Exactly 1 week after the money from the sale of Life’s TraVails, Our Great Loop Boat, was in the bank, with our next intention being to start looking at RVs to begin touring our National Parks…surprise…we made an offer on a boat in Seattle. We had always wanted to cruise the San Juan Islands and Alaska’s Inside Passage. And Paula knew her boating fun bucket was not full yet. Tom decided he would like a newer, smaller boat with less work required.
We found The Secret, a DeFever 49 RPH (Raised Pilot House), which some say is the perfect boat for cruising the Pacific Northwest (PNW). We were drawn to The Secret partly because she was a DeFever, the brand we had come to love over the last 6 and a half years while doing the Great Loop, even though she was 5 years older (1980) and 5 feet longer (49 feet) than Life’s TraVails. (What happened to newer and smaller?) Residing in Phoenix for over 20 years has made us wimps when it comes to cold weather and the RPH is a fully-enclosed driving station up 4 steps from the main level, with great visibility. Then there is also a flybridge, similar to Life’s TraVails, up another 2 levels from which we could drive on really nice days if we preferred.
Unfortunately, the husband of the couple who owned the boat had died 2 years previously, and the boat had sat untouched during that time. There were cobwebs and spiders everywhere, inside and out…but we thought it had a lot of potential. Oh well, older and bigger. Wasn’t that what we said we wanted? We did find some dry rot on the bottom of the dinghy deck during our initial inspection, and the boat repair guy, John Thomas, found it to be more extensive than we thought. So one of the first things on the list is to have John, who happens to own a wooden DeFever 57’, take a “couple of months” to do the repair. Well, the work was even more extensive than was visible at first glance and the repairs ended up taking until September of 2021. For a number of reasons, we sold The Secret in September of 2022 with plans to move to the next adventure in our lives…a land yacht (RV) to explore the National Parks across America.
Why the name, you ask? It was The Secret when we bought it and we assumed we would rename it Life’s TraVails II, but Paula sort of liked the name. First, there were likely no boaters on the West Coast who would have ever heard of Life’s TraVails, so that wouldn’t matter. And actually, we fleetingly thought, “Maybe we won’t tell our non-boating friends we bought another boat. They’ll think we’re crazy.” Next, when a boating friend heard the name, her first thought was of Jesus, the “secret” who revealed God to us. Luke 8:10 says, He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, ‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’”