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Namani at Sea
The travels of Nana, Markus and Nick aboard Namani
Laying Up Namani
Nana
22-Jul-2008, Yarmouth, Maine

It is strange to be winterizing our boat in July while other sailors are just launching, and very sad to see Namani out of the water. The end of our adventure, at least this one. I am trying to get motivated for the "adventure" of heading back to work and "real life". Wasn't what we just had real life, too? A really good life, that's for sure.

We spent four days tied up alongside at Yankee Marina getting everything ready for two years of storage. Starting with general cleaning and fresh water washing everything, and then on to specifics: outboard ready for storage, sails stowed, anchor and chain cleaned, etc. I wish we had kept track of how many meters (kilometers?) of line we washed or how many kilos or gear we unloaded, Lego collection and all.

On the fifth day, the mast was unstepped and Namani hauled out. Markus could watch it optimistically, glad for our year of sailing, but for me it was a sad moment. Typically for him, Nicky was unmoved, except for fervently admiring the power washer used to clean Namani's dirty hull. Since hauling her out, we have spent two more days perched high above the ground in the boat yard to finish off the job list: winterizing the engine, emptying all lockers, painting a few corners, drying the bilge, greasing the steering, etc.

Namani is now 27 years old and has crossed the Atlantic at least three times (with us and with her former owners). She seems to be in generally good shape though we know there will be several major projects to undertake before our next long cruise. New sails, a new topsides paint job, a little repair to the keel. We suspect that parts of the deck will have to be replaced if the core proves as hollow as it sounds, in places at least. Well, time will tell. It will be good to focus on getting her ready for future cruising rather than moping about this ending.

Namani is not the biggest or nicest sailboat around, but I am continually struck by the number of "biggers" and "nicers" we see that rarely, if ever, venture away from their home waters. It is certainly true that the best boat for cruising is the boat you have now. And to go now! A case in point is our sailor neighbor at the marina: he bought a beautiful and spacious Bristol sloop three years ago and outfitted it for extensive cruising. Health problems intervened with his plans and he was forced to sell the boat. It makes us doubly appreciate our good fortune to be able to turn our dream into a reality.

In our time at the boat yard, many different people come up to ask us if we were the ones who had sailed "all the way" from Europe. That provided a little fanfare for the conclusion of our yearlong journey which was touching for us, and a prompt for us to quietly celebrate our cruise. We are not quite ready to let go yet, so we will make a few more blog posts and update our website with some practical information for sailors and answers to the most commonly asked questions we hear about our trip.

Not yet, the end.

04 - Puerto Rico to Maine
The last post from aboard Namani (for now)
Markus
13-Jul-2008, Tied up at Yankee Boatyard, Yarmouth, ME

As I will have to disconnect our SSB antenna (read: insulated backstay) tomorrow in preparation for unstepping Namani's mast, this will likely be the last blog post from aboard Namani (at least for this trip - more wrap-up to follow once we're land-locked again). We had nice afternoon sail last Thursday up to Yarmouth on the Royal River where we are now tied up at the Yankee Boatyard (again a very likeable family business). Since Thursday we've been busy getting Namani ready for haul-out and storage on the hard - freshwater washing all sails and about half a mile of lines and running rigging, plus all anchors and chains, cleaning all the nooks and crannies, ...

Despite all the clean-up we're very happy to be "back home" on Namani again, even though it will only be for a few more days. We'll have a sailmaker take measurements tomorrow morning (it's Sunday evening now) for a new suit of sails (main plus #1 and #2 genoa) which we will need before we do any more extensive cruising aboard Namani again. Haul-out will likely be on Tuesday.

Aside from all boat business we've also fallen in love with Yarmouth - a beautiful little town. We've slowly started running again two weeks ago (after a year no aerobic exercise...) - first on Peaks Island and now in Yarmouth - and every time we set out from the boatyard here we find some new little treasure around the town.

Back in Gibraltar, Peter Crouch from "Jenny" had called Namani a "tough little boat" - which is definitely the way we've come to think of her and like her. Provided we can ascertain over the next two weeks that she still is "structurally sound", we will look forward to ready her again for some extended cruising in a "few" years time. Stay tuned...

PS: Picture above shows our well worn German ensign which just made it to Yarmouth before fully disintegrating...

04 - Puerto Rico to Maine
Passing the Torch?
Nana
09-Jul-2008, Moored off Peaks Island

We have had a busy two weeks in Maine so far - mostly with family and friends. We have delayed and delayed hauling Namani out and instead spent our time doing short, fun harbor sails with cousins, guests, nieces, nephews, uncles from age 4 to 72. Portland harbor is a beautiful place with stone 1800's forts, and the near islands of Casco Bay are our home waters, the place where I learned to sail. My father loved sailing (and dreamed of doing a trip like we have just completed) and it always fell to him to sail Portland harbor and the islands with his cousins, nieces, or guests on board. Now we have the boat, we host the rides, and we coach the little ones as they take their turn at the wheel. So in a way the torch has been passed. It is sad that my father (who died 24 years ago without fulfilling his biggest sailing dreams) can't join us on Namani, but he was aboard in my thoughts throughout our trip and a major inspiration to go, and go now.

When we first came to Maine two weeks ago, we had more or less completed our planned route, but we were eager for one last mini cruise to the northern end of Casco Bay. "Aren't you dying to get off your boat?" asked one person, incredulous. Well, no, actually; I am dying NOT to get off my boat! The other question we hear a lot of is "How was your trip?" 10,000 miles at about 5 knots makes for many varied impressions. The quick answer we all settle for is "Good" or "Great!" I suppose reading the entries to this blog would provide the longer, more thorough answer to that question. Malta, Arearea, Gibraltar, Sea Bright, the Grenadines, US East Coast - where to begin? We have been lucky to have this fantastic year, and, may I say, smart to have done it. I don't think we will regret the fact that we might never own a house or that our retirement savings didn't grow over the past year. What we do own is precious experiences, what did grow were our family bonds.

Tomorrow we will sail Namani to Yarmouth and ready her for storage until we are ready for our next trip, which I hope is sooner rather than later. We will write our last blogs (for the moment!) from there soon.

04 - Puerto Rico to Maine

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