The last week has revolved around getting Viatori into the water. This means we have spent the last week driving from the hotel to the boatyard to Walmart, Home Depot and other various marine supply stores.
One big work adder, per other posts, has been de-dogging the boat so that James can be comfortable on the boat with his allergies. This was a miss on my part during the sea trial, where I was more concerned that everything worked, not that the boat was clean all over. It looked okay at a 5 feet, but at 1 foot the hair started to show. James needs the boat to be near dog free in order to be comfortable on board.
On our first day we showed up he started to get itchy all over… off to the hose for a rinse down and pop an anti-histamine. We immediately stripped all the fabrics out of the boat and took them to the dry cleaners. The foam under the covers Leah cleaned with a combination of tape rolled around her hand, shop vacuum and hand picking the hair off. Tomorrow we put the covers back on the cushions and put them in the boat. With the fabrics off the boat he has been fine.
A short rant: I like dogs, but I HATE cleaning up after other peoples dogs!! $#!+
We have also been airing the boat out as it had sat for about 4 months in the yard closed up. For those of you unfamiliar with boats, boat bathrooms always have a distinct smell. Four months in the Florida sun with no ventilation did not improve the smell of the boat. It’s not like the boat smells like someone just used the toilet but Leah describes it as pungent, acrid, septic-y smell with an under tone of wet dog and the musty smell of a cabin that has been closed up too long. Needless to say it is distinct and not completely pleasant, but its getting better as we air the boat out and clean it out.
The weather here has been uncharacteristically cool, between 15 and 20C which sounds awesome if you are sitting in -30C but is awful if all you have to wear is shorts and flip-flops. Nearly every night we go to the pool to reset morale by burning off little boy energy, and watching the sunset.
Then we all run to the hotel room shivering, Ethan generally sobbing, and get dressed. Next is supper, some electronic entertainment and bedtime which usually is too late, takes too long and doesn`t succeed in achieving sleeping children quickly – though it eventually happens… we have proof.
All this said, the boys have been troopers and have kept themselves busy for hours with a combination of lego, chess, checkers, getting in the way (helping 😉 and exploring the boatyard.
To sum up, the last week has not been fun, its been work, frustration, spending too much money and exhausting both mentally and physically…
It all paid off today! We put Viatori in the water. This is done using a large travel crane which picks the boat up and drives to a special slip where the boat is lowered into the water. Then we climb aboard, make sure it isn’t leaking and sail away. For today we hired a Captain to assist with providing advice on how to get the boat from the boatyard to the marina. The two hardest parts of the getting the boat to the marina are the beginning and the end of the trip.
The boatyard is on a brackish creek which is called Salt Creek that is generally navigable only around high tide for a boat with our draft and is only 60 feet wide. The boat went into the water stern (back) first and then we needed to back it out and turn 90 degrees downstream with less than 20 feet clearance from sunken concrete blocks and other boats moored on the edge of the creek. Randy our captain provided guidance as we moved the boat out of the slip and down the creek.
We got to the marina after making a wrong turn and heading into Tampa Bay needlessly, turning around and heading into the marina which is actually at the entrance of Salt Creek. We had to back the boat down a 50 foot wide corridor turn ninety degrees into the slip. All around are very expensive boats that you really don’t want to hit. Thankfully I was able to do it with only minor coaching from Captain Randy. I am pretty sure I could have done it myself but it was reassuring to have a second set of eyes on board to assist.
We tied up, closed the sea cocks, dropped Randy off and headed to the hotel. Another busy day. Too cold for the pool, lots of complaining on that account.