Monday, October 27, 2014

Dirt Dwellers

It's official we are now Dirt Dwellers for the next 6 or 7 months.  We had a successful lift out on Saturday, October 18th, yeah!!  The boat was balanced, it was close to high tide and everything went off without a hitch.  What a relief!!  It was a great day for lift out and there were a number of boats to be hauled so there were others around to lend us a hand so all is well.  We spent most of that day cleaning up and Barry was helping others so at the end of day he was wet and cold.  It was decent day for lift out but weather had moved in and it started raining in the afternoon so we were very glad to head back to our apartment and jump into a hot bath.  
Sunday was wet, windy and cold but the sun came out on Monday and I spent most of the next two days polishing our year old paint job, hopefully protecting it from whatever a Cape Breton winter will throw at it.  I was remembering the overpowering heat and humidity when I did it last year in Trinidad, not sure which I prefer.  Having cold water drip down my arms and soak my layers of jacket so my arms were freezing by the end of the day may have preferable to sweat streaming down my body but I am just not sure.  Barry did all those winterizing things guys do to motors and water pipes, hoses and intake valves. Cat's-Paw IV is about as ready as she is going to get to spend this season on the hard. 
While we were waiting for the lift to be fixed we took a day and went for a drive around the Cabot Trail.  It was gorgeous with the fall colours shining in their glory.  We have never been in this part of the country at this time of year before and now we can understand why there has been a cruise ship in Sydney Harbour every day for the past two or three weeks.  We stopped and did two short hikes along the trail, leaving me with the desire to do more. 

I regularly check up on Facebook and found out from reading her daughter's posts that one of our old friends from Yellowknife was in the area.  We managed to hook up and had a very delicious lunch with Pat Barbour, now Fielding.  We invited her for lunch later in the week and took her down to see a very messy boat. She used to sail with us on our first boat in Yellowknife.  She was here with her brother and his wife to take in a series of concerts that is Celtic Colours week.  She inspired us and we attended an Acadian Night that featured some great fiddling and step dancing as well as a very entertaining groups from Quebec. 
We stopped by to see our family the other day ( how great is it to be able to say that ) and after a short road hockey game, William and Leeland joined me in creating an undersea garden on the driveway. Cat's-Paw IV was riding on the waves and a palm tree was waving on a beach off to the side.  

When Jennifer got home she asked if we wanted to help carve pumpkins.  The boys decided what faces they wanted and Mom and Grannie carved away. Grandpa was the official photographer and took some great photos. 

We had our first guests to sleep over last Saturday night.
We thoroughly enjoyed our evening with them, playing cards, a shortened game of Scrabble and trying a beginner form of Yahztee.  They fell asleep without too many problems and Mom and Dad got to sleep in on Sunday morning while we took them to hockey.  Fortunately William knows how to put on his own hockey equipment and we managed to get him on the ice on time. After the practise I went down to the change room.  It was my first ever visit to a hockey dressing room and the I was amazed at the amount of energy that was emanating from that space.  It was filled with parents peeling off sweaty hockey gear and stuffing it in big bags, siblings waiting for their turn to get dressed or wanting to leave, and grandparents standing back against the wall in silent support, a real Canadian experience. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Not a banner week

We are ensconced in our new apartment.  It is roomy and I have managed to frame a few of our pictures from around the world so it feels like our space.
The furniture from Mark and Jen's cabin fits in well and will be great for the time we are here.  We are using their dishes as well so we would be able to go sailing in the spring without transfering a bunch of housewares. We had a few hitches hooking up our internet, but it finally has happened, yeah!!  
At the dock almost ready to be lifted out, no dodger, no sails, very few lines, boom waiting to be tied down.
The other problem is the boat.  We had a lift out scheduled for last Tuesday and we were all prepared. When the travel lift hoisted the boat out of the water it was not level, the operator thought it would straighten out when he put it down, but no such luck.  
Look at how crooked the boat is VERY SCARY!!!
We tried everything, putting the jackstands high on one side and low on the other but the boat just kept looking more and more crooked. IT WAS UGLY. At one point it bent one of our brand new jackstands. Then the lift started malfunctioning, the brake didn't work and the cables kept slipping and the boat would suddenly lurch, NOT GOOD to have a 26,000 lbs.of anything jerking about in the air.  I was almost sick to my stomach.  We finally decided that the best thing to do was put it back in the water and try to lift it straighter. We had to wait four hours for the tide to come up and then tried again, it wasn't completely straight when he lifted it and the operator put it down and said that he didn't know why it wasn't coming out straight and he wouldn't do it again. SO, we took the boat back to the slip. 
It was so disappointing not to get her out, we have had her lifted seven times before and we have never had a problem before.   We put a level on the boat and discovered that it did not sit level in the water so we moved our extra chain around inside the boat and we took 100 litres of fuel out of the bow and put it in jerry cans so it won't be on the boat the next time we go to lift it.  We also took off our wind generator and our wind vane hoping we could be lifted out backwards but after doing that work we looked at the travel lift again and once we measured we could only be lifted out bow first.  I guess we should have measured before we did all the work, when will we learn. 
We went to see a different lift operator on Thursday morning at the club, thinking he would give us a time for our haul out and he informed us that the cables on the lift  were fraying and needed to be replaced so probably the soonest we could be lifted out was next Wed.  In the afternoon I convinced Barry we needed a change of pace and we went to a local 9 hole golf course and shot a round of golf. I quickly pulled out in the lead with a couple of lovely fairway shots and then my game fell apart and Barry pulled ahead.  Going into the 9th hole Barry was 2 strokes ahead but he choked on the green  and we finished the round all even.  It was a beautiful day, the sun gleamed down on the trees lining the course that were all shades yellow, red and orange, gorgeous.