The Adoption of Dewdrop
Do you know when you scour Craigslist for that perfect bike trainer or bedroom chaise lounge and nothing lands? And finally one day, a voice in your head says, "right now. Check right now". Well, that's how Dewdrop came into my life.
It was mid-pandemic, May 2020, and work was slow, to say the least. I checked Craigslist and there she was - nameless at the time - right in Harpswell, ME a quarter-mile from a cottage one of my best friend's families owns where I spent every summer as a kid. I didn't know much of Maine like the back of my hand, but I could drive Route 123 with my eyes closed.
I knew she was the one. Of course my rational mind said, "what on EARTH are you doing", but my playful mind said, "you know, you have always wanted to start and oyster farm and you can't do it on a sea kayak [easily]". So there we were. My rational mind also reminded me that I had no clue what questions I should be asking while buying a boat. I had taken an engine crash course the day before with two dear friends and boat wizards, Ashley and Rachael, but all I could remember to ask was, "so, does the engine work?"... and "how much do you want?"... The boat owner said "$4,000 - cash - also, there are 3 more people coming today that are interested." Ugh, shit.
My guess is everyone here reading this has had this heart-to-your-stomach feeling before when you're at a crossroads of making a decision where there are some stakes, like money or emotions or job security.
"OK. Let me go to the bank. If I'm not back in 40 minutes, you can sell it to someone else." Holy smokes, adrenaline. I flew down the bumpy, curvy Route 123 to get to the closest bank, about 25 minutes away in Brunswick. I called my mom, my dad, and my partner on the way. "Please just tell me this isn't stupid!" All three expressed the same sentiment, of which I am so grateful for, "you've been talking about this forever. Just do it."
So, I returned with $4,000 in cash, white knuckles, and sweaty clothes. I think the owner thought I was a bit nuts and kind of funny. This purchase didn't just come with the boat but it also came with a slew of text message from the owner after the boat was mine, "you going to take me out for a cruise sometime, beautiful?" "how about a booze cruise soon!" It's through these moments that we need to be our strongest and most confident that we fit in here, no matter how small people make you feel.
Purchase made. Then, like a proud but unequipped new owner of a big toy, I had to leave the boat there on honor code until I could get a hitch put on my car at Uhaul a week later.
The drive home with Dewdrop was exciting and terrifying all at the same time - every pothole I hit, and there are many on 123, I thought the trailer was going to give out. She was finally "home"! Not my home, of course, as we rented an apartment in the west end of Portland with no workable driveway or yard. She lived at my bosses house in Falmouth.
After months of unscrewing, detaching, sanding, varnishing, reattaching, and re-screwing each piece of the boat, she was finally ready to go. My goal was to launch her in June on my 29th birthday. I procrastinated and woke up in the dark at 5am many days in a row to get enough coats of varnish (it takes 7+ coats?!) on the mahogany.
This was one of my most accomplished moments in my adult life. Each time we use Dewdrop to get out to the farm or for a fun island camping outing, I can't help but smile. I am so proud of this boat and our journey together.