Sunday, June 14, 2009

She's In The Water!

All week "they" predicted rain with clearing Friday and through the weekend - perfect! We spent all day on a drizzly Thursday completing projects that had to be done before we could put aCappella in the water - tightening every hose clamp, spraying the shafts with anti-fouling paint, cleaning strainers, loading supplies, bleeding fuel tanks - lots of stuff. By the time we left she was in the slings waiting to be launched on Friday morning at 6:30 am. Nothing would stop us now.

Well, on Friday morning we woke to pouring rain and headed out with dogs in tow for our early launching - it's a 90 minute drive. We ended up soaked but it all went pretty smoothly. The rain never let up so we just started in on our to-do list - de-winterizing the water system, cleaning and organizing inside, checking the heat, frig, stove, heads, and on and on. Of course, we forgot to bring the "magic mat" (see our article on training dogs for the "poop deck", Canine Crew) - it wasn't on "the list" - so the dogs were not cooperating with their bathroom chores.

Once the boat was secure at the dock, I headed out to bring back breakfast along with the dogs - it was really pouring by then. Seeing the very steep (low tide with our 10 foot tides) ramp I decided that holding on to two Labs while carrying coffee and breakfast sandwiches was not a good idea, so I let them off leash at the top to run down by themselves - what could go wrong? Spry Dylan went down like a bullet - mainly a slightly controlled free-fall. Dyna followed behind. Half way down her back foot caught in a drain hole and she ended up splayed on her belly stuck. My cry for help instantly brought three guys from Journey's End Marina who helped free her. My heroes! Another reason I love this marina! Dyna was unhurt but I did lose one of the coffees (Jeff's)...

We all fell into bed exhausted on Friday night and awoke to the most glorious day on Saturday. The dogs were cooperative with their morning bathroom activities and we decided to reward them with a dinghy ride - we wanted to test her out anyway.

Our first real problem - it was dead. A check of the battery showed it was fine, so we assumed it was a reincarnation of the electrical problem we thought we had fixed last summer. No dinghy ride but now we couldn't put her back because the engine wouldn't tilt. Several calls to Larry with several attempted fixes didn't change the situation. We finally decided to put her back up onto the boat on blocks. Jeff was pretty frustrated but then our problem wasn't as bad as the boat across the way...

Next, a thorough boat cleaning (she was filthy), bilge cleaning, sorting through the engine room and lazarette, new bronze fittings for the salt water wash-down, and I can't even remember what else. Somehow we got to the end of our list in time to go out for dinner and back to watch a movie. We were ready to head home on Sunday. Of course, we awoke Sunday to rain. Well, at least it wasn't pouring rain. The three hour trip back to Castine was great with flat, calm water. Everything worked fine.

Dyna, otherwise known as "The Queen," claimed the settee in the salon on which she slept the entire way back.

Dylan stayed close in the pilothouse but he soon succumbed to sleep also.

Larry met us with our Whaler and helped put the bridle back on our mooring. He then chauffeured us back to shore. Tomorrow we head back to Rockland to pick up the car and start down our list for our August departure - gel-coat fixes, cap rail touch-up, install hosing for the wash-down, engine room painting, new exhaust blankets, new batteries, plus a lot more. We're down to (only) 58 things on our Project list.

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