Ken looking things over as Nirvana sits at her new (and temporary) "home".
Now that we're just getting settled into the condo and Christmas is on top of us, we should be relaxing for the holidays, right? I guess we love to make things interesting, cause about a week and a half ago we decided to move Nirvana to the boat yard ... in December, right before the holidays. We must have been drinking too much eggnog when we made this decision!
Actually, we're glad to get things started on our boat ... even if the weather slows us down a bit. Hopefully we'll be outta that boatyard by the end of January, but if not we'll try not to get too stressed out. Ken's business is always slow this time of year, so we've gotta grab the opportunity when we see it. I snapped the picture below of Nirvana just before she left her home that she's been used to for the past five years.
Our friend, Ted, took the ride with us to the boatyard. Ken had checked the fluids the day before, and after a few tries Nirvana started up and ran just fine. Damn, it was a good feeling to leave the dock! On a Friday morning (Dec. 12th), we motored for about an hour before reaching Pelican Pointe in New Orleans. It was a cold and dreary winter morning, but it wasn't as bad as we expected. Heck, being on our boat ... on the water ... how could that be bad? It's been way too long!
We headed underneath the twin span bridge, which connects the Northshore (where we live) to New Orleans.
Just before another bridge, we entered the channel towards the marina. It was really shallow, and we could feel the mud a couple of times ... good thing it was soft ground!
We pulled to the side, where we got stuck pretty good. While we waited for the lift, I admired Nirvana and had to take a picture of her. She may be a 1987, but she still looks good!
Getting the straps of the lift around Nirvana was not an easy task during low tide. Needless to say, it was pretty nerve wracking. I think it's safe to say that Nirvana (and our hearts) survived. First lesson learned ... check the tides and don't haul-out if it's low! With very shallow water, it was tough to get the back strap past the keel. Once that was done, we learned our second lesson ... we hadn't thought of marking where the straps should go, I guess we just got lucky the first time in 2010. We were so busy watching the rear of the boat to make sure that the prop and shaft weren't caught in the straps that we didn't pay much attention to the bow strap. It should have been further up, as it was a bit on the keel. Ken couldn't rest until the boat was in place and he could check the keel for damage ... seems okay. Look at the keel in the picture below ... half of it was in mud!
We were glad to see the bottom looking so good ... it didn't hurt that the diver we occasionally hire had come the day before to it. A quick wash-down and Nirvana was ready to be set on the blocks and stands.
After all those blister repairs in 2010, we were glad to see a pretty smooth bottom. Our main reason for this haul-out is to paint the deck and non-skid. We weren't planning on messing with the bottom this time around, but the boatyard had other things in mind. We came back to find that they had sanded part of Nirvana's bottom! Since Ken's been slow at work and didn't have much for his helper (and friend) to do for some money, he paid him to finish the sanding. Looks like we'll be painting Nirvana's bottom after all. The picture below ... bottom sanded!
While the bottom was sanded, Ken was busy removing hardware from the deck. There was a lotta stuff, and some of it won't be going back on the boat. Unlike the previous owners of Nirvana, we won't be racing and we won't have room for the spinnaker when cruising. When reading "Cruising World" online, I learned a tip that Ken didn't know about. I was so pleased to teach him something that he used ... silicone in the holes instead of tape. It worked!
While Ken worked on the boat last week, I had to go to my regular job. This past weekend, I spent most of my time on the sofa nursing a bad cold that I'd been having the entire week. I didn't want to do anything but rest ... except for a visit to see Nirvana! The next step ... removing a few more things from the deck, then sanding it in preparation for spraying the primer.
With rain the past few days and Christmas Eve tomorrow, I doubt we'll be visiting Nirvana much this week. In the meantime, we're enjoying our new pad this Christmas and looking forward to time with family and friends. This past Friday night we had my parents, step-parents, aunt & uncle, our daughter and son-in-law over for our first Christmas celebration this year. It was the first time that our family (except our kids) had seen our new place. They loved it, and we had plenty of room to entertain them. Below is my view from the sofa ... with a little bit of special effects just for fun. It's still kinda surreal that we've actually moved and are moving ahead with our cruising plans, but I'm loving our cozy lil' space!
We hope all of you have a "Merry Christmas" ... or whatever you celebrate! Knowing that you take the time to read our blog and provide support is something we are truly grateful for. Lift your glass for us, and we'll do the same!
Hasta luego ... until then. Mid-Life Cruising!