In August 2005, we took our friends Robert and Rose out for a sail on Astarte. As usual Robert and I spent the whole day talking about sailboats. Later that evening, Robert emailed me a link to a Pearson 35 that was for sale. I said: "Susan, come and look at this beautiful boat!"
I guess its the way things are done these days: We fell in love over the internet and the next thing we knew we were on our way to Green Bay, WI to meet her in person and talk to her parents!
We arranged for a survey, spent hours poking and peering into all the nooks and crannies and took her out for a test sail. On the advice of the surveyor, we offered quite a bit less than the asking price, the vendors accepted and we were the owners of a 35 foot sailboat.
|Test driving Delphini on Green Bay|
A week later, I drove to Green Bay again to prepare Delphini for the journey to her new home. A crane lifted the mast down and a Travel-Lift raised her out of the water. We gave the hull a meticulous pressure-cleaning to make sure no zebra mussels sneaked into Northwestern Ontario and then set her onto the trailer. (We got a very competitive rate from a local trucking company!).
|Out of the water...|
|...onto the truck|
|Chuck sets her down carefully|
|Heading for home!|
Some consternation ensued when we discovered that the load was going to be well in excess of legal height because the boat was sitting on the old shipping cradle. It was too late in the day (and too close to the Labour Day long weekend) to get the permits changed, so we headed for home with our fingers crossed. There are quite a few low bridges (not to mention a couple of Inspection Stations) between Green Bay, WI and Dryden, ON! The trucking gods were in a good mood that day, because we slid under all the bridges. The DOT scale at Superior, WI was open, but the inspector was busy inspecting another -- less-fortunate, trucker. Unfortunately, the trip was not entirely without incident. Someone in Duluth mysteriously lost their telephone service that day, but we didn't wait around to claim responsibility for it.
Delphini arrived home safely for a date with the crane. I always think sailboats give a great sigh of relief when they are lifted off their cradle and settle into the water. Within a day she was launched, the mast stepped and the sails bent on.
|Can I breathe yet?|
|Mast up, sails on -- time for grins and refreshments|
Sunday and Monday we took her for our first cruise into Butler Lake with several other boats from the club. There were a few exciting moments as we learned the finer points of sailing our new boat and there was far too much wind the first time we hoisted the sails, but we and the boat survived and now we are very happy together!
|The boys on a test cruise|
|Crossing Butler Lake|
|Navigating Butler Creek|
Delphini is the boat of our dreams! We were looking for a boat that we could sail comfortably on our small lake for now, but seaworthy enough to go to the Caribbean someday. On our lake, a draft of much over four feet limits one's options. There is plenty of water in the main lake but our favourite anchorages lie through shallow creeks into smaller lakes and our harbour can be a problem in low-water years. Delphini is the perfect solution -- she has a swing keel and only draws 3'9" with the centreboard up -- perfect for Wabigoon Lake!
The Pearson 35 is an older design with a full keel and solidly built. She doesn't ghost along in a breath of wind like modern designs do, but when the wind is blowing 25 or 30 knots, she puts her shoulder down and fairly charges up the lake. Her size and weight give her a stately motion through the water that is much different than a smaller boat. The Pearson 35 is not a boat for crossing oceans or sailing around the world but is ideal for coastal cruising and the Caribbean. With her large cockpit and shallow draft, she has "The Bahamas" written all over her.
Delphini shows her stuff in a stiff breeze
The interior is very nice with a traditional layout and lot of teak and mahogany. The private head and separate cabins means we now have room to take friends out sailing with us and even have another couple stay overnight. Waking up on the lake in the early morning, to loons calling, eagles soaring and beavers splashing is incomparable.
|Pilot berth to starboard -- transom berth pulls out to double|
|Galley - starboard|
|Galley - port|