Naming the boat. I have never named a boat before. So I need to find the perfect name. So one day at lunch, the Diplomat group started throwing out names—some very silly, some clever and some just plain stupid. Then I thought about naming it after my mother Veronica (Ronnie) O’Malley. How about the “RonnieO”. I liked it. But after some thought I decided it was a bad choice and I should name it after my wife, Sharon Ann. Every once in a while Sharon will get mail sent to her under the name Sharona (Sharon A). So My Sharona stuck and that is the name of the boat.
March 15. It is time to order the boat. Since Mikey will be my co-captain I feel that it is important for him to be there when I order the boat. Mikey took a new position at Penske and works every Saturday. I received a notice that Pier 33 was holding an open house on March 15 and 16. Normally during the winter months they are closed on Sunday. So the plan is to leave by 10:00 a.m. on Sunday March 16. Sharon, Mikey, and I will make the trip to Pier 33 in St Joseph, Michigan.
March 16. It is a cold morning, 28 degrees. Not great boating weather. It is a clear blue sky. So it is a great day for a road trip. While the goal was to leave at 10 a.m., we finally got on the road at 10:30 a.m. I relinquish control and let Mikey do the driving. I am sitting in the back seat, reading the newspaper, looking at the Robalo brochure, and watching the scenery roll by. It is about two and a half hour drive from Arlington Heights to St. Joseph, which will put us there by 1 p.m. One problem, there is an hour time change. So estimated time of arrival is actually 2 p.m. We arrive at the show room and they have a Robalo R200 sitting in the showroom. What a beautiful boat, of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We walk around the boat and I go looking for Tighe Curran, the general manager. He is in his office with some other customers; I stick my head in and tell him we are here to buy a boat. I retreat back to the showroom and look at all the boats while we wait for our turn.
Tighe came and got us and took us into the office. So we go through the list of options. Choices need to be made: color, engine size, trim tabs, etc. So after more than two hours and a lot of discussion, we have the boat picked out. A boat that will be used for the Great Loop. An invoice is generated and the deposit is given.
We bought a boat. Of course, we needed to go look at the boat in the showroom one last time before we start the drive back to Arlington Heights.