Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Looking Back - Spring Prep: Bubble Hatching, Rigging & Dinghy Prep

Sitting here in Boston Harbor on a 89 degree day, this past winter feels like a VERY distant memory! It seems New England just sort of skipped over spring again this year we went from 40 and raw to 90 and humid - whew! Though we, for one, are not complaining. This winter was one for the ages for us. I swear I was showing signs of PTSD (see photo right) after surviving this FRIGID winter aboard in Maine. I never trusted that the weather was actually going to get nice again, I kept waiting for the temps to drop and the snow to fall. Whew, I am so, so happy that summer is here (though I still have a heater ready to deploy in the aft cabin, just in case!)

I promised that we'd revisit all the preparations done this spring for this sailing season. We both admitted that we got A LOT later start to the prep this year than last, mostly because this was the winter that would never end! It was cold, rainy and cruddy most of spring, so cold that we needed our heat on! Our minds were not even thinking sailing so, needless to say, we were delayed. Finally in mid-April the weather gods were with us on a weekend and we hatched from our bubble. Once again, nothing felt better than taking the knife to that plastic shrinkwrap that encapsulated us all winter and springing forth into the sunshine and seabreeze! Becoming a boat again instead of a wrapped up floating apartment! 

We also had a professional sailboat rigger down to the boat for a looksee. We never had a rigging survey conducted and we knew our standing rigging (the mast, the stays, chainplates, etc. all the things that help hold the mast up) was a bit worn. Paul, the rigger, did tell us she was showing her age, OK, but old. He suggested that before we cast off to the islands we should consider putting on a new rig, we are starting to save up to do that this Fall/Winter. It's a lot of money and a big project but there's nothing more important than your rig on a sailboat, no one wants to deal with rigging failures "out there".  
B.O.A.T. = Break Out Another Thousand

We (stupidly) left our dinghy in the water all winter and she was a little worse for wear. The engine was happily kept aboard but the boat was covered in an array of very interesting species. The wiggly, squirmy wormy things were moving around and not excited to be seeing sunlight. Armed with a scraper and some magic elixir from the dollar store I set to work. It came out SOOOO clean and sparkly, I was quite proud of my handywork. 

Tim then set out to do some outboard engine maintenance with our boat neighbor Brendan's help.  Some lube, some oil filters and a wiggle and waggle and the old Evinrude sprung back to life! Of course after a day of dinghy work the boys had to try them out so they zipped across the river to Martingale Wharf while I walked over the bridge. We sat at the outdoor fire pit and enjoyed the view we knew we'd be leaving soon. 
Casting off into the Piscataqua River 
The boys did have a 'hiccup' on their way back across the river due to water in our dinghy's gas tank. We've since bought a new 6-gallon tank and the problem's resolved. 

We spent a lot of spring also soaking up all the things we loved about the place we called home for the last 8 years before moving to Boston - hitting our favorite bars, cockpit cocktails, dinner with friends, loving on this little seaside town. 

Friday seisiun at The Press Room - always a favorite 

Great nights with friends at favorite bars, Rusty Hammer 

Portsmouth just takes away your breath away sometimes...reminds me of NOLA...

The obligatory Portsmouth Tug Boat Photo 

Saying goodbye to great winter boat neighbors aboard "House Cat", Celie and Jennings, they're anchored up in Great Bay this summer! 
Late night beers in the cockpit with the Naval Shipyard off our bow 
There's more spring projects to report on...NEXT UP...Ground Tackle Upgrade. Stay tuned...

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