Wow! What a feeling!
We have felt so many emotions since the morning of the launching. Someone who watched the launch from the webcam described it perfectly, ” . . . excitement / tension / joy / palpitations, and then finally to get onboard as the boat moves gently, floating in the water, finally, moving slowly in the wind and ripples.”
On the morning before the launch, I woke at 5:30 a.m. with my mind racing and my stomach in knots. It was so hard to believe we were actually going to hear the travel lift come for us this time. Every day spent in the boatyard, we had listened to the sound of the travel lift, and watched boat after boat going to and from the water. On this day, it was our turn.
Wil, on the other hand, was calm, cool and collected. He had said the words, “No worries, mon.” He had said that if the lift drops the boat, then he’ll have a bit of fiberglass work to do. We would deal with whatever came our way.
We managed to do all of the last minute preparations prior to the arrival of the travel lift. We even had time to drag our feet and have a leisurely lunch! We were more than ready. Wil and I were sitting on the scaffolding watching all of the yard activity, when we finally heard the sound of the travel lift motor. The lift moved slowly, but my heart raced.
The journey to the water’s edge went smoothly. Then, she was lowered into the water. With the boat still in the slings, we quickly boarded to check all thru hulls. All were good, except for a tiny trickle from the speed transducer. Wil was able to fiddle with it and the trickle stopped. Whew!
Once the boat was cleared for floating on her own, they released her from the slings and dragged her backwards to her spot at the dock. After three years of seeing her up on blocks with her bottom exposed, it was extremely satisfying to see her floating in the water again. Every time I look at her in the water, I feel like pinching myself to make sure that it’s not just a dream.
Since the launching, work has continued to be non-stop. On Saturday, I spent 4 hours at the top of the mast. I unjammed the tag line for the Genaker halyard, so we could raise the big foresail. We dropped 3 wires down the mast . . . the VHF antenna, the wifi antenna, and the new tricolor wire. Once the new wires were in the mast, I mounted the new VHF antenna and rewired the tricolor. There was more work to be done, but after 4 hours in the heat of the day, I was done.
On Sunday, it was Wil’s turn to go up the mast. He mounted the new radar dome, fed the radar wire down the mast, and cleaned the lower set of spreaders. The rest of the day was spent cleaning and organizing.
There was a big storm that hit our area later in the day. We learned of the storm when another catamaran took refuge at the dock behind us, and reported that the storm was producing 50 knot winds. Wil needed a trip to West Marine, but didn’t want to leave the boat because of the approaching storm. I told him to go, and that I would be fine. Before he left, we placed an extra spring line for extra security. Little did I know!
While Wil was gone, the battery alarm began sounding. I went into the engine room to turn off the charger. The kids were in the process of getting to the dock for a bathroom run. Suddenly, a burst of dark gray clouds came rushing in our direction. Their approach was like nothing I’ve ever seen! I’ve seen a lot of frontal walls approach, but this one was different. The wind went from almost nothing to at least 50 knots. What would normally be white caps on the waterway, were small waves. This was not going to be good. I yelled at Colin, who was already on the dock, to get back on the boat. The boat was pressed tightly against the dock with tremendous pressure on the fenders and fender boards. Our stern line (an old one) was stretched to almost breaking point. With wind blowing and rain pelting, I had to adjust a fender board and add an additional stern line. All kinds of things in the boat yard were being blown downwind. The mainsail on the catamaran behind us blew out of its sail cover. Later I learned that a local car ferry was blown onto the shoals, and it took 4 hours to get them off. We also heard that 80 mile per hour gusts had been reported. Wil had been safely inside the grocery store when the storm came rolling through. When he returned, we bombarded him with the details of our ordeal.
Monday was an extremely successful day. Both engines and the generator are given the thumbs up for running smoothly. There is a loose bolt on one coupler, but it seems okay to leave it alone until we return to the area in the fall. While Wil spent the day working with mechanic and the electrician, I ran the radar and wifi wires through the boat to the nav table.
Since all jobs done by the Jarrett Bay crew are completed, it’s time for us to throw off the dock lines. Tomorrow, we will use the borrowed wheels one last time to collect last minute provisions from town. If all goes according to plan, on Wednesday morning, we will say our good-byes to some wonderful and very special people at Jarrett Bay. We will miss the new friends we’ve made, but hope to see them again in the not too distant future.