On the Hard
12 September 2008 | South Shore Marine, Chester, NS
Beth, 6C in the early mornings, 21C by afternoon
This posting is long overdue. I'm not sure whether I really was so busy, I couldn't find time to write it, or whether I just didn't want to write an end of journey posting.
At any rate, I'll give a brief update so you'll know we aren't floating around any more.
We did get our one last anchorage - around the corner from Martin's Point, wonderfully protected from the North wind that blew through on Wednesday. We motored leisurely over to Stevens Cove on Thursday morning under clear skies and wonderfully fresh, crisp air. These are fabulous days to sail if you are able to go out for a few hours each day. The crispness of the air, the wide open bays and empty coves beckon enticingly, and all it takes is good warm clothes to be comfortable.
Alas - we had endings to think about. By 9 o'clock, we had attached ourselves to a mooring ball at South Shore Marine and prepared to spend Thursday getting ready for dismasting and haulout on Friday. It was not to happen quite that way. Cam came roaring out in the Marina launch and said, "Come on into the dock. We'll take your mast off this afternoon!"
We pulled up against the dock by the masting crane, took down sails, unhooked electrical wires at the base of the mast, grabbed a quick sandwich and at 12:30 were boarded by a hoard of men who went about detaching our radar, wind generator, bimini, dodger. Once those were safely out of the way, they detached the stays and shrouds, tied a loop around the mast, attached it to the crane and started lifting. Madcap has a keel-stepped mast (meaning it goes right through the deck to the bottom of the boat) and like any sailboat, a mass of stays (fore and aft) and shrouds (port and starboard) that hold the mast steady as it towers above the deck. While Jim and I watched, the crew of 5 held everything in place and had that mast off the boat, on the dock and all trussed up in no time at all.
Then it was our turn to winterize the water systems, stow things away to be ready for haul-out on Friday. Then came showers and clean up, and a very fine dinner at Sea Fire, the restaurant on the Marina property.
Saturday dawned bright, cool and calm, and by 8am the crew had us positioned for haul out. I was just getting my camera out of the locker when I felt us moving, popped my head up and saw that we were indeed being moved into position by four men with lines! Jim and I stood waiting on the dock while the straps were fastened into place under the keel and the lift began.
The last time we had the bottom cleaned was in Marsh Harbour in February. We had scrubbed the waterline on several occasions to rid it of the garden of algae that tended to grow there, but we hadn't had a look at the prop or the bottom since we got into cold and murky water. I was particularly anxious to see how our bottom paint had held up since I had spent many hours applying it a year and a half ago.
We each breathed a sigh of relief to see that although, as we expected, there were barnacles on bottom of the keel, the thru hulls and the base of the prop, and the zinc anode was gone, it all looked pretty darn good. The last (black) coat of Micron anti-fouling paint had rubbed off some along the water line, allowing the red coat and traces of the white barrier paint to show through, but the rest of it was just as solid as the day I applied it. Yahoo!!
I'll do a technical posting later on with details on prep for the trip and how it all worked out. Suffice it to say that despite normal weathering and wear and tear of bottom paint, gelcoat, brightwork (teak) and stainless, Madcap came through in excellent shape.
We cannot say enough about the professionalism of Steve Moody and his crew at South Shore Marine. They lifted the boat, thoroughly pressure washed the bottom, scraped off the worst of the barnacles and trucked Madcap up the hill to her winter resting place. Because our steel cradle is still in Ontario, she is on jack stands this year - nice sturdy ones, chained together. We'll have her winter cover moved down and that will go on to protect her from the snow this winter.