Hella big day. Splashed the boat. It did not sink. I am effing ecstatic.
Seriously, this has been the biggest attention drain for the past two months. Now I need to arrange with my transport person another trailering event – to get an inspection so I can get a license for it. But first, let me bore you all to tears with the GLORIOUS retelling of the most important maybe 15 minutes of the past 4 years. (For those of you not in the know, that was when I regretfully sold my last boat because family priorities were such that we could not maintain it.)
To set the stage, as it were, the boat is on the island. I am not, normally. For various reasons we could not arrange to splash the boat before Monday. To complexify the scheduling further, Elizabeth needed to be at the airport early Monday, requiring a ride, therefore I could not be on the island the night before, or even on the first ferry of the day. And it was Family Day in BC on Monday.
Family Day is a statutory holiday. This ultimately wreaked considerable havoc for splashing the boat, starting with Sunday. The cats’ vet office was closed due to the long weekend holiday. This was problematic because we remembered, Sunday, that we were out of pet food. Being mostly oblivious to veterinary schedules we failed to think through the “oh, well, after I drop you off at the airport I can pick up a case of cat food, race home and feed the beggars, then catch the ferry to the island.”
Instead I did a firedrill to find something, anything, that would suit cats with dietary restrictions at the last second on the holiday Monday morning.
Then I raced off to the ferry terminal, now a full hour later than I had planned on being on the road. Forgetting a pile of kit I wanted to bring with me to the boat for its test dip. Which was further compounded by arriving at the ferry to find the next sailing was not for another hour plus; there are no sailings between 8:30-ish and 10:30-ish this time of year apparently, even if it is a holiday.
All of which would at least have been less-bad had I remembered that I was supposed to park the vehicle and walk on the ferry, to be retrieved on the other side by the kid. But I did not. So it was not less-bad. Muchos dineros spent for no particularly good reason.
Anyway, I arrived, I drove to Duncan, the kids – bless their hearts – had the boat hooked up and nearly ready to drive away. Just tie down a few loose bits, note the time and make a few command decisions like no, we are not bringing the motor and etc., and no we are not going to re-rig the boat properly. We went.
Crofton is a launch ramp I was aware of, but had never visited to reconnoiter. But the kid had, while scouting for this particular event in fact. Excellent choice – two ramps and floating dock between them.
Of course, it was busy. Family holiday weekend. A couple hours past noon. The crack o’ dawn fishers were hauling back in. The late risers had finally gotten ’round to launching. We waited a while for a lull, and it eventually happened. Rolled down the ramp toward the water, remembered at the last second we had neither released the winch line nor attached fenders, mooring lines. Attended to that. Backed the final few feet, and Par le vent floated off the trailer.
There was no fuss, no drama. Light boat, gently afloat, needed a slight tug and that was it. All the planning we had done paid off with a perfect first launch – fully protected launch site, boat empty and ready to test launch, etc.
We walked her back far enough to let the daggerboard down (and discovered the depth sounder has an alarm – “Alert! Shallow water!” it said, reading all of 4′ of water.) Gravity worked; the daggerboard lowered without issues, and was rather more challenging to raise than it had been to lower. Side note: there really are two holes through the casting so one can lower it down onto pins.
Then we nosed her back onto the trailer, and pulled her out. No leaks, no problems. Secured all the gear below again, and drove her back to her tent shed. It was in and out so quickly I completely forgot to take photos.
Then the other holiday shoe dropped. All the next ferries were 100% full. And at Saanich and Departure, the ones after that, too. And the third ferries were looking questionable. The second ferry from Nanaimo to Tsawassen, though, was only 77% full, and would actually leave before the other still-available options, so I aimed to catch that one and left the kids in a hurry, without proper good byes and thanks.
I will admit I exceeded the legal speed limit on the route north, although not seriously. And I arrived at the terminal in time for a spot on the 20:15 sailing. And settled in to wait after getting something to eat. Then a miracle happened. Apparently enough of the reservations did not show (or got on an earlier ferry) that they squeezed me onto the 17:45 sailing – there were three cars after me who got on as well.
So, after a pretty horrid start to the day, we floated my boat! and I got home earlier than expected and with less hassle than I had feared. I also managed to knit nearly 8 cm on my current main project – a cabley baby blanket. w00h00! big accomplishments day.
I am so stoked.