I’m excited to tell you about my new 45-foot yacht. Well, okay, it’s not mine. But it cruised into my life last week and decided to be a main character in the novel I’m writing at the moment.

I had already outlined this novel, of course, and knew it featured a power boat able to travel from Central America to Canada. I knew who owned it, who was on it, what was going on onboard and where it was heading. I knew that when my teenage protagonist decides to stow away on it for an adventure, he has no idea what he’s getting into.

What I didn’t know was exactly what my boat looked like. I had a friend trying to help me. I’d narrowed it down. I was cruising Google for photos of the boat. I was spending time viewing YouTube videos that feature virtual tours of boats for sale. I was talking to boating organizations; I even posted an item on a boaters’ site asking for a tour of the boat I had in mind. No takers. 

I got to the point where my writing was on hold because I needed to see, smell, touch and feel this boat. Then she cruised into my bay and anchored for a couple of days. That’s her, I said!

I garnered all the courage I had and grabbed my kayak paddle. I paddled out with a plate of fresh-baked cookies, an autographed copy of one of my books, and a notebook, pen and camera. I asked if I could have a tour.

Whew! They welcomed me aboard, they answered my questions, they let me poke around and take pictures. They offered to send me specs and answer future questions by email.

Now I’m writing again, and they’ll eventually get an autographed copy of the book. Wow, the things a writer has to do! And thank goodness that boaters are so friendly.