Monday, July 5, 2010

Nirvana is Home!

This past Friday Ken installed the fuel tank and the thru-hull valves while I spray painted the life ring to cover what remained of the old name (and to change from ugly yellow to off white).  While installing the fuel tank Ken put a thin layer of rubber underneath the tank to avoid any friction against the tank.  We decided to use our original fuel tank instead of buying a new plastic tank.  A local welder tested the tank and found no leaks, but since we had the fuel tank out of the sailboat we had a new bottom welded to the tank just to make sure.  Anyway, adding that little thin layer of rubber underneath the tank caused the tubes to be too short.  Another trip to the hardware store!  The thru-hull valves were also a challenge, as they were hard to get to.  As I've said so many times, these little projects took longer than expected.  By 3:30 Friday afternoon we had the tank full of diesel and were finished with our haul-out project.  We just needed to make sure that the batteries were charged and the engine would start.  So, I turned the ignition key and... nothing.  Ken checked the batteries and they seemed okay.  We did this over and over for about 15 minutes and couldn't figure out what the problem was.  We quickly got discouraged, as we thought we were done and now this!  We were relieved and feeling a little foolish when we realized that we hadn't pulled the choke or pushed the "start" button!  I guess we were just a little too anxious, but luckily that was the only reason the engine wasn't starting. 

 A few minutes later we told the boatyard to "come and get her", and we were finally watching Nirvana being carried to the water.  It was a great feeling, not to mention it was just in time for the 4th of July weekend!

Above is view of the boatyard from Nirvana as we were leaving, as well as a picture of Lake Pontchartrain as we were crossing it.  The lake was like glass with the sun glistening on the water.  The weather forecast had called for rain all day, but luckily the forecast was wrong.  It was a gorgeous afternoon!  There wasn't much wind, so we motored the whole way home which took about 2.5 hours, but we weren't complaining!

Our friend, Ted, took a ride and he called the Hwy. 11 bridge on his VHF.  We're not used to calling the bridge, so we let Ted do it.

Bridge open and our sailboat going through. 

Enjoying the ride!

Nirvana home in our backyard!

  Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!


Sandee said...

How fun. Getting her back in the water and going home is a wonderful thing.

We hail bridges on channel 9 here. Pretty easy. Let's say you are trying to open Mokelumne River Bridge (a bridge near us).

Mokelumne River Bridge
Mokelumne River Bridge
Mokelumne River Bridge
This is the vessel Anewatee on Channel 9, over.

Wait for their response. Sometimes you have to call again.

Tell them which side of the bridge you are on and approximately how far you are from the bridge and request an opening. This helps if there are lots of boats out. If you have multiple boats them tell that. He/She will wait until you are all fairly near.

Wait for the bridge to open and then proceed through.

You can always thank them if you wish after you've gone through.

Pretty much how you hail anyone. Always three times with the channel you are hailing them on. Is channel 16 for the coast guard where you are? It's an emergency channel here.

Anyway, I'm yakking on and on. I'm thrilled that you baby is back in the water.

Have a terrific day. :)

Philippe said...

Congrats on sailing Nirvana home! It's great you'll be able to practice with her while you are getting ready.

Neophyte Cruiser said...

Good on ya for a great job with your boat! It's so brilliant, it really did make the travel lift look shabby! I look forward to reading about your sailing adventures now (BP fiasco and disaster willing). Good sailing!

Ken n Cheryl said...

Thanks for the info Sandee! We have to start using the VHF ourselves. Philippe n Neophyte Cruiser - it will be great to practice in our backyard, but our backyard is Lake Pontchartrain and just two days ago tar balls were found in the lake and the area we sail is now banned from fishing! Keeping our fingers crossed things don't get any worse.

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