Splashdown!

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This whole adventure may have been a bit premature. I still had (have) a lot of work to do.
But, I had to put a stake in the ground. This was getting to be a real mental challenge not to mention spending every night at the boat was making me feel like a foreigner at home. I was aching to get the boat in the water and get some sailing time in before the season ended.

WP_000054 (Medium).jpgSo I committed to having the boat picked up on August 2. That forced my hand and over the weeks leading up to the 2nd, I had to scrape up every ounce of time I could to get things done. No weekend family activities. No dinner at home. And stealing away from work as discreetly as possible.

The guys at Watergate wanted me to have everything out of the shelter by the 31st. Up to that point, I worked frantically to check things off the list. I installed all the deck hardware. Finished rebuilding the forward hatch. Installed all the helm components. Painted the bottom. Attached the whisker stays to the bowsprit (should have done the bobstay too, but that's another story). Installed cockpit drain hoses. And probably a bunch of other stuff.
On top of that, I had to cart everything out of the enclosure: anchors, chain and rode, tools, life jackets, trash, etc. I was up until 4 a.m. on the 31st. The next day, the guys at Watergate Marina moved the shelter away from the boat.

And I still have a lot to do. Mostly electrical. I kept trying to get the electrical stuff done, but these other must-do things kept getting in the way. So when we got to Barker's, we had no electricity. Not even juice to start the 100_8895 (Medium).jpgengine.

I went to Watergate around 7:30 a.m. just before the guy from Cross Country showed up. I was pretty impressed with his attention to detail. For instance, when he secured the mast he first wraped a small piece of plastic around it then used duct tape on top of the plastic. That way the glue from the tape didn't get stuck all over the mast.

I had planned to follow the truck up to Superior, but I had agreed to let Emma have a sleep over with friends the night before and I had to pick her up. Also had to get her two friends Emma (braces) and Olivia. On top of that, while I was at Watergate watching the boat get loaded, this old dude (Bob) struck up a conversation with me and convinced me to come down and have a look at his boat. He was a real charmer, so I couldn't say no. The truck left as I was hanging out with Bob.

Emma was actually really excited about going and was ready to leave right away. We picked up her friends and took off. It was really great having them along. What a fun bunch of girls. They had a great attitude. The first night we were in Barker's, they slept in the cockpit. It rained the next night, so they slept in the van. On Friday, I drove them in to Duluth and let them hang out there for as long as they wanted. They loved it. They spent most of their time in Canal Park and actually went swimming at the 'beach' there. Freakin' northern girls. Thick blooded.

100_8903 (Medium).jpgMinna, Celia and Sonja showed up on Saturday. After a late breakfast, Minna took everyone up to Gooseberry Falls for the day. On Sunday she took them to Splitrock Lighthouse.

Meanwhile, I spent a lot of time getting the electrical stuff done as well as rigging the mast. Got the betteries installed and was able to fire up the trusty Yanmar. I was really surprised when it started right up. I don't even think it made one full revolution before it started. This is after it hasn't been run for 2 years! On Sunday I got the mast all rigged. Installed wind transducer and did some rewiring of lights. I would have had it stepped, but I was missing a single 5/8" clevis pin. It was at home in a pocket of the shorts I had been wearing when I was working until 4 a.m. at Watergate. So I guess that means we have to go back up there

100_8915 (Medium).jpgI need to say something about the guys at Barker's Island. I was blown away at how friendly they were. Coming from a marina where they put the 'cuss' in 'customer service' at Hansen's Harbor, to this place was like heaven. At every turn they were asking if we needed anything.

Barker's is the biggest marina on the Great Lakes. And their reputation is fantastic. I can see why.

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This page contains a single entry by Rick published on August 8, 2012 12:25 AM.

The Home Stretch was the previous entry in this blog.

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