September 24, 2009.
Now we’ve done it. We’re outta the water. Christy and I had discussed getting hauled to do our normal yearly maintenance on the bottom of the boat. I wanted to wait as long as possible since we’re just sitting here in Spa Creek. I didn’t want to paint the bottom and then just sit here.
Now when we paint the bottom we will only be here another 3 weeks or so before heading south. So when I was working in the yard that I’ve chosen to haul us, I stopped in and arranged to be hauled on Thursday. We could have taken the boat over on Wednesday night but we had more pressing matters, which I’ll get to later.
On Thursday morning we were up and running by 0630. It’s the first time in months that we’ve both been awake and had the engine running at that hour. The dogs were even looking at us like “WTF?”. We had to make the 0700 bridge opening before it closed for the 2 hour rush hour.
Once clear of the dock it was evident that the 2.5 mile trip was gonna be a long one. We took our time heading down the river and hit the opening right on time. Now out in the open waters of Annapolis harbor I throttled up a bit and was rewarded with a burst of….nothin’.
I had a bit of vibration so we could only come up to about 60% power. The best speed I saw was 4.1 knots. I knew the bottom was dirty but I never imagined that it would affect performance this much.
Once at the marina we had to enter a narrow fairway and spin the boat around. Veranda’s not exactly a Ferrari but she usually handles pretty well. Not this morning. There was a long dock that could easily handle 3 boats. Of course, the only boat tied to the dock was right in the middle.
I figured since there was room we might as well slip past him, spin around and tie up between him and the lifting well. The area is pretty tight and when we turned hard to starboard it became apparent that there’d be no spinnin’ today. It was a lot like spinnin’ a school bus in an aisle at the supermarket. Not gonna be pretty. I was backing and filling but couldn’t get the bow to come through as the light breeze held us at bay. I literally had our anchor over the dock and the stern 15 feet from the boat tied to the opposite wall behind us. Christy said “keep it right here and I’ll go over the bow”. So I kept the bow right up to the dock and she hopped over the rail, dockline in hand. After that we were soon safely tied up, first in line for the travel lift.
After breakfast and a shower, I headed off to work. The travel lift crew here is first rate so with Christy here to supervise I knew we were in good hands. She snapped a few pictures when Veranda came out of the water. The bottom was actually pretty clean but the prop and shaft were the worst they’ve ever been. One side of the rudder had a build up of barnacles, which explains this morning’s lack of ability to back with any semblance of control.
The vibration and lack of power was a result
of the incredible build up of growth on the prop and shaft. Our 1 ½ inch prop shaft was over 3 inches in diameter. So the bottom has now been power washed, the bulk of the barnacles scraped away, let the land based chores begin.
About those “more pressing matters”. There’s a liquor store here in Annapolis that has a very popular sale that they hold every year. They charge just 1 dollar over cost on every item in the store. It’s a pretty large store but for the 3 days that the sale runs, there are over a hundred people in the store from 0900 until closing. They get deliveries everyday, restock and the bulk of it is gone that evening. It’s amazing and it’s also a great place to snag a bargain.
We ended up hitting the store on each of the sale days. We ended up with 11 bottles of rum and it’s much cheaper than anything you can find, even in the Bahamas. We usually take about 100 litres of wine to the Bahamas. At the sale we ended up paying for about 80 litres while getting 125 litres of wine. Now we just gotta put it all away…..