Many people don’t believe in fate, some consider fate an alignment of coincidences, others don’t believe in coincidences. As a seaman I am super suspicious, I never walk under ladders, I have lucky numbers, never sail on Friday the thirteenth, constantly touch wood and know that fate and circumstance are realities of life.
Late in 2015, a group of factors (fate?) conspired to lead me towards buying what I consider to be an excellent little cruising boat. Briefly, here is how it happened.
In July 2015 I was on a trip from my home in Auckland, New Zealand to Vancouver in Canada, the purpose of the trip was to join a tug boat (Pacific Hickory) as Captain and take her across to China to pick up a return tow.
Whilst waiting to board my flight in Auckland I took advantage of free airport Wi-Fi to check out Vancouver, it had been many years since I last visited that beautiful city. Purely by chance I came across a boat for sale, it caught my eye and roused my interest and imagination. Now you must believe me, I wasn’t looking to buy a boat, it was pure coincidence that I saw it online (my wife still doesn’t believe me).
Upon arrival in Vancouver I was busy taking over from the departing Captain and preparing for the voyage ahead but I found time to contact the owners of the boat, she was called ‘Truce’. The boat was lying at Ladysmith Marina on Vancouver Island, unfortunately I didn’t have time to travel over and inspect it. I sent an email to the owners letting them know I was interested in looking at the boat and that if it was still for sale I could visit in a few months after returning from China.
The trip across to China went smoothly and we arrived in good time to pick up our tow in Shanghai. The return voyage went well for the most part, some nasty weather in the Bering sea called for a quick southerly exit through Adak Pass in the Aleutian Islands to find better weather before crossing the Gulf of Alaska into Juan de Fuca Strait. I was happy to arrive in Vancouver Harbour, early morning in late September to hand over the tow to waiting tugs. The tow from China was completed at a speed of just under ten knots, the fastest tow I have ever done.
Once secured at the dock and all the official chores completed I contacted the boat owners again, they confirmed Truce was still for sale. Wonderful, I was leaving the Tug in Vancouver and could take the opportunity to have a look at Truce and combine that with some sightseeing and exploring on Vancouver Island.
So, I handed over to a new Captain and signed off from the Pacific Hickory, taking a ferry across to Vancouver Island where I hired a car to get me up to Ladysmith where Truce was berthed.
The little boat didn’t disappoint me, to my eyes she was beautiful, thoughtfully laid out and obviously well-constructed to a high standard. She looked a little tired or maybe just in need of a new owner who could give her a good work out and maintenance schedule. I would have to think about buying another boat, this time thousands of miles from home.
A few months later, in March 2016, after some to and fro my offer for Truce was accepted, subject to satisfactory inspection. I was able to travel back to Vancouver Island from New Zealand and conduct a pre purchase inspection.