Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Marathon: raking the cockpit

        Because weather delays are common in Chicago in winter, I had made a reservation for the 2:30 p.m. shuttle from Fort Lauderdale, but my $40 flight landed on time at 11:30, so I was able to board the 12:30 shuttle and arrived at the boat yard earlier than expected at around 4:00.  As I went through the gate, I saw GANNET’s distinctive mast and knew she was not in the water.  However I was assured that she would be within the hour, and she was.  
        I was glad to be able to inspect her bottom on land rather than have to dive.  It looks perfect.  
        The yard towed the little boat to her place on the wall just at sunset.
        The first necessity was to remove the new jib from the forepeak and bend it on the furling gear so I would have a place to sleep.
        That is one stiff sail.  Some of you will recall that it is laminated not stitched.  It is a slippery piece of unbendable plastic.  I couldn’t remotely get it into its bag before I left and I had trouble even getting it through the forward hatch onto deck.  I finally did get it up and furled and retired to the Great Cabin to find that I had small amounts of tequila, Botanist gin, and Buffalo Trace.  No Laphroaig.  I drank the gin.
        My LuminAid lamps were uncharged so my only light was a flashlight until I telephoned Carol who reminded me that she had given me a similar solar powered light which I had charged a month or so ago and it was in my bag.  Carol said, “Let there be light.”  And there was.
        Today I stowed the stuff I brought with me.  Sorted out the cabin and cleaned some of it.  Got my rusty bicycle operational—the front brakes were frozen.  And raked the cockpit.  Not literally.  But there were a lot of leaves and twigs.
        I haven’t tested the tiller pilots or Torqeedos, but thus far everything is working as it should and GANNET appears to have sustained no damage from Hurricane Irma.
        Of the more than 150 boats stored on land at the yard, only seven were toppled from their stands.   I am told that at the highest surge two feet of water covered the yard.
        Tomorrow I will scrub the deck and do my laundry.  I thought I had done it before I left in August, but the bag is full.
        I’ll also bicycle to the supermarket.
        I was away from the little boat for four months.  Too long.  I hope never to be away that long again.
        The photo was taken yesterday just before GANNET was launched.
        Her topsides need to be painted.  That might happen this year, but more likely next.