At long last, the time had come to leave the boatyard. Late on a Friday afternoon, the launch crane rumbled along and transferred Emerald from her support cradle to the slings. The yard is closed over the weekend, and allows boats to hang in the slings during that time before launching on Monday. We felt excitement bubbling at being so close to escape, but we had one major job to complete. When we Coppercoated in April, we weren't able to access the patches underneath the cradle supports nor below the keel. The two days in the slings would give us access to these areas with sufficient time for applying and drying the product.
We'd booked the crane a week ago, thinking surely there'd be no risk from wet weather in the middle of May. However, on Thursday, the weather forecast was showing a chance of light rain for Friday night. We laughed. What else could we do?
Thankfully, it was just the forecast gods messing with us. The rain stayed away and by Saturday lunchtime the job was finished. After a busy week of preparing for launch, the water tanks were full, as were the fuel tanks. We had gas for at least 6 months and the food stores were groaning. There was nothing else to do until Sunday evening when we would lightly sand the Coppercoat. With this unexpected free-time, we rewarded ourselves with a meal out and a last Faro wander.
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