First of All –
- Chinook’s first day in the water, after 3 1/2 weeks on the hard
- Miles Cruised today: Power: 20 yards; Sail: 0
- Total Miles Cruised to date: 2,329 miles and 20 yards
- Hours Underway: 3 minutes
- Fuel: NA
- Morning House Battery Reading: 12.1
- Wind Speed: NA
- Daily High Temperature: 74
- Water Temperature: NA
We would have liked to sleep in but we’re relying on the Sweetwater Landing Marina owner, Brandon, for a ride from the hotel back to the Marina, so we’re out in the lobby at 7:30am, when he swings by in his pickup. We’re very appreciative that he’s willing to go out of his way to pick us up. It’s raining when we get back to Sweetwater, but as soon as the rain lets up, Brandon trundles over to our boat with his huge fork lift and raises Chinook up off the bunks where she’s rested during our absence. The boat looks to be in fine shape, except for the radar reflector which is dangling alongside the hull, instead of being properly suspended from the port side spreader. Apparently, the nylon line holding it up decided to fail while we were away. It’s amazing how, on a boat, things can break when the boat is just sitting there. I gaze up at the empty pulley on the spreader, wondering how I’ll manage to fish a new line up through it without having to lower the mast.
Brandon carefully backs around to the shear bulkhead where he takes boats in and out, and lowers our boat back in the water. He says it will be ok for us to remain tied up to the floating dock during the day, while we get reorganized. I talk with him about the radar reflector problem and ask him if he has a ladder which might reach. He brings over an extension ladder and, with the boat tightly tied to the floating dock, he’s able to prop the ladder against the mast and fish a new line through the pulley. Check that off the list. While Sandy begins the tedious process of removing our travel luggage from our duffels and totes, I reinflate our dinghy. I’m going to experiment on discouraging barnacle growth. I smear a product on the bottom of the dinghy. It’s called Eelsnot, no kidding, and was given to me by a good friend and sailor back in Seattle. He says racers coat the hulls of their boats to increase speed, and it’s also supposed to discourage barnacle growth. I figure it’s worth a try, and smear it all over the bottom of the dinghy. I also apply UV protectant to the upper surfaces of the dinghy, so she’s now ready for anything, top and bottom. Shortly after putting the dinghy into the water our unofficial harbor host, Bill, walks up to welcome us back. He’d stopped by before we went home for Christmas, offering to provide transportation when we got back, and here he was, making good on his offer. Sandy scratches together a quick grocery list, and we’re soon off to the nearby Publix grocery store in Bills van. He patiently waits for us in the store while we load up our grocery cart with provisions for the next week or so. When on an extended boat trip, with our only land transportation being a pair of deeply stowed folding bicycles, this act of kindness on his part is incredibly thoughtful and considerate, and deeply appreciated by us. He tops things off by saying he’ll drop by tomorrow to give me a ride over to West Marine and Home Depot, so I can pick up fuel for our two cooking stoves. What a guy.
By mid afternoon we’re back at the boat with a big load of groceries to tuck away. What with grocery bags, food tubs, as well as clothing duffels and miscellaneous items still needing to be put into place, we can barely move inside the boat. It’s all we can do to cook up some dinner and clear off space to open up the bed. It’s been a long, tiring day and, on the heels of an equally long, tiring air travel day yesterday, we are eager to crawl into the sleeping bag for some much needed rest.