Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Monday, May 18, 2015
As Ashley has mentioned, we did it, we finally freakin' did it!! The ol' girl is back in the Salt Water and life is good. It seemed not all that long ago when we said to ourselves, in two-three years, maybe, just maybe we will be able to move the boat to the coast, and now here it is. I just hope the next few years go by just as fast to when we can finally cast off the lines and head South for good. Go explore all the islands, anchorages and sights that we read about so often in other blogs. I suppose, that this is all just part of the Journey and as any sailor knows, it isn't about the destination, but the adventure getting to the destination. The next few years will be exciting and we will be able to explore the coast of Florida and eventually the Bahamas. I have slowly grown to really appreciate the fact that we have been able to do this so far at such a relatively young age. At our new home, we are by far the youngest of the 120 some liveaboards and not just by a few years, but at least 20. Most all are retired and finally living out their dreams so for us to do so in our early thirties is truly a gift I appreciate. It hasn't been easy, but we set our minds to it and never looked back
Getting prepared for our move took vast amounts of planning and the help of a lot of good friends. I traded a car hauler trailer I had for an enclosed trailer. The plan was to use the trailer to haul all of our goodies we stripped off the boat for shipping and then it could be used as a portable storage unit in Florida. It is packed full of tools and boat parts as well as our bicycles. So far it was worked out great and when needed, we will just sell it.
On Lake Murray, our sail club is the only place that has a Gin pole for raising / lowering masts. This Gin pole consists of a telephone pole approximately 50 feet high with blocks on top to winch up or down a mast. This works great as long as you have an army of very willing people to help lower the mast then carry it to a good resting spot. It's a very precarious operation and usually several cold beverages are needed to calm the boat owner's nerves and to bribe the people helping. As many like to brag, hundreds of masts have been raised and lowered (Typically while drinking) and no limbs or boats have been lost yet. The great People of Windward Point Yacht Club were very helpful in lowering our huge mast and I cannot thank them enough. The kindness of fellow sailors never ceases to amaze me.
I took the time while the mast was down to do some work to it. I ran new wires for the lights, installed new spreader lights. Replaced the blocks and ran new halyards and did a few other small projects. Our cockpit enclosure was finally finished the day before we left and we packed up the whole show into the trailer. We spent the last week in town saying goodbye to many dear friends many of whom I've known for most of my life. All were glad to see us off on this adventure, but they will certainly be missed.
On Monday morning, Ashley and I cast off the lines for the last time at WPYC. It was a beautiful crisp morning as we motored our way an hour up the lake to the marina where the truck was meeting us. A few of our friends and my father drove up to see the operation. It took about 3 hours to finally load the boat onto the trailer, but it went smooth and Paul from Tritan Yachts was fantastic as usual. From there we had lunch with my father and we left to head south for 7 hours to our hotel in Cocoa Beach. A flat tire at the very start slowed the show, but we quickly got it changed and got on the road. It was a hurried time and busy, but we were finally off, it was really happening.