Our Sea Beast,
Her full given name is Drakkar, which is an ancient viking word for longship, NOT to be confused with the modern word for a tacky cologne. After a few rounds of Should-We-Change-Her-Name we allllmost settled on Falcor. After all, what child of the 80's wouldn't want to soar away on the nostalgic wings of that furry white luck dragon? But Drakkar grew on us like barnacles on a shipwreck, and admittedly I was wary of offending Neptune if we didn't follow the laborious purification of a proper renaming ceremony.
Drakka is a 29' Columbia sea beast, born in 1977 (or 1777; it's hard to say). C found her in Groton, CT, where she'd been hibernating for a year or two in the care of Joe the Dragon Keeper, who had been sailing her around since 2009.
In early May, on a lovely spring day, we brought our sea creature to life. C and I were both sick, though his miraculous metabolism has the bounce-back of a sand flea whereas I was floating around in a dreamy congested stupor throughout this thrilling culmination.
First her new tail needed to be attached. A weighty thing requiring much maneuvering, hammering and bolting. Thank goodness she was still asleep, as one can only imagine the ire all that jostling might have provoked!
A towering dinosaur on four wheels with impressive lifting power, let's call him a Hoistadon, came along and scooped Drakka right up into his loopy arms. We attached her tail in his lovin' cradle, then giddily followed them down to the water's edge. Old timers at the yacht club thought it was real cute that we were taking pictures, "First time, eh?" At the dock the Hoistadon rolled out on two side ledges and lowered Drakka down into the murky marina water. Next a pterodactyl came along with her spine and wing bones, and suspended them overhead while we scrambled to connect them all.
Bugger of all buggers! C, Me, Joe and our fellow marina aids began to scratch our heads. The bones were tangled and the joints didn't fit! Being the loving new parents that we are, we had had shiny new joints manufactured and they were a mere millimeter off. A fish scale discrepancy! An infinitesimal seashell calcium deposit difference! But hell no they were not going to budge. Thus ensued an acrobatic event of old bone disassembly and reconnections. Imagine someone taking all your bones apart and then trying to put a tibia in your elbow and an ulna in your kneecap. Half her exoskeleton was already up when we realized, and in the end we even had to sweet talk the pterodactyl into raising up one of the crew to switch out some ligaments up top. Madness! At last we sorted out her femurs and lemurs, her fibias and bibias, and prepared to start up her guts.
On this blessed launch day, with Joe the Dragon Keeper by our side, she came to life as easy as a sail in the breeze. Gurgle gurgle gurgle ROOAArrrr!! All at once Drakka was a living, breathing sea dragon. It's REAL. All the projection, all the hope and expectation, all the money (and I mean ALL the money), all the trepidation, and this nutty dream we stirred up last autumn was a salty, greasy reality.
There is a unique flavor of terror in a dream coming true, do you know what I mean? You give a dream this enormous margin for failure, expecting it will probably remain a dream. Then suddenly that tang smacks you on the tongue and knocks your senses off their seats. I reached for something, and now I grasp it. What else might I be capable of! Ack! Quick, go back to the couch and turn on Captain Ron, this dream-lassoing stuff is way too empowering. Not that we singlehandedly (dualhandedly?) made this dream a reality - goodness knows we had a lot of help and good fortune. Yet here we are: C, Me, & She. And the waiting sea.