Friday, May 3, 2013

Preparing to Move

So one of the best things about life aboard a boat - moving to new 'neighborhoods' now and again. When we're full time cruising in a few years this will be commonplace but until then we're in a seasonal switcheroo process here. This weekend we'll be moving from our winter marina in Kittery, Maine to our summer 'home', the Wentworth Marina in New Castle, New Hampshire. We spent last September and October at the Wentworth and we're REALLY excited to get back there in full season. Not to mention the tennis courts, pool & tiki bar and dockside restaurant - yea, it's high living! Plus, going sailing is a lot easier because we don't have the mighty Piscataqua with it's crazy current and tides to contend with. 
Yes, this is pool at the Wentworth - Hello Summer!
We're going to miss Kittery - the great stores and restaurants and the wonderful community we came to love at the Marina. We are NOT going to miss the constant construction noise from the Memorial Bridge project or the boat wakes knocking our home around. Our boat neighbors who do the switcheroo as well say the Wentworth is like the country and Badgers Island is like the, we're excited to get back to the country! 

Of course in preparation to move there's a lot to be done. Sure, it's not like packing up a whole apartment or anything but it'll be the first time the boat's gone out since we moved her in the beginning of November. Though we don't have to 'recommission' the boat like most New England sailors are doing right now we do have a lot of systems that still need checking and double checking. Plus the ridiculous web of dock lines that have been built through the winter winds and storms will FINALLY be untangled and cast off. 
The ever growing check-list

The Windlass that needs fixing
Newly painted anchor chain
And as with everything so far since we bought this boat in September, we're learning so it's taking twice as long. On Wednesday after work we focused on our anchor. If all else fails (i.e. our engine dies, our sails won't go up) we have to have a functional anchor to toss to keep us from drifting away or ashore. Plus we plan on doing some overnights at anchor in the coming weeks. We hadn't yet pulled out all our anchor chain and rode (rope section) to see what we were working with. And we wanted to mark the anchor rode so that when we pay it out we know how much we're letting out. So armed with a tape measure and yellow paint we laid out the entire 300 feet of chain and rope along the docks and marked every 10 feet with bright yellow paint. As with almost all projects so far, we realize we need to buy new chain and rope - the salt corrodes. And our windlass, the mechanism on deck that winds the anchor chain back aboard, needs service and potentially more parts. B.O.A.T. = Break Out Another Thousand. Ah, boat ownership...

New Outhaul Car for our Main Sail
Looks like we'll need some new chain!
On Saturday we'll rig the boat which we're excited to do and to learn since the last time it was rigged it was done by the previous owner. Then on Sunday with our friends from the marina, at slack tide, we'll set off for a sail and end up back at our new summer home. We're marking the beginning of the season - HOORAY! As we get into this, our first season on the boat, we're expecting to learn A LOT more and inevitably have to fix/replace more things -- this will be our 'shakedown season'. The time to figure out what's working, what's needing fixing and what we'd like to upgrade. We'll get to really learn our boat and we couldn't be more excited! 

The Captain/Plumber/Electrician/Woodworker
Though we are spending some (read: a lot) money and lots of manpower hours on fixing, tweeking or replacing things we both LOVE it - it's our boat, our investment, our home. Things that are being replaced are now things we know are new and when it breaks, we know how to fix or replace it. There's not a better feeling than having a problem, assessing the problem and then fixing the problem. Tim is masterful at this - he truly is a man of many, many talents. His ability to take something apart, learn how it works and fix it is remarkable. This dream of living aboard and cruising could never be reality without Tim's skills. Tim's patience while I VERY slowly learn things should also be commended. Unlike Tim, I'm a lot less practical in my skill set so it takes me a lot longer to understand the workings of something -- but my bartending and cooking skills are pretty key at the end of a long day working on the boat!  

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