Friday, December 11, 2009

Haul Outs Are Not for the Faint of Heart

It's Friday morning and we are waiting for Gypsies to be splashed back into the water - we got hauled out on Tuesday morning and it has been an utter whirlwind since then. I know everyone says this, but it really is a traumatic thing to watch your home being hauled first up out of the water by a tiny little lift (OK not so tiny but it sure feels that way when you see it)
Gypsies Being Hauled Out of the Water
and then across a parking lot with just a couple fabric slings holding it up
Gypsies Being Moved Across the Parking Lot
- then it sits on several jack stands and wooden blocks (as if that can really hold her up??)
Doug Looking Up at Gypsies
The other morning the clouds were moving so fast that when I would look up at Gypsies (which seems SO much bigger out of the water), it felt like Gypsies was swaying in the wind - I got almost queasy and had to look away. My head was telling me that no in fact our home was not swaying and about to topple over, but my eyes just weren't believing it!!! I guess that is what seasickness must be all about - when your senses just aren't registering the same thing!!! Luckily neither Doug nor I has ever been seasick so we have no firsthand experience with that - knock on wood!! And also hopefully we won't have to haul Gypsies out for another year or two - one's heart can only stand so much!!!!

So far the haul out has gone very well - in three days Gypsies' keel, bow thruster and running gear (props, shafts, etc) were powerwashed, scraped of all offending clinging barnacles
Some of the Barnacles That Were Scraped Off
and other sea life, sanded down to get the real stubborn guys off, primed and re-painted;
Running Gear Before...
and After
all her zincs have been changed; her stabilizer seals have been changed; her brown mustache (which appears around her bow due to the nasty, tannic, coffee colored water of parts of the ICW has been cleaned off; her sides and bow have been polished and buffed until they gleam; all her silver has been cleaned and polished; and the pilothouse has been waxed and polished as well!!! The yard we are in is a "do it yourself yard" and they truly mean it (God forbid they went out of their way to help at all - ie no they don't have any ladders and no scaffolding left either to help with the polishing...) - but we have had some great friends help us out A LOT!!! Steve Koch met us here on Tuesday with the Naiad tools to do the stabilizer seals (he even showed up with some military special booze he had gotten for us at a PX he had recently visited - now that's my kind of friend)!! Bob from September Song drove down from Stuart on Wednesday and spent ALL day helping us clean, wax and polish Gypsies - now it's one thing to have to polish your own boat but when you volunteer to help others polish their boat, that is so way above the call of friendship I don't know what to say! Except thanks so much - you rock!!!! This morning we are finally hosing her down to get most of the boat yard grit, dust and dirt off her before she gets splashed and I got to tell you, Gypsies looks fantastic!!! James and his painting crew (we were warned not to even attempt to do the bottom paint ourselves - which after seeing those guys work, was really super advice - thanks Di) did a wonderful job on her and Gypsies is now holding her head high and is ready to head south!!!
Wax On...
Wax Off

The boat kitties are also very ready to head south
Can We Go to Key West Now?
- they have had a less than thrilling time "on the hard"! First they were scared to death with the noise of the lift and then to have their home swaying in the wind until she got on the blocks had to be pretty disconcerting - moreover, the noise of the powerwashing against the hull had to sound like the end of the universe to the girls inside the boat (the worst part of all of that was we couldn't be inside with them to comfort them or tell them everything was OK!!!) We felt like such horrible parents!! But as soon as Gypsies was stabilized up on her stands we rushed in and like all guilty parents bribed them with treats!!!
We Were Really Scared, Mom!
Then they have been dealing with the heat over the past three days - of course it's been sunny and well into the 80's while we've been on the hard (this morning as we head out the clouds look ominous and it is much cooler.....go figure) and we've had to have the doors and hatches closed due to the dust and dirt so Gypsies has been an inferno despite the fans we've had blowing! They have also had to deal with all the noise and the dirt which no matter what you do still filters in - wow yards are filthy!!! So needless to say, the girls are more than ready for things to get back to normal - several calm days on the water and peaceful nights at anchor with all the hatches open to let in the clean breeze - so are we!!!!

Depending on what time we launch will determine how far we get today - we're just going to head the pointy end of Gypsies south down the ICW and see how far we can get. Ultimately we want to get to Miami by Saturday night so we can do an outside passage down to the Keys on Sunday when the weather is supposed to get better! Ideally we would love to go outside on the ocean tomorrow to avoid the fifty million (or so) bridges that crisscross the freakin' Florida ICW (most of which are less than 20 feet tall and thus have to be opened for us to go through - and in Florida they almost all open only twice an hour so you have to time them or you can end up waiting 1/2 hour - UGH!!!) but I don't think Mother Nature is going to cooperate with our desires - now there's a shocker!! If she doesn't, I guess we'll just have to take our chill pill tomorrow morning and deal with it - Gypsies is sleek and clean, and we and the boat kitties at least will be back on the water where we belong - life could be a lot worse!!! We could still be up in New England dealing with snow!!! or without the help of our friends, we could be spending another week or so on the hard!!!

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1 comment:

  1. you guys are having way to much fun and you are right you could be in new england where I am in western mass where the snow is ahole deep and its in the teens. hopefully by next summer I'll be doing the same thing as you are at least thats my plan. great blog and I look in often so keep it up!