I take it out on the water.