Wednesday, 10 September 2008

off the dock!


It is September 7th, 2008 and we are at anchor in a little place called Clam Bay. We were going to anchor in Princess Bay, which is supposed to be extraordinarily nice, but the predicted wind would make that anchorage uncomfortable and possibly dangerous. So far, the predicted wind has not materialized.

We are finally under-weigh after a week’s delay. We had the mast pulled out of the boat in order to fix it and finish it up bright. A busy social schedule, only moderate motivation, a big nude art show to prepare for, and poor weather in August pushed our project back. We got the last coat of varnish on the mast and everything ready for re-stepping by September 2nd.

Wednesday the 3rd was a big day. We had a crane truck scheduled for early afternoon. Kyra was looking for a place to hide. She was nervous about stepping the mast and didn’t want to be around for the excitement. As we made our final preparations and we moved the boat to the end of the parking lot, Kyra overcame her fears and agreed not only to be around, but also agreed to guide the mast into its step at the keel of the boat.

We also recruited a number of folks from the marina to assist with the re-stepping. With everything in place, we sat around in Cecil’s cockpit waiting for the crane truck to show up. Cecil convinced Kyra that the job of the person at the step was potentially dangerous and volunteered to do that job himself. (In hindsight, Kyra wishes she had been an active participant in the process, and had not let boys tell her what she can and cannot do.)

There was a lot of interest from the guys on the docks. Kyra stood on the adjacent Harbour Ferry dock to take pictures. When the crane truck arrived, we leapt into action. Mark provided the crane operator with appropriate ‘up, stop, and down’ hand signals. Scott and Rod assisted me on deck guiding the mast through the deck and managing the standing rigging. 10 minutes after the crane truck arrived, the operator was driving away with a not too big wad of cash in his hand. The mast was standing! Nobody cried and nobody died.

We spent that evening slaving away, getting the sails bent on, the rig rough tuned, provisions provided, laundry laundered, that sort of thing. The next morning, we were off… sort of.
We pulled into Oak Bay after a very light-air sail then motor. We stopped there to put a new transducer in the boat. So, it was back up on the ways. It all felt very familiar after spending June hauled out.

We spent an evening with our friends Steven and Darusha, who were in Oak Bay for a final engine service before their big trip down the coast to Mexico and beyond. The next day was a scramble to get the transducer installed and to adjust the Hydrovane, self steering system before dropping the boat back in the water around 4:00pm. Since we had everything out of the lazarette, this meant it was a great time to sort and throw away a lot of stuff that had been packed in there. Somehow, after several trips to the dumpster, the lazarette was full when we were ready to go.

So, on Saturday, September 6th, at ten to noon, we finally, at long last, got off the dock. Our first port of call was to be Montague Harbour. There was no wind to speak of most of the way and we had a long way to go, so we motored the whole way. Kyra and I had both been pretty overwhelmed with everything involved in getting off the dock. Neither of us were the picture of patience on the way to Montague Harbour. Arguments would be resolved and forgiven just in time for another eruption. It was not the quietest trip we have taken, but we still liked each other after the anchor was set.

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