Ahhh, it's just one of those things. I'd only been sailing a couple times in my life (a real sin for a coastal resident). Couldn't tell you a Catalina from a Pearson, or anything else. It'd just never been on the short list. We had a bass boat when I was a kid. That's all I ever knew. Summer 2005 I took pictures of the beach, saw Ship Island, and went out on one of the Biloxi Schooners. Something just told me I better do those things. Then Katrina hit. Fast forward 5 months. My dad knew a dealer and we'd heard about the staging grounds for Salvage Direct in Gulfport, MS. Sooooo, there was this one boat on AOL, from Ocean Springs. She was called Irish Eyes. I think she was a Pearson 32. Figured we'd go gawk, and check that boat out. Ultimately, I did see that boat, and saw some interior water damage (deck leaks) that the pics didn't show. So we were wandering around and I happened to catch a glimpse of the bow of another boat. Just glanced around at the right time, like she'd called out, "Help. Get me out of here please." I just stopped. "Wait, what's that?" She was a mess (really bad hair day-shrouds dangling), but in spite of that, her lines just grabbed me. I was instantly smitten. She had a "for sale" sign (against the rules, but there it was). The fellow who'd bought her had gone a little crazy, and was deep in boats that he was gonna be paying storage for, because he couldn't move them out fast enough, and the transporters were getting top dollar. I saw all the paperwork, he didn't make $200 bucks over what he'd paid, but it was one less boat to contend with. Short of a lottery win, I have to build things up, so she was the perfect candidate. Then the education really started. I had so much to learn before I was even willing to mess with anything. I reeeeeaaaally didn't need another project...plenty looking at me since the storm. Kinda hoped Dad and I would have some quality time working on her, but it didn't work out that way. This March will be a year since he passed away, so I've had an on/off history so far. I have managed to assemble info on Bristol 32's and Bukh engines, some key parts (mast), and some online connections, as well as getting my keelboat diploma. Oh, and had a few dust-ups with Jeff H. :-) Actually found a Bristol 34 website (curious about differences in the rig) by accident. Turns out he was 3 slips over from my boat. He even sent a pic of my boat after Katrina, still in her slip, albeit, dismasted. Kinda eeeerie. She was roughed up, but still on her lines, nicely afloat.
Now, having never sailed by my own hand when I got her, nor done any sort of work or maintenance on a boat, I must be nuts......or under her spell. I always jump in way over my head, so it fits, though I really didn't think I'd be buying a sailboat then, or any time after. Anyway, she patiently waits as I meander. From what I have read, she will track better than I do.
As I alluded, she's a Bristol 32. She has been named "Second Hand Rose" and "Seraphim". Being a "Firefly" fan, I'm naming her "Serenity"....despite the personal garment angle. Heck, the first time I lose sight of land, I'll probably need a personal garment. Anyway, that's my story.