Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Big Haul Out

A new adventure.  River Forest Yachting Center (AKA: The Hurricane Club) is Steadfast's new home for the next 9 months.  So sad to say good bye to our darling boat, but she is safely berthed in a "hurricane proof" pavilion, where she will gently rest in climate controlled comfort until we see her again next November.  This marina comes with all the latest amenities.

Nelson and I watched 50 kayak paddlers training on the St. Lucie River while Buz was changing the oil on the engines.  We worked hard for two full days getting things ship-shape for storage.  Nelson was very hard at work taking walks, chasing balls, basking in the sunshine on his fake grass mat and demanding we play with him.  I had the galley to strip, the linens to wash, the bilges to pump out and clean and various odd and assorted jobs on my to-do list.  Buz had the lion's share of the ugly work:  outboard engine to mess with (read: who knows what he was doing?), generator oil change and other "stuff" (which falls into aforementioned category.)  He changed the oil and filters on both Yanmar main ship engines. 

 I got an emergency page from below.

"Help me quick!"  An oily hand emerged out of the depths clutching something weird.  "My filter wrench broke!" 

A word to the wise for future reference:  make friends with the crews on big boats.  They are unfailingly helpful and have HUGE engine rooms, LOADS of nefarious tools and OODLES of spare parts they always seem willing to share.

Second word to the wise:  It is almost always more helpful to send a woman in a bathing suit to ask for help than to go yourself if you are covered in sweat, besmirched with grease and in an ugly mood.

Not only did Wesley from m/v Surya offer a bigger, stronger wrench to match the job, he came himself and spent 45 minutes crawling around in our engine room helping out a boater in dire need.  Bless his sweet heart.  We gave him homemade cookies and the harvest from our basil patch.  He will be rewarded, as is his due, in heaven.

When everything was as clean and tidy as we could get it, it was time to be hauled out.  If you have never seen it done, it's exciting.  If this is a usual practice, it's old hat, but still worth a picture or two.

In the water, a 47 foot boat doesn't look that big, but check out the man standing near the back tires....our boat looks enormous in proportion to him.

Now we come to the BIG QUESTION

The focus of this blog has been the cruising life, away from winter, in the Bahamas.  What happens to my blog now?  I can keep writing and taking pictures of boating things from home.  I live on Lake Ontario, and there is a marina within walking distance of our house.  Still, life is different on land.  Now it's all about gardens, dogs, the buisness, and life in general. 

I love blogging.  Let's see what people say.  Should I keep it going?  Should I wait for the next boating season?  Do I have to start all over with a  new blog? 

 Comments are very much needed now.  If ever you thought about writing here, now is your big chance.  I need to know.
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