It’s Tuesday morning and, as Brenda would say, “it’s blowing a gale”. Well, I don’t think that gale is confirmed but it’s plenty windy, let me tell you. Not a good day to head out for a 1,000 mile run in a boat that I have never sailed. So, we wait…
Yesterday we left the boat yard where Ariel became Pandora with the application of the new name and hailing port of Newport RI. We are also sporting a new and very shiny pair of davits to pick up our dink, which is also very shiny as it’s only a few months old. Good news, the boat came with a brand new Caribe dink due to the previous owner turning in the “slightly worn” one for a warranty problem. It’s very white, for the moment.
I left Harbor Town Marina, where I am now, on Friday to head over to the boat yard to have the work done and settled in on what was supposed to take a day and a half at most. Alas, as things seem to go on boats, especially in sunny Florida where most move more S-L-O-W-L-Y than in NYC, the project stretched into four days with everything finally completed on Monday. Well, technically, it was three days as they don’t work on Sundays. However, delayed or not, the work turned out quite well in the end. The folks at the boatyard are very nice but it’s not the sort of place that you want to hang out compared to Harbor Town Marina which is a much nicer place at a much higher price.
The yard sports all sorts of boats, some in various stages of decay. These two commercial boats have been here for who knows how long. I wonder if someone is still paying rent on the space they are taking up? Anyone need a slightly worn fire-boat, cheap?Believe it or now, someone actually paid money to haul this one. It looks like a science experiment gone badly. Is that a prop under that anemone? And folks wonder why I am so anal about keeping Pandora so clean. Beware, EVERYTHING dissolves into chaos…The boat yard is also very tight with boats tied up every which way and I was very pleased to have the nifty bow thruster to turn around in what was an impossibly small basin to back into the slip. And I should note that the pilings we squeezed into were less than two feet wider than the stern of the boat, not quite enough space to wedge into with a fender on each side. We had to step on the fenders to get them to squeeze in like partially deflated balloons. After securing to the dock we built a scaffolding off of the stern so that the welder, Joe, could stand and work his magic.They “tacked” individual pieces onto the structure and stepped back to be sure that everything was level and looked about right. Frame supports were bent into shape with brute force. Some of the work required climbing skills in addition to being an expert welder. After everything was secured the welding began in earnest and soon, well sort of soon, everything was ready for polishing. I was amazed that something that looked like this would eventually gleam brightly, but it did.The finished product looks great and was ready to fit the dink. My crew, Michael and Jim both shimmied out to the end of the frame to secure the blocks that will pull up the dink. I don’t regard the arrangement of blocks to be quite worked out but it’s quite serviceable for now as I use what I had on hand. More to come on this when I get back to CT and decide how to refine everything.
CW, the sign guy, did a great job with the logo, based on the one from the “old” Pandora. It’s grey and silver which looks terrific on the dark green hull. Earlier in the day we pulled out of the slip and backed in bow first to be sure that there was plenty of room to apply the new name.
He applied it perfectly from a floating dink. He does very nice work. So, all was done by mid-afternoon yesterday and we were ready to return to the marina. Not…
Oops. The tide was to low, we were hard aground and couldn’t budge. Besides, the wind was blowing about 15kts on the beam (not good) and the distance between us and the boats to our lee was less than a boat length. I had no idea how I was going to back Pandora out of the slip and turn her to get out in that tiny basin without banging into someone. From the front of the bow-sprit to the back of the davits is something like 53′. Long boat.
Here’s an idea… Michael is a retired tug captain so let’s have him jump into the dink and do his “tug thing” to keep us crashing into the other boats in the marina.
So, after waiting another few hours for the tide to come up a littlemore, we powered off in reverse while Jim pulled with all his might to help “ooze” our way out. Michael did his magic and off we went with “no loss of life” as his wife Terri once famously quipped.
Finally…out and on our way. It was a thrill for me to call the bridge tender and say “sailing vessel Pandora requesting an opening” for the first time aboard “New Pandora”.
After docking back at Harbor Town Marina we all enjoyed a well earned G&T, well actually, Jim prefers Rum and Tonic. The bar as open aboard Pandora as the sun was setting. Well, as I mentioned, the weather isn’t cooperating at all so today we’ll be hanging out at the marina, with some sightseeing on the side, for at least another day till this “gale” blows itself out and we can get underway.
However, dink secure and we are ready…Yes, I am pretty excited about beginning our journey north and our new life aboard Pandora. You know, the Aerodyne 47 composite one.