At the moment in our house there is an air of excitement, nervousness, and anxiety as we countdown the hours until our beautiful 1936 wooden sailing yacht returns to the water tomorrow.
Last year having a boat was just a dream. We didn't know really what we wanted and we had a plan to save money until we knew what we wanted. Then we were very lucky to have a sum of money fall into our laps and our dream was so close to becoming a reality.
We were able to widen our search and to afford a boat which before would have taken us a few years to save up for. Again, we were very lucky to be able to afford this boat and whenever we visit her at her current location we almost have to pinch ourselves that she is OURS, to KEEP.
We are not at all smug, we are not at all flash, we are just very proud.
Proud not only about owning a boat and finding something to learn and do as a family, something we hope the boys will love so much that they will want to eventually join in with races in their own boats and maybe even do with their own families.
But also proud of the history we now own. It's not just a boat. Or a yacht if you want to use the proper name.
It's a boat with a lot of history, built in boat sheds not too far away from us, in a town which means a lot to us. Built in boat sheds that are no longer standing.
A boat that was loved so much by it's previous owners that they spent a few years restoring her, making her beautiful, making her a little bit different to other boats, but keeping that classic, traditional feel.

And now it's our turn. And we feel we have a responsibilty to love her as much as they did. To keep her looking her best.

It's odd owning a boat. It's not like owning a car. There's a real emotional attachment. A real element of trust and getting to know each other so you have complete trust in each other.
We need to trust that she will sail well, and she needs to trust that we will sail well too.
I knew from the moment my husband stood on her to look inside that he had fallen in love with her. A smile filled his face and didn't leave.
He constantly talked about her, despite the fact we had said we wouldn't get emotionally attached to any boats until we have really explored our options and seen fibreglass ones as well as wooden ones.
I was too scared to go on her at the first visit but on the second I climbed up the step ladder and gracefully stepped over the side and on board, and I knew we had to have her.
I felt that rush of love that my husband clearly had too.
It was almost unbelieveable when my husband told me our offer had been accepted.
"We've just bought a boat" he told me at 9pm. I was unaware that he had been emailing the broker all afternoon and we had reached a deal.

I remember taking Charles up to meet her, Harry had seen her a couple of times already but Charles hadn't as he had been in school. As he saw her he smiled, and as he stepped on board his smile grew even bigger. His eyes were glowing and I knew he felt it too. He loved her.
Of course the boys don't understand completely about the history of her, Harry especially, Charles knows she is old and very special but we will remind them all the time of how lucky we are to own such a wonderful piece of history.

Thankfully she didn't need much work done to her, just a bit of paintwork and varnishing. I say a bit, my husband has worked so hard and has been spending a lot of time sanding her down, varnishing and painting, to the point that his hands were sore. But she looks amazing. We are so proud to say she is ours, and I am so proud of the work he has done, especially as we are first time boat owners and haven't sailed before!

Tomorrow is the big day. The day she returns to the water.
She will look completely different to how she does now. A lot smaller as half of her will be hidden within the Norfolk Broads.
We are anxious. Quite rightly so.
What if we have missed a gap in the wood and she leaks? We want a boat in the water, but not completely submerged.
We are yet to see her with the mast and sails up and of course have a fear that there might be something wrong there.
We knew buying her could be risky. And all of these worries are natural and just add to the adventure and excitement.

Tomorrow our dream takes an even bigger step to becoming reality.
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