Saturday, April 19, 2008

Wednesday, 4/2/08

Our plans to run outside in the Hawk Channel from Marathon north were abandoned after putting up with wind and seas on the beam for 4 hours. Once we reached a point where we could cut back into the Florida Bay we quickly slipped into the lee of the shore and had much more comfortable cruising conditions. We were not in danger and The Rose was fine, we were simply uncomfortable.

We anchored for 3 nights as we traveled north and made Telemar Bay Marina in Indian Harbour Beach on Saturday in the middle of a weather front with wind gusting to 25 mph. When I least expect it, my docking skills are put to the test.

Monday, 4/7/08

After 2 stormy days in a slip at Telemar Bay Marina we were hauled out this morning as scheduled. After four years you’d think that this would be, “business as usual” for us. WRONG! We still get butterflies watching our baby come up in the travel lift, hoping that the slings hadn’t outlived their useful life or that some knucklehead might have missed a few stitches when it was originally assembled. To further complicate the process, the slings, (2) have to be placed precisely around the hull. Too far forward on the forward sling and we’ll end up with the boat, (46,000 lbs) slipping and hitting the ground. Too far back and we damage the sending unit for the fathometer. Maybe this year I’ll break down and have stickers placed on the hull, “sling here” like the rest of the world?

Once out of the water, the bottom has to be scraped and pressure washed to clean off the growth that has accumulated since we last had a diver clean her. Connie & I left at this point to grab some lunch. When we returned to the marina, the boat was moved to a corner of the yard where she was ready to be placed on blocks and stands. That process is definitely more complicated than the haul-out. Most boats have a keel so that they can be blocked and supported almost anywhere on the hull. The Rose doesn’t have a keel, so it has to be supported differently. We’ve learned that a picture is worth a thousand words even with shipyard workers. Rather than convince them verbally, Connie whipped out pictures from our previous shipyard visits and our pre-purchase survey. Seeing is believing and The Rose is safely braced, awaiting fresh bottom paint and a wax job. The fact that we had tipped the two guys responsible BEFORE the work started really got their attention. We’ve worked with this yard before and their crew is proud of their work so the tip was more appreciation than anything else.

Fred the driver of the travel-lift is a retired E-8 Navy Sr. Chief Petty Officer and he took note of the USN Burgee I have flying off the bow. Needless to say the boat was handled with TLC!

The Rose with her hull & bottom prepped.

The other member of the crew is Greg, the individual who will paint the bottom, and is part of that special breed you may have seen on the TV show……….dirtiest jobs? He is meticulous with his work, and even signs/dates every bottom he paints.

Greg the Bottom Master

The crew that will buff and wax the upper hull and pilothouse have already made contact and will finish up after the bottom is done. We initially had planned to have a few “dings” around the waterline touched up while we were hauled out. Instead we have decided to simply paint from the rub rail down because it will be quicker, easier and cheaper. Unfortunately this task was also responsible for the delay. Plus we had to coordinate between the bottom paint, detailing, and painting the hull from the rub rail-down.

You might wonder how long all this work will take. We’ve been, “promised” 8 days from start to finish. Connie and I have allowed for a longer period of time, but that’s a secret that will not be shared with the yard. If the weather cooperates, (we’re outside, exposed to the elements) that’s about right. Of course we extended the work to be done so all bets are off. The plus side? The long range forecast looks good and we’re parked in a bay that is very well protected on three sides with a concrete floor. For painting that is a decent set-up and contributes to a better job.

Well, as always the best of intentions fall by the wayside. The good news is that the bottom paint arrived on time as scheduled. The bad news……the manufacturer sent the wrong product. Gushing apologies from everyone does not sooth my fevered brow and Connie is avoiding the whole crew, rather than tell them what she really thinks of this mess!

Rather than sitting & twiddling our thumbs we have convinced the bottom guy to paint the dinghy while we’re waiting for the correct bottom paint and also moved up the schedule for painting the sides while the weather smiles on us.

In the meantime we also spent some time with neighbors and friends from the condo. We enjoyed breakfast with Ted & Mary Cooper who have graciously provided transportation to and from the boat when we were car-less. You may recall that last year Ted met us in N Palm Beach and cruised with us for two days.

Tammy & Ed, the folks that have compounded and buffed the boat for the last year have become friends as well as trusted technicians. We joined them for dinner & drinks at Port Canaveral.

Geno & Juanita from Holladay Manor had us over for dinner one night and drinks with our neighbors from Indialantic another.

This week we plan to drive to Gainesville for the annual meeting and election of the officers for the Great Harbour Trawler Assoc. It’s an opportunity to renew friendships with fellow boat owners from the Mirage family. Mirage is also sponsoring, (for the 3rd year) a three day seminar on boat systems. We can only attend the 1st of the three days but it is packed with useful information. Both Connie & I will attend sessions on Yanmar engines and Vacuflush toilets, both essential components. There are a number of newer owners who wanted information on cruising the Bahamas which we gladly shared. It is amazing how much information passes at one of these gatherings. After 4 years we can occasionally contribute a few tips.

This whole process of bottom work and hull paint is taking a bit longer than planned, but over the past three years we have learned to relax and make the best of whatever the situation presents.

Saturday, 4/19/08

Sure enough we have been in the yard longer than promised. Is 15 days longer than 8.........? Finally we are in the slings waiting for the paint to dry…….sound familiar?

We’ll drop the car back at the condo this afternoon and have our neighbor Edna drive us back to the marina where we’ll spend our final night before heading north.

As always this has been a, “learning experience” for us and at this rate we should have a Ph. D. in boating.

Paul & Connie


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