Once we finally took ownership
of Viridian she had to be sailed from
the marina in the Manatee River, across Tampa Bay and into Salt Creek to Embree
Marine. We rigged up a navigation station using an iPad with free SeaIQ
nav software, mounted it to a make shift support on the fly bridge, rigged a
power cable and plotted our course. This was the first time we had sailed
our boat with just the two of us aboard. The weather was perfect and we
had our charts and electronic nav station and an appointment at Embree Marine.
I can remember the feeling when Meg threw off the last line and Viridian was in my hands -
"High-Anxiety". We idled out of Rivera Dunes Marina, into the
Manatee River and headed due west into Tampa Bay. Three hours later we
arrived at the mouth of Salt Creek where the Coast Guard Auxiliary Station is.
Salt Creek wound around and got really narrow as we approached the dock
at Embree. I pulled Viridian along
the dock wall and two deck hands were there to help tie off.
That's the news and here's the views:
We hired two surveyors, one for the
hull and the other one for the engine. We boarded and cruised over to
Snead Island Boat Works to have Kaleidoscope
hauled for a hull inspection. Coming back she was put through several
tests to check engine parameters and inspect all systems while underway to make
sure everything was in working order. The engine surveyor spent two hours
that morning taking oil samples and started with a cold engine. His
assistant photographed every nook and cranny for the final survey report.
Kaleidoscope passed with only a few
minor fixes and one major fix, new fuel tanks. The owners had a new
bottom job done on Kaleidoscope so it
passed with flying colors. Now all we need to do is come up with a new
Our boat was named Kaleidoscope from the original owner.
This is not a name we want to be remembered by. They say that
people on the Loop don't always remember names of people but they do tend to
remember the names of boats. If you have never tried to come up with a
name for a boat then you can't appreciate the struggle we had coming up with
"the name". After several weeks of tossing out names, phrases,
and silly stuff, we hit on a name that would sit right with both of us.
We blended my favorite color and Meg's favorite color (green/blue) and
came up with the color name "Viridian".
Also, viridian is the color of the water along the Alabama and Florida
Gulf Coast. Perfect. Now we have a name for our boat that is part
of our journey and us.
After years of searching, studying and dreaming we have finally found
the boat to take on the adventure of a lifetime - America's Great
Loop. This is a Grand Banks 36 Classic trawler. It is docked in the
Manatee River in Bradenton, FL close to St. Petersburg. She needs a few
"fixes" before we bring her home to North Alabama on the Tennessee
River. The journey around the "Loop" will begin in October 2017 when
we sail out of Ditto Landing in Huntsville, AL for a 6000 mile trip
around the "Great Loop".