Aboard Big Frisky it is not all barbeque and sunbathing, sunsets and rainbows. As we found out this week.
For two months we have had our sights set on Charlevoix, a picturesque lake town in northern Michigan: choosing it not for its natural beauty, but because of the boat work we planned to have done by Irish Boat Shop
, located on the banks of Lake Charlevoix. We needed some electronics and antenna installed, a cabinet which has been taking up most of the rear quarter berth fitted, and most importantly, davits mounted for carrying our dinghy so we don't have to drag it around behind us while we are sailing.
Our boat was made in China and everything on it is fabricated and fitted on site. The davits are articulating and made specifically for our boat. The cabinets are made of Makore (African Cherry
) built by Outbound to match the rest of the wood on Big Frisky.
In May we flew to Ft. Lauderdale to pick up the davits and cabinet. They were shipped from China aboard a new Outbound being transported by container ship. We left Indy at 6am, rented a van at the Ft Lauderdale airport and were at the marina for the pick up at 10:30am. Then we drove back to Indy, sleeping in a big comfy bed provided by our niece Katie and her beautiful family in their home just north of Atlanta. A few days later, Kurt delivered the davits in Charlevoix returning to Carmel the same day.
Thousands of miles of traveled, our boat parts were now at Irish Boat Shop, ready for installation and so were we!
The captain and I got up very early on the morning of our service work, emptying everything out of the lockers, setting plastic bins on the deck of the boat, moving the dinghy engine off its mount and in general turning our boat into the set of "Sanford and Son." We rented a car in anticipation of needing to get out of the way for the technicians to complete their work. When the first workmen showed up at 8 am we were ready for them.
The first sign of trouble came when the technician came back to the boat at 8:05 to ask if there were any more parts. Uh, oh... No, there were no other parts. That's when he told us that each of the components to be installed was missing a part. A part made, manufactured and shipped from China. We emailed the president of Outbound to find out when we could get the parts delivered. As the hours passed, the situation became increasingly dismal.
The mood aboard Big Frisky was foul. What few words were spoken, were liberally laced with language unbefitting to a librarian. Finally, I cut my losses and drove into Charlevoix, found a bookstore and bought a good book. Dianne, manager at Round Lake Books,
helped me find the perfect read: "The Martian," about a guy who gets stranded on Mars and survives adversity by his wits alone, one step forward, two steps back. Picked up a beach chair on sale at the Rite Aid on the way back to the marina with a plan to head for the beach and disappear for a while.
I hadn't even finished applying sun screen when the Captain showed up on the dinghy to go for a "ride to the beach." I was on page 8 of my book. We rode around a couple hours on the dinghy, with all three dogs, but were unable to find the" hidden beach." Something I predicted before we left but it didn't seem worth noting on the trip back to the boat, where the pall had not yet lifted. Undaunted, I returned to the city park beach with my book, chair and now a cold beer.
The captain made good use of his time as well installing a bottle opener, EPIRB units and the life raft, not necessarily in order of importance. No one was in the mood for a barbeque. No one cared about the sunset. I made a frozen pizza while Kurt picked up a couple of movies. We loved Jupiter Rising and the next morning reassessed our situation.
The parts would come in when they came in and meantime we were in the most beautiful part of northern Michigan with warm sunny skies and fair winds. We made a plan to make the best of it. Here we come Petoskey!