Sunday, October 2, 2016

Ready to Haul

We've had a productive three days here at the Charleston City Boatyard, and Windbird is ready to haul tomorrow morning at high tide (10:58am). I'm a little nervous about getting her out of our current docking spot...we've got a 107-foot motor yacht named Shana parked behind us and the only way to get out of here is to reverse, which is a maneuver in which Windbird doesn't excel. I'm thinking wait for absolute slack water and then kick the stern out about 40 degrees with a bow spring line and a big fender in forward gear (left hand prop, remember) then use reverse propwalk to straighten out as I sneak around that very expensive yacht's 26' beam. We'll see how that goes.

In the last few days we've stripped Windbird of her sails, her stack pack, lazy jacks, all her lines and halyards, her dodger, bimini and enclosure, her dinghy hoist, her chainplate covers, her mast-bottom electrical connections...all that's left to take off - after she's hauled - is the spinnaker pole and boom. We've also done a fair amount of cleaning, which is probably pointless as she'll get filthy again in the yard. I replaced her lightning-fried stereo yesterday and we were happy to have tunes again. I have a replacement part for her gooseneck to install on the boom tomorrow and will try to get the current one welded as a spare, and will be ordering new Tides Track tomorrow as well...I went up the mast to measure it today. I definitively diagnosed the fuel problem (he said oh-so-cautiously) but none of the few marine stores open on the weekend had the necessary parts so it's a fix I'll be making on the hard and testing once she's splashed again. Thank you Al for the suggestions in the comments to my last post, thankfully it didn't get that involved. There were two blockages that I identified - which screwed with my initial diagnosis - but with both of them bypassed the engine is getting plenty of fuel and is running well.

Our days have been productive but we've found time to have some fun at night as well. Friday night we went out in Charleston, and last night we saw the movie "Sully" at a local ciniplex. It was pretty good considering that I'm pretty intimately familiar with the subject material. Their depiction of the NTSB investigation was pretty bogus but there was a lot else they got right, including quite a few things that nobody but an airline pilot would notice. I'm actually friends with Jeff Skiles, the FO on USAirways 1549, and Aaron Eckhart did a rather good job of adapting his personality and sense of humor. As an aside, I was in lower Manhattan when they ditched in the Hudson. I had landed at Newark earlier in the day and, as was my custom, took my crew across to NYC to do the tourist-and-pub-crawl thing. We were waiting in line for the Staten Island Ferry (free, and affords a nice view of the Statue of Liberty) when a bunch of news helicopters started orbiting over the harbor and several police boats tore out of the East River and up the Hudson. We got on the ferry and soon overheard someone saying that a USAirways Airbus had crashed. I felt absolutely sick. Then we all started reloading on our phones and soon discovered everyone had survived and was floating serenely down the river towards us. What a great feeling, then and in the days afterward. I will note that day was wicked cold, and cloudier and breezier than depicted in the movie. We stood on the back deck of the ferry trying to see the commotion upriver and were soon chased inside by the icy wind.

Dawn and I met a nice older gentleman on the docks today named David; he has a gorgeous 1999 Tayana 65 named Pintail that he's been working on here for "1 year 7 months." He said this boatyard has been extremely slow for him. I certainly hope that's not the case for us, all the google and activecaptain reviews I read online were fairly complimentary. We'd really like to be done in a month so we and Piper can move aboard.

Tonight we found a local sports bar called Tailgators & we'll be returning there tomorrow to watch our Vikings take on the Giants during Monday Night Football. Very early Tuesday we'll be flying out to LaGuardia and then Manchester, NH to attend Mark Handley's Celebration of Life in Concord, NH.

1 comment:

  1. I remember your blog post from 1549 rather clearly - I think the locals said something like "a small plane...only 150 passengers". ;)