I don't think I'd ever seen anything quite like it before. There was a light rain falling at the time--as there often is in the Pacific Northwest--and I was walking down the long dock at Skyline Marina in Anacortes, Washington. And the vision ahead seemed like pure romance, or maybe pure cinematic romance is more like it. I swear. Had Humphrey Bogart himself swung open the watertight door of the buff-colored superstructure and stepped out into the chilly air to study the sky and pull up the collar of his pea coat, I wouldn't have been a bit surprised.
I stopped at the stern (see below) and just stood there for a moment. In the meantime, the owner of the old commercial fishing boat turned yacht, Mr. Alan Buchan (an American with a deeply plaid and Scottish heritage) came up behind. Sensing his approach, I turned around.
"I guess you might like to come aboard," he said with a smile, somehow pitching his words halfway between a statement of fact and a question.
The fabulously salty story of Alan's Radiant Star (along with numerous pictures of her interior) will appear in the October issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine. There will be some pictures of her engine room as well, and of course her Gardner 8L3B 8-In-Line diesel engine (see below), a gorgeous old behemoth built in 1975 that never missed a beat while Radiant rounded Cape Horn.
For those of you who are truly into marine diesels and the sound they make I add here a short video of Alan and the Gardner. She's not all that loud. Come on--turn the volume on your computer up to the maximum and have at it!