An Altered Course

Back in the early 90’s, I fell in love with Hans Christians and eventually secured our first lady, Soul Balladeer in 2012. She is a HC 44 PH and we were the second owners of the little ship. The previous owner had ordered her from the factory and taken delivery in 1980.

These vessels tend to become part of the family and for the next 3 decades the first owners of Soul Balladeer lived out their adventures with her.

It comes to pass , however, that every sailor succumbs to the relentless march of time. It is unnoticeable at first, but through the years using the phrase, “jumping aboard”, seems to no longer adequately describe the event.  There is denial of course, as the love of the adventure overshadows the steady decline of both mistress and mates.

Then, the day seems to suddenly arrive when the clenched hand of ownership begins to ease.

This is a day that was never discussed. Family is forever.

Yet, the unspoken truth is that everyone agrees that it is indeed, time.  Tears are shed when papers are signed as the realization that the last adventure has already transpired pulls at the heart. The consolation that she has been passed to another who appreciates her beauty and strength, softens the blow.

And so, our adventure with Soul Balladeer began.

The years of decline had to be addressed with Soul Balladeer and , over the course of 7 years, she was brought back to strength. Mechanically she became a new little ship and her cosmetics were scheduled for a makeover in the fall of 2019. We had fun times with Soul Balladeer in between the project upgrades. The long term cruising plan was getting closer on the horizon.

Then I met Jim.

Jim is a great person who has a tremendous amount of experience as a maritime engineer. He has been on the ocean for decades and is appreciative of the seaworthiness of Hans Christian yachts. He also is a prolific songwriter.

Jim wanted a pilothouse that could take a heavy sea and one that he could live on while tending to his business venture on the coast. They are hard to find. Initially I was helping Jim find another HC 44ph as ours was not for sale. Eventually, I thought that perhaps Soul Balladeer would be better suited to Jim’s needs, as she is a perfect vessel for the PNW in all seasons. After discussing at length, I agreed to let Soul Balladeer go to her new home with the caveat that I could secure another Hans Christian that showed well and was Canadian registered. I knew there were a few Hans Christians on the BC coast, but to find one in  great condition was a difficult task….or so I thought.

Jim immediately mentioned ” Ballymack”. He had passed her on the dock in Vancouver for years while walking to his slip. She was a beautiful HC 48T he assured me, and so the wheels were set in motion to see if this could all be put together.

It is now the eve of the closing sales of both Soul Balladeer and Ballymack. On July 2, 2019, Jim will begin his adventure with Soul Balladeer and Denise and I, well, we will fall in love all over again with Ballymack. Although the two vessels are built for very different purpose, they are Hans Christians that have been loved in the past and will continue to be in the future.  A heartfelt “thank you” goes out to Mike, the current owner of Ballymack, for maintaining her to the highest standards.

Jim will be taking over Soul Balladeer’s webpage in the next few weeks and I have started putting Ballymack’s blog together.

Next post will be as the new owner of Ballymack… in the meantime, here is a short clip of Ballymack stretching her legs:

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