We are now the proud owners of a sailing boat! Our offer was accepted, and all that remained was the survey and sea trial. This meant more trips down from Aberdeen to Ipswich to meet and talk with the surveyor, arrange the lift out to look at her bottom, and try her out for real in the sea. The indignity of looking at the bottom of a lady of the seas wasn’t lost on us! Nevertheless, she suffered all this in silence and passed our probing investigations with flying colours, with only a temporary concern due to relatively high moisture readings in the hull. However, this turned out to be just transient moisture due her being in the water over the winter, and she rapidly returned to near normal values once she had had a chance to dry out on land for a week.
She had a few little jobs to be done as part of the purchase agreement, primarily work on the rudder, but eventually all was ready, and she was ready for handover.
The big challenge now she was ours was to get her back to the west coast of Scotland somehow. Our cunning plan was to spend most of the summer doing this, sailing clockwise around Britain – along the south coast of England, and up the Irish Sea to Scotland. We had thought of going up the east coast and round through the Caledonian Canal, which surprisingly was about the same distance, but we thought that the western route would be more scenic despite heading into predominantly south-westerly winds along the south coast.