September 7, 2018
When we were halfway between Florida and Virginia, sailing north via the Gulf Stream, we realized the topping lift line broke. After jury-rigging (funny term) the boom, and tying it off to prevent the boom from crushing the bimini, we acknowledged we could not sail this boat with the mainsail until we fixed that. And that would mean climbing up the 75-foot mast to assess the cause, and then again to fix it.
That would NOT happen while underway. One of the first things we did after getting her to her home port in Hampton was to get Erik up the mast. Thanks to our good friends Tim and Diane for assisting me with hoisting Erik up there. My palms still sweat when I think about him up there. But Erik is not scared of heights, just falling, so he stepped into the Bosun’s chair and away he went.
He found the problem pretty quickly and took a ton of video so he’d know how to replace the line and ensure it would hold. On trip number two up the mast, I was less nervous and so was Erik. It took longer to replace than we thought, because there was a bit more wind this time, but the careful threading that Erik did in advance to wind the line through the buckle paid off exceptionally. I was incredibly happy by two things: 1) He fixed it safely and 2) we communicated very well and very calmly through our headsets. Best. Investment. Ever.
Now we can focus on moving aboard and sailing her!
Part of the challenge with moving aboard a boat is that the vast majority of the “stuff” you accumulate will never make it aboard. In previous posts, I mentioned how frustrating it was to sell off so many of our expensive items, like the couch we spent $3500 just 4 years ago, we sold for $950 because the alternative was to pay for storage. I won’t even complain about the fact that someone stole a pair of designer sunglasses from the indoor yard sale I held. Like I said, it was frustrating.
It was also liberating to let go of so much stuff, but at the end of the day, we knew whatever we were keeping would have to fit somehow on this boat and be balanced between hulls and the midship.
Wait, what? Oh yeah, while this is a 12-ton boat (24,000 pounds), it doesn’t mean she can afford to have weight just in her front or rear, much to my dismay. I mentioned in the last post, that we decided that the V-berth (which is located port side fore – or ‘left front’ for landlubbers) would be the garage, where we would store everything we wouldn’t use on the daily, like the 4 cases of Papapietro Perry, Regusci, Paraduxx, and Justin wines I wanted to bring, but maybe not drink every day.
We quickly realized we were loading our girl completely wrong. The owner’s cabin is starboard and basically was holding just our clothes while port side had all the spare parts, supplies, tools, wine, and the garage. Um, yeah – that won’t work. She was listing to one side like a drunken sailor on land after a year at sea.
We spent another couple of days trying to trim (balance) her out. The settee in the owner’s cabin would become the wine cellar, the locker next to the desk would hold all the overflow bathroom products (we may be hoarders at this point with 20 bottles of shower gel; 10 bottles of shampoo; 4 bottles of Listerine. What can we say, we love Costco!); we’d store the Sailrite sewing machine in head #3 and the heavy amps and musical equipment in the guest cabin. Hopefully, we’ll figure out a better solution before we actually have guests aboard.
It took multiple trips back and forth between the house and the boat to get everything on board. Here’s the thing – moving onto a boat is NOT the same thing as moving from house to house. When you move from one house to another, you rent a truck, pack up boxes, move them, unpack them in the same room it’s designated for. When you move onto a boat, all bets are off. In fact, I no longer have a butler’s pantry for napkins and placemats, so guest where I store these? Give up, you’ll never guess correctly. I’ll keep that a little teaser for the boat tour we’ll post on YouTube.
We also recognize that we will re-organize and re-organize again and again as we get more time on the boat to find the true sweet spot for each critical (and frankly, not so critical) item on board.
Labor Day weekend was a hot sweaty mess here in the Southeast, but at the end of the weekend, we had about 90% of our new home on board, unpacked, put away, and it was time to officially move in.
I did a very simple provisioning trip since we are here at the Salt Ponds Marina until mid-October, and we have 2 cars still. As we get closer to the shove off date, I will let y’all know what it’s like to provision for humidity+small refrigerator.
Our first night aboard Music & Lyrics was pretty amazing. Gentle currents swayed us like a Spanish flamenco dancer enticing a woman to let her hair down, making us feel both relaxed and intrigued as the night sky took over. We slept soundly if not a bit uncomfortably, considering I am not ready to have Sparticus sleep in his bed on the floor. He’s been sleeping on my pillow next to my head for as long as I can remember and I just need him there still. He’s 15, cranky, and I regularly check to see he’s still breathing. As a result, I sleep about halfway down the bed, with my calves almost completely dangling off. And I wake up smiling.
Now that we are moved in, we have just about 1 week left to finish cleaning the 4200 square foot house top to bottom, inside and out, before the tenants arrive. But wait – is that a hurricane coming? And a mandatory evacuation for this neighborhood?