When we originally booked our launch date, we thought three weeks would be plenty of time to get ready. More than we needed, we thought. We had visions of finishing everything we had to do and having time to explore the area. We had grand plans to take the ferry to Saba, the next island just south of St. Martin. It’s one of those places that we’ve always wanted to visit but windy weather conditions have not allowed for safe anchoring.
We had several projects that absolutely had to get done before we launched. One of those was re-coring the rudder. We had cut into it at the end of last season and found that the filling was punky and full of water. Not good. So David opened it up, removed all the coring, then refilled it with high-expansion foam before fiberglass in it closed again. It was a long process to say the least, with each step requiring dry time before the next could be started. Everything came together the night before our launch. David and our extremely knowledgeable and handy friend Colin re-attached the newly built rudder, which is no small task seeing as it weighs over 100 lbs. With the rudder secured with various ropes and ratchet straps, it was just a question of locking it in place by attaching the toe. This is where things got tricky. No matter how the rudder and toe were manipulated, they wouldn’t go back together properly. At 9:30 p.m., after hours of problem-solving and trying different solutions, it was decided that the bearing inside the toe had been improperly bored. And without a rudder, there was no way the boat could go in the water.
We were definitely disappointed and slightly disheartened. We had our hearts set on getting out on the water before the weekend. Now we are running around trying to get this bearing fixed, and if all goes well and everything goes back together properly, we will launch on Monday.
It ain’t all bad though. We have lots of boat projects to keep us busy this weekend. And it’s not like we’ve just been stuck on the yard with all work and no play for the past two weeks. While we may not have made it to Saba, we have done a couple more beach days with Colin and Ingo and the dogs, and had an awesome wine and tapas night with our good friend Adriana. We do manage to find a balance between hot, sweaty boat work on the mosquito-ridden yard, and fun and relaxation. And while it may feel like we’ve hit a setback, at least it’s not -18 with 5 inches of snow on the ground, so we really can’t complain. Life is good!
Where the wind takes us next: in and around St. Martin with our first visitors of the season!