Well, my posts here on this blog tell you the story of the last decade or so- a surge of enthusiasm in January, keep it up for Feb, then, er, another post in June, then.... wow, is it 2013 already?
A couple of weeks ago I had to finally concede that I'm never going to find the time to refit Anetka the way I'd like (ie a total rebuild from the hull up.) A young family and work commitments make it even less likely as time goes by.
So, the deal was done last week. A young fellow with more energy and time than me collected the keys and has already started remodeling Anetka into his dream home. Follow http://tugboattwitch.blogspot.co.uk/ for his progress, he's done more in a week than I did in the last 10 years..
My 15 year relationship with Anetka has finally come to a close, but I think we've parted on good terms- it seems kinder that she is finally being used and loved by someone rather than rusting away waiting for me to start work on her. Even if she never again steams down the Thames under her own power, as I so often dreamed of.
Thankfully, the new owner has no intention of messing with her lines; he's keeping the exterior totally original, which I'm really, really pleased about (I hate those angular plywood deckhouses you see plonked on top of so many beautiful boats.)
In some ways, the best thing about owning Anetka wasn't anything to do with the boat herself, it was that she gave me a passport into dozens of boatyards, wharves and towage firms (including trips out on big commercial tugs,) from the Solent to the Tyne, to which I would never have had access without first striking up a conversation about my little tug. I'll be forever grateful to her for that alone.
So long, old girl..