Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I don't like being cold. Never have. Never will.

Included in this boat experience was the thought that we would leave frigid temperatures behind once and for all. Sure, there might be a time when we would see maybe, perhaps, some morning lows in the 40's, but that would be the extreme. Our last trip showed me how wrong I was.

A few weeks ago, we had another guest sailor onboard Maya. (Tom begged off on this one as it was going to be even colder than our last trip. Smart man.) So this time, my dad joined me. Dad is really great about trying new things. He is in his 70's now, but still as spry and inquisitive as always. It was going to be cold and uncomfortable, but he didn't care. He just wanted to go.

The trip started out in Jacksonville Florida where we were having some work done on Maya. We had new bottom paint applied and addressed several nagging mechanical issues that had popped up over the past few months. It is expensive to haul the boat out of the water so you don't want to do it very often. When you do, you will want to take care of all the maintenance items that require a dry hull all at once. Its best to save up these jobs and do them all at the same time.

The paint they put on the bottom is especially made for boats. That just means that its about 10 times more expensive than regular paint. Anyway, you cannot apply this paint in temperatures below 40 degrees. It won't dry correctly if you do. Because of the coldness in Florida that week, we just had to sit around and wait out the weather. This 5 day job was turning into a 10 day job.

It was neat watching them haul Maya out of the water. Essentially, you maneuver the boat beneath this very large lifting apparatus that has giant canvas straps connected to it. Once everything is in place, they simply lift the boat right out of the water. They then move it to jackstands and blocks where they gently set it down. 44 thousand pounds is a lot to lift and carry, but somehow they made it work.

Eventually the temperatures moderated enough for them to get the paint on and us out. As a business owner, I would think the last thing you would want is to have your customers milling about, pestering your workers all day long. We spent a lot of time asking questions. Unfortunately for them, the questions usually started with the word "When?" The days were tedious. It was like watching paint dry.

Soon enough however, the job was complete and we were on our way. The plan was to take our time and head over to Palm Coast where we had arranged for a slip. We were going to anchor out and enjoy a peaceful and serene two day cruise. When we awoke to temperatures in the teens, we decided to make a one day run for it.

I felt a little bad for Dad as I think he was truly looking forward to spending some time on the boat. It was just too cold though. We spent a marathon day inside the salon helm, taking turns driving and watching the dolphins swim by. By 5 o'clock when we finally reached our destination, we were both ready to be done. Cramming that two day trip into one was a lot of work. I think Dad enjoyed the adventure, nonetheless. On the way home he asked, "when can I go again?" Of course he has a standing invitation to come along anytime he wants.