Moving Day

We’ve done the deed.  We’ve moved onto Selkie.  We are on her for the next 3 months.

We flew from Austin yesterday after spending 10 days visiting Betsy and Garrett, and watching our grandson while the new parents went to a wedding for a few days of well-deserved adult time.  We arrived in the evening into Washington, D.C. 

The plane ride from Austin to D.C. was interesting.  We flew into Reagan next to Crystal City, which brought a ton of memories back for me from my Westinghouse days (getting chewed out by the Navy for issues with a submarine main engine program I oversaw).  That’s a story for another time.

For this trip, there was a national holiday the coming weekend in D.C. Every year on May 15, it’s National Peace Officer’s Memorial Day where the Nation honors all the policemen and others who have died in the line of duty. 

As it turned out, we had over 40 local Texas peace officers on the plane on the way to D.C.  They were allowed to board the plane before everyone else, and no one complained.  Instead of taking the first rows on the plane, most went to the back of the plane, something most business travelers would not do.  

It was the safest I’ve felt on an airplane.  I mean, anyone who was going to hijack that plane would have been stopped within a second. 

To get to Selkie, Libbie arranged for some good friends to pick us up in the middle of the evening rush hour at Reagan International in Washington D.C. 

Anyone who agrees to do that is a friend indeed. 

We’ve known these two for a long time. Libbie and I’ve known the wife since before Libbie and I were married.  They reminded us that we witnessed the couple becoming an item on a sailboat trip on an old schooner, the Pride of Cockaigne in the Apostle Islands in Wisconsin.   We had not seen them in years.  But like all good friends, they answered the call when Libbie asked them to help us out. 

The fact that they were interested in seeing the boat helped.

Lib and I had packed 4 bags for check in and had 4 carry-ons.  Mind you, this was Libbie’s move to Selkie.  I had already made two trips, so I packed light and Libbie packed in some of the luggage for 3 month.  This included:

  1. 3 Fishing Poles with tackle (anyone who knows Lib is not surprised by this) in a 4” diameter by 55” long sewer pipe rod holder I’d built.
  2. One (1) fold up bike (see 1 above)
  3. Anything else that I had not already packed to Selkie that we needed (hence all the rest of the luggage)

When we landed, our friends headed to the airport.  We waited for our luggage for quite a while, but that was ok because they were stuck in rush hour D.C. traffic.  

When we got to the curb to meet them, we saw that they had brought two cars.  As it turned out, the wife drove a tiny Mini, and the husband drove a Porsche.  The Mini won out in terms of luggage capacity, but it was a good thing that the husband brought the Porsche with our 8 pieces of luggage.

We drove down to Solomons, and went to dinner (fresh Crab Cakes are much better in Maryland than anywhere else).

After dinner, it was the big moment. 

Perhaps our reader will recall that between Libbie and me, only I had seen Selkie, and that this indeed Libbie’s first time. 

She demonstrated a lot of faith in me, given the size of this purchase.  I was anxious that her first impression would be a good one.

The yard had been doing work on Selkie to correct some things that had been called out in the Ship Survey I had done when we bought Selkie. 

A Ship Survey is like a Home Inspection when one buys a house, and is a necessary step that one does when considering a used boat for purchase. 

In this case, there wasn’t much wrong with Selkie, other than just some normal wear items.  In fact, the surveyor had told me that Selkie looked 10 years younger than her age, which was a testament to the love and care her previous owner, Fritz, had put into her. 

When we arrived at the marina, it was well after dark, and I didn’t know where Selkie was.  She had been placed back into the water that afternoon and was towed to a slip somewhere in the marina.  I didn’t know where she was. 

I was the first out of the car and asked everyone to wait, as I needed to scout out where she was. 

I walked the docks in the dark and could not find her.  After 10 minutes of increasingly apprehensive searching on my part, I finally saw her at the opposite end of the marina from where I had left her in April. 

Selkie just sat there in the dark.  She looked beautiful.

I called Libbie and let her know where to come, and I got on Selkie to open her up. 

The worker-folks were not quite done with her, with some hatches up inside to access the engine room, so I worked to make her more presentable.

When Lib finally saw her, she said Selkie was smiling at her. 

Libbie’s first view of Selkie

We moved all the luggage on board, bid our friends a good night so they could check into their hotel, and then unpacked our clothing before we went to bed.

The next morning, we met our friends for breakfast, bid them farewell, and proceeded to unpack, shuffle stuff around the boat and generally get her situated to our satisfaction.

We rode our fold-up bikes to the grocery store and provisioned as much as one can provision with a back pack on a bike.  But we are set for the next few days with food and drink.

Tonight, we had a bowl of soup on the boat, and enjoyed the evening.  We called some family and some friends to check in.  While talking to both of our daughters, they asked their mom what she thought of Selkie on a scale of 1 to 10.

Libbie said Selkie was a 10. 

I’m breathing easier tonight.

Post Script:  the carry-on bag I used this trip was the same one I’d been using for the past 15 years. 

That bag probably saw 500,000 air miles as I used it to fly all over the world, including my 10 trips a year to Taiwan and Asia for 6 years. 

But when that bag came off the carousel in Baggage Claim, it arrived battered with the pull up handle missing.  

A lot of memories were associated with that bag.   So, it now lies at rest from all its travels in the dumpster here at the marina, an inauspicious end. 

By Tad Sheldon

I'm a retired Silicon Valley Technologist and Director. I teach skiing as a 4th (5th? 6th?) career for fun, and am passionate about Boating. I'm even more passionate about my family and friends. I volunteer occasionally for non-profit Boards, and currently serve as the Secretary of the Board for Western Division of the Professional Ski Instructors of America / American Association of Snowboard Instructors.

10 replies on “Moving Day”

Absolutely fabulous. Happy for you both. I’m a Gone With The Wynns fan and now you two have gone and done it! Living your best life. 😊


Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns
driven time and again off course, once he had plundered
the hallowed heights of Troy.
Many cities of men he saw and learned their minds,
many pains he suffered, heartsick on the open sea,
fighting to save his life and bring his comrades home.
But he could not save them from disaster, hard as he strove—
the recklessness of their own ways destroyed them all,
the blind fools, they devoured the cattle of the Sun
and the Sungod blotted out the day of their return.
Launch out on his story, Muse, daughter of Zeus,
start from where you will—sing for our time too.


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