A Travellerspoint blog

Liftoff 2011

sunny 36 °F

The boat went back into the water a week ago. We have been working to try to get ready to get underway and to ensure that the boat is ready to do so. It seems strange. A couple of years ago we knew bupkis about the boat and boating and had no trepidations about leaving; we were dumb and happy. Now, having two years of cruising experience and having learned lots about all aspects of boating, it's harder to pull the trigger. We are more aware of the issues and fail points and what could go wrong. It's a boat so there are no guarantees; it may not go but it won't sink, we hope.

Anyway, we've been running the boat and checking things out. The problems that we have found have been minor. A small oil leak ... time to tighten a few bolts on the oil pan. The fuel gauge did not work .... we checked with Beneteau to see if switched sender wires could be the problem (it could) and that there would not be an explosion if that was not the problem (the system is low voltage). Changing the wires worked and the boat didn't blow up. The shower drain would not work. It took a few hours to trace the problem: about 10-pounds of red dog hair at a narrow junction point. Wile E will be part of this boat long after the call has come for the sea to give up its dead.

Two new things to add to the worry list: the transmission has made very strange sounds a couple of times when moving into reverse; we seem to have a very small cooling system leak near the water heater. I think that it has been there a long time but worry that the drop a day could become a gusher.

So now the most pressing things to do prior to leaving are to (1) remember to return the library books and (2) convince Carol that the boat is not a democracy, where everyone has free speech and gets a vote, and it's not the book club where everyone's feelings matter. She still struggles with the captain/crew roles. The other day she informed me that the thing that I least wanted to happen had, in fact, happened. On the boat the phrase, the thing that I least wanted to happen, covers a lot of territory and encompasses a lot of serious downside. In this case it meant that Carol continued to keep her cosmetics in the head, above the toilet. She had ignored my admonition to keep the lid closed, imagine that, and a tube of lipstick had gone into the toilet, down and around the corner. It was small enough to slide down easily; it was big enough that it could not be retrieved. So, the net result was a full day devoted to disassembling the toilet and, while I was at it, doing a complete rebuild.

We've been enjoying the new canvas around the cockpit. Carol has insisted on dinner up there several times; we had folks over for drinks one night, a sort of memorial for Ed; he would have approved. Ray and Susan came over the other day. He looks pretty good; he's put on a little weight; he's half-way through chemo. We're pulling for him, but not to worry; he's a former recon marine and they're way tougher than cancer.

On Monday, 01/24, we went for a test drive, a mile or so down the East River and back. Everything seemed to work really well. We've taken on the extra water and fuel in the jerry cans; everything is secured. So it's just a matter of weather. It's about 230 straight line nautical miles to Vero Beach; so, it will take something in the area of 48 hours to get to there. With transit time to and from the sea buoys .... three days, two nights on an ocean cruise. And, the tickets are free since we own the cruise line. What could be better than that!

The work/preparation was done Monday; Tuesday we got 40 days and nights of rain in about 12 hours; Wednesday it BLEW! ... 30~35 knots in the morning. So today, Thursday, is the day. We sail on the tide (I've always wanted to say that) at dawn's first light, about 0645. Actually, we'll motor for a few hours until we get to open water and then run out the sails. It's a bit of dramatic license but I feel like I've earned it.

Posted by sailziveli 05:39 Archived in USA Tagged boating

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