USA-26 One Life J/99

NOW it looks like a sailboat!

It’s been an interesting journey to get to this point. If you suffer from insomnia or are a blog-o-holic, and have read the 18 months documented here, you may have some guesses to what I mean… Fear the J/99 is too much boat for me, worry the hull is too showy, the frankly mind-numbing process of making the purchase decision with next to no hard information — it all wears on a person.

I told myself I’d put all this behind me when I signed the finance paperwork. At that point, after all, it’s far too late to get cold feet so you might as well enjoy it.

But then comes the commissioning work, daily reminders you’re buying a brand new design and nobody has even basic information, and the avalanche of things even a careful planner like me flat out forgets when you’re outfitting a boat from scratch.

I’ve been pretty much haunting the gang at CSR the last two weeks (sorry, guys). My push to get information on baseline rig tune has me pestering everyone from other J/99 owners on LinkedIn to J/Boats execs to well, let’s just say I probably crossed a few lines in the last few days (sorry, guys).

In short, the zen I felt after signing the financial paperwork evaporated over the last couple of weeks…

One of my favorite skippers (Lek D. who owns J/80 Underdog) pinged me on FB today saying he saw my mast going up. I knew it was scheduled today, but the confirmation still set my heart racing.

Boom in the cradle yesterday, ready to be stepped

Work drug by today, made worse by being one of those days where the inbox lit up just as I was ready to dash out the door. Despite an atypically large gaggle (even for Seattle) of Prius drivers enthusiastically exercising their sanctimonious right to drive everywhere 10mph under the speed limit demonstrating a complete lack of empathy for anyone else…

(Oops. Was I using my outside voice again right there?)

… I made it over to CSR before they closed the gates for the day.

Spar she blows!
Boom, there she is! Anybody wanna Vang Chung tonight?

(Yes, I am listening to 80s tunes as I type this…)

To be honest, I’m glad nobody was around when I climbed up. I’m not sure I could have put one, much less two, coherent words together. The rigging isn’t 100% done, but just seeing the mast on her was…. wow.

I was busy being simultaneously agog (holy moly is that mast big!) and excited, when I noticed this:

“Noticed what?,” you might reasonably ask, seeing nothing particularly remarkable in the picture.

The coiled and stowed main sheet. Coiled and stowed just like I’ve done dozens of times. Coiled and stowed just like it is on nearly any boat I’ve ever sailed on. Just hanging there.



Just like any other boat.

Right then? All the fear just went away. She’s just a boat. A boat just like the J/105s I crewed on. A boat just like J/80 Reckless I drove all last year. A boat just like my first sailing love, Dragonfly, that I raced singlehandled all up and down the damn Sound last year and that Kris and I spend hours and hours doublehanding the last few summers. Just a boat.

I got this…

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