Friday 2 November 2012

Last Boat Out

"Sandy, my darlin', you hurt me real bad..."
                                   -John Travolta

     Haul out.

      Our winter haul out is usually not a very complicated process.  Reluctantly leave the Dock on the last day of the season, wipe away a tear or two as we sail or motor out of the Marina and up the river to the yard, strike the sails, strip the canvas, clean out a season of accumulated junk from the cabin, then segue into boat building season.

      This year, it was like one of those eight grade "If a train leaves the station travelling East and another train..." math questions come to life.

      Original plan:  Haul out on the last day of the season, October 31st, which also happens to be my day off.  Perfect!

       October 18, Complication #1 is introduced.  A sign appears in the marina, tersely warning that the lift bridge will be closed to navigation from October 29- December 15.

       Okay, so now that means we haul out on October 28.  The season is shortened, but not drastically.  No problem.

        Complication #2:  October 28 is Sunday.  A day of rest for the hardworking yard crew.  So, no haul out.

       Okay, I explain the issue to Steve at Bridge Yachts , Whiskeyjack's winter home and he tells me just to grab an empty slip.  No problem.

       Then, the big one, complication #3:  The impending potential arrival of Hurricane Sandy, and the attendant craptastic weather being pushed or stalled right over our heads, starting October 27.

        Sigh.  Okay,  so that is why we ended up scooting up the river with Wally on Friday October 26.

Since I work all weekend, it also meant that the wheels came off our usual finely honed haul out plan.  Whiskeyjack and Quack made it up the river, but Chirp remained on the lee side of the Dock until Sunday evening.

   SWMBO and I donned our foulies and hauled a rain-filled Chirp down the dock, until she ran out of wet stuff to float in.

   We emptied her out, which paradoxically led to me filling my boots with foul-smelling and fouler-feeling muddy sand. (Or sandy mud, depending upon your point of view.)


After rinsing my filthy and cold lower limbs in marginally less filthy and cold lake water, we backed Lady Liberty down to the foot of the Dock and  we wrestled the now-empty doughty craft from the grip of the bottom on which she rested, and manhandled her atop our shore transport.

     Leaving us with a final forlorn image of the season:


"Talk the Dock!"


  1. Well done in adverse circumstances. Call it character-building and seamanship-enhancing and pour yourselves a bracing beverage.

  2. Sorry I couldn't be there to help, but now we begin the count down to April 15. I can't believe that in the last few years my year is measured from April 15 to October 31. In a short time the days will start getting longer!