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October 11, 2005

It has been a long summer with little/no sailing. After going back to Denver early in July, son Chris and I came back to Annapolis later in the month to begin working on the boat. We had a large list of upgrades and repairs which for the most part were completed. I have to say it was very hot. When we would leave the boat it was like going into a sauna even at night.

Sue came out near the end of the month for a long weekend. Sue and Chris took a sailing class to hone up on their skills. Toward the end of that weekend we decided to go out in the Bay and practice driving the boat. During the escape from the marina thanks to some wind on the beam we got the boat turned sideways in the Marina which was an exciting exercise in fending off. After finally getting out we decided we needed to work on backing the boat up in a straight line. Surprisingly enough when there are no docks or other boats to hit backing up is actually very easy but add the Marina scene and it is a different story.

We had to repair the wind instrument on top of the mast as I had bent it in Beaufort early in July. Sue and Chris got me up and down without any hitches. I did forget to change a bulb on the spreader and had to go back up. Sue was manning the electric winch and as I was going up I heard the winch struggling under the load which was abnormal and yelled for her to stop. At this point the halyard had wrapped around the self-tailer and itself and twisted the top of the winch severely. We finally were able to get another halyard on me, replace the bulb and get down. The winch had a fair amount of damage. Those electric winches are strong enough to destroy themselves. Quite amazing really.

Given our efforts in the Marina we decided to haul the boat, get a thruster installed and do the bottom and topsides while we were out of the water. The topsides being dark blue had oxidized heavily and it became apparent that no amount of compounding would make it beauftiful again. Just too many years sitting in a marina without good care had degraded the finish, so we were faced with the option of what color we were going to paint the boat. Given the heat generated by the dark blue, we/I decided on an off white.

While the boat was out the inspection showed a crack in the bottom of the rudder, appearing as if it had been backed onto something hard. So we were faced with rebuild or get a new one. Since the new was less than a boat unit more than a rebuild we opted for a new rudder. Hoping that this would be all complete when Sue had her last day at work was just that, a hope not a reality. The rudder arrived a week late, UPS held the paper work a week before they let me know they needed a Power of Attorney for Customs, which I sent right away, then UPS held the POA on their desk another week. When we arrived at BWI I drove to the UPS office and I believe they were surprised when I told them nothing was happening so I jumped on a plane to see if I could get things moving. The paper work went to Customs that day, cleared the next and was delivered to the yard the next. And this is how we found the Rose.

In August we attended a symposium for those going on the Rally in November. It was very interesting and gave us a chance to meet other people who will be going as well as to exchange ideas on how to get ready. With work now behind me, October 17th was my official date although I have not worked since the first of October, I can concentrate on the next chapter of my life - becoming a cruiser. I am reading as much as possible and making hundreds of lists in anticipation of when the boat will be in the water and we can begin truly getting ready. We have two very qualified sailors going with us as crew members so I am not as nervous as I would be had it been just Guy and I. Hopefully we'll leave Annapolis the last week of October and head for Hampton, Va. where we will catch up with 45 other boats in the rally. There is a week worth of training and meetings before the official launch of November 7th. And, of course, the weather must cooperate so we anticipate leaving sometime around the 7th based on several days of good weather forecasted.

























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