Head down bum up as we removed the last of the masking tape on Mico's deck after a two pack deck tread touch up this weekend, we found ourselves reflecting, somewhat tearily about the many adventures our vessel has had - both with us and previous owners.
Built in Maine USA in 1988, Mico was shipped to Germany where she spent a number of years sailing the Baltic, North Sea and then Mediterranean. She then changed hands and was sailed across the Atlantic back to the place of her birth where she spent a number of years sailing up and down the Eastern seaboard before ending up in Guatemala , South America.
It was in Guatemala that she was purchased by a young German couple working with the UN as circus performers (go figure)
who had never sailed before but with their 6 month child in tow, sailed her around to Belize before coming back through the Panama canal and crossing the Pacific to Papua New Guinea and South East Asia. They wrote a book about their exploits (in German and we are still translating) talking about their time entertaining villagers with fire eating and juggling skills.
Mico then went south to Australia where she was purchased by a coastal cruising couple who sailed up and down the East coast of Australia before she changed hands again.
We came across Mico while we were antifouling our 23' Swarbrick yacht we had built and sailed from Perth to Cairns. My wife saw her down in the holding dock and before we knew it, we were a two yacht family. Velella eventually sold and all our attention went to Mico. New engine, respray, new electrical loom, electronics, radar and auto-helm to name just a few gifts we lavished on her and before we knew it, we were off on our first blue water to Vanuatu and New Caledonia.
She forgave our inexperience and kept us safe and dry in some very heavy weather and bought us back home again to Cairns. A year later, after new plumbing and water-maker, she took us up to the Louisiaides in PNG and safely home once more where we've sailed up and down the coast between Cairns and the Whitsundays on many occasions.
Now she is for sale
We've purchased a 44 Antigua Ketch in Borneo and once again - find ourselves - a two yacht family.
The owners of the Antigua have spent 3 years sailing across the Pacific from the US and are going through their own grieving for the adventures they have had and the love they have bestowed on their vessel.
It struck me today that we are indeed fortunate to have owned, if just for a short time, a vessel like Mico and our hope is that she will be purchased by another couple who will care for her as much as we have.
In the end - taken care of and treated with love and respect, there is no reason why many of our cherished vessels can't outlive us into the next generation - carrying with them all the hopes, dreams, joys and adventures of their many owners.
And there is the rub...
If you think about it - we are not really owners are we?
Part of me thinks we're simply custodians, entrusted with a living, breathing entity that for a brief moment in time - gives life and light to our dreams and transports us to places and adventures unknown.