First days with Aldebaran

In Channel Islands harbor.

I had always longed for the speed and stability of a trimaran, and here was a beautiful 42ft example. For sale.

I took a picture and emailed it to my mom. “Aldebaran!” She said over the phone. “That’s the name of your great-uncle’s boat!” He was a family legend, having sailed from Brazil to Greece and back.

Oh-oh. I was having misgivings about tending to such a large seabird, with its gentle wings and soft underbelly. Now with family synchronicity it would be harder to remain impartial.

The seller was a well-meaning landlubber, but had left the boat in disarray. In contrast, the past owners had treated her like a crown jewel. She was a tired princess, having dressed luxuriously to the ball, then left to sleep for years in the barn, dirty and dishevelled.

There is a certain charm to worn out glory, one that you imagine might return with some buffing and polishing, one that I found irresistibly bringing me back.