Part 2

The next day Simon rang the broker and put an offer on the boat, he also ensured we had the finance in place. I learned that boat buying is not like house buying. You don’t get a mortgage on a boat with a 25 year repayment plan, if you’re lucky you get a marine loan that you pay over a few years otherwise you need to make arrangements to raise the finance. This part of the process I unashamedly admit to leaving to Simon. He was going to be my husband and I trust him implicitly. His family nickname of Captain Sensible was there for a reason and I knew I would only complicate matters by getting involved. Instead I put my talents into thinking about the colours we could paint the inside of the boat once it was ours.

The next major stage in our boat acquisition project was having her surveyed for which she would be taken out of the water. This had to happen before the purchase could go through and needed someone to be present. That was an easy decision, I knew nothing about boats, Simon had had Iris # 3 surveyed before, so in my eyes he knew what he was doing.

The couple selling Misterton had to move her to Knottingley where there was a boat yard with a dry dock, and Simon commissioned the surveyor to carry out the task. The practical part of this meant the survey was carried out on a school day when I could not be present, it was just as well no one was waiting for my wealth of knowledge about boats. Simon got up extremely early and drove the three hour drive to the boat yard. I went to school and dealt with the daily delights of an inner city school.

I kept hoping to hear from Simon and prayed he would not ring when I was teaching as then I could not take the call. Finally the phone went in my office and momentary relief as Simon announced, ‘it’s all ok’. The relief evaporated as he continued ‘they’ve just found a few holes but we’re having them patched up’. My heart sank, holes in a boat, surely that was bad, as holes would let in water and the boat would sink. I imagined myself boat alone one cold evening as the patch started to separate and the water seeped in. The mobile network would be down and I would be stranded desperately emptying buckets of water out of the portholes till help arrived, or I gave in to physical exhaustion whichever came first (have I mentioned my degree in drama?).

I then switched off the action movie in my head and started to listen to Simon again, he seemed strangely sure that the patches would be ok and said he would see me later. I carried on distracted with my day at work, imagining various endings to my action movie with some more watery than others. Time to mention that my only previous experience of patching boats came from my childhood before my parents divorced when I would have been eight or nine. Dad had bought us a dingy against my mothers’ wishes and my brothers and I spent many happy hours afloat on the sea. As the summer drew to a close and Dad could no longer take us to the beach, my brothers and I took the dingy to the local river. It got a hole and started to deflate and sink. We patched the hole with a puncture repair kit and the next day went for another river adventure. We did not reveal this to our Dad as least said soonest mended, and I still do not know whether the parents even knew about our river adventure. The puncture repair did not last very long and the boat kept slowly sinking as the glue holding the patch seeped away in the river water. We never got another dingy, so in my experience patching holes in a boat would end in tears.

When Simon got home that night, I did not wish to be the voice of gloom so I asked him how they would patch the holes. Simon loves explaining technical things; he smiled and reassured me they had already been patched. Then he showed me the photos, there were no puncture repair kits in evidence, the holes had new steel plates welded over them and they were 110% water proof. I felt relief and moved onto the movie where we spend our first might aboard Misterton on return from our perfect honeymoon.