Monday, April 21, 2014

Frame shift

 It happens every three years.

For two years and eleven months, we live here in the marina within sight of the boatyard.  But it's invisible to us - its existence doesn't rise into our consciousness.

Then in that 35th month we do a haulout.  Suddenly, we become painfully and bluntly aware of the yard - because it has become our home.  The water is out there, beyond the fence and the concrete, but we are in there, with the noise, the commotion, the weird smells, rigid and unmoving.

After a while we sort of get used to it all, climbing a 12-foot ladder a hundred times a day.  Living without refrigeration and not running water into any of the sinks becomes the norm.  It takes a few days.

You get to know your neighbors on the hard, their boats and the reasons they are sharing the experience with you.  You cheer their successes and commiserate their failures. 

And the blue dust is everywhere.

Then a miracle occurs and the boat is splashed.  It returns to its natural element and to its slip.  And everything returns to normal.

But not quite.  Now, sitting here in our slip, we are aware of the faint sounds of the Travelift's engine and backup beeper.  When we drive by the yard, we not only notice that it is there, but we note who is now in "our" spot.  We discuss the progress of the work on the boats that so recently were our neighbors.  The boatyard is firmly in our consciousness.

It lasts for a month or so, and then it fades once again, receding into the background of unnoticed things.  For 35 more months.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Tuesday, 15:00
And Eolian is back in her natural element: saltwater!

What a relief.  And completely miraculously, we managed to dodge several weather bullets - despite ominous forecasts of rain and high wind, none ever materialized except for a light sprinkle on Monday nite.

Back in our slip, we quaffed a celebratory IPA and then both took desperately needed showers.

And then the rains and wind came...


Monday, April 14, 2014

High and dry

So, here we sit...  high and dry.

We were hauled out Friday morning, and basically frittered away the rest of that day, which wasn't actually that much by the time Eolian was blocked up.

Saturday, the work started in earnest.  While I wielded the buffer, compounding and waxing the hull, Jane tackled the cabin sides by hand - a smaller but much more tedious job.  Above you can easily see the point where I stopped work and took the picture.  By the end of Saturday, I couldn't raise my arms and the hull was only half done.

Sunday was basically a repeat of Saturday, yet another sunny day, but cool enough so that heat didn't interfere with the work.  And by late Sunday afternoon, the hull was done.  And my arms were as limp as two pieces of way overcooked pasta.

And now today - just the little stuff - a new zinc on the prop, painting the transducers with their special paint, and waiting around for the yard guys to start the painting process.  They say they will splash us tomorrow...  We'll see.

Oh, and a word to those of you out there who plan to haul at Seaview West...  sometime since our last haulout (2011), a customer who can only be described as an idiot perched a ladder on top of a sawhorse.  When the predictable occurred and he fell and was injured, he sued the boat yard for $275,000....  and won.  Because the yard didn't have a sign at the gate that said, "Don't put ladders on top of sawhorses - you could fall and injure yourself."  So now the yard does not allow customers the use of their staging.  You'll have to rent your own scaffolding and bring it in if you plan to do work that requires it.  *Sigh*


Thursday, April 10, 2014

First light

That's what they call it when a new telescope first sees the sky...  I think it applies just as well to a solar panel.  This is the one you saw me building earlier

In the early morning light (impatient, yes I know), it was producing 5.5 amps at 24 volts.  That's 132 watts, actual.  Not calculated, not predicted - actual.

And there was a big fat spark when I connected up the ammeter - do you have any idea how satisfying that is?

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