What a crazy day! So last we left you, we had the boat emergency hauled out in Rodney Bay, St Lucia, to fix our drive shaft problem that caused us to take on a lot of water. Mechanics came and removed the flexible coupling and found it to be bad. We ordered the part, which was due in customs Thursday at 2:00 PM. Since hauling, found out that they really didn’t need to haul our boat out to fix this problem and it was a “boat buck” spent unnecessarily. But we won’t dwell on that and just focus on moving forward. Since the part can be installed while the boat is in the water, we wanted to splash as soon as possible!
The mechanics came back and reinstalled the bad part so that we can use the engine to get to the dock. Once that was installed, Dave turned on his charm to talk the manager into getting us on the schedule to be splashed ASAP. He did succeed in getting on the schedule for the next day, but they came back later and said that the lift will be down the next day to change the tires. Ugh! Now Dave really turned up the charm and persistence to get us to splash that day before they went home. The schedule was full, but with the lift down for a day, the back up as going to be bad.
Five minutes before 5:00 PM, closing time, the lift did come for us. Awesome! Way to persevere, Dave! The next problem was the setting sun. We really had to get a move on. Dave and I already had the boat all prepped and ready to go just in case.
If you look closely at the picture above, you can see that the lift caught on the whip antenna. It kept bending and bending until it was either going to break or snap free. Fortunately, it snapped free. It is difficult to get to in order to remove it, but Grenada Marine had removed it. Oh well, all good now.
The lift kept coming up our boat. They could clearly see the keels this time (that had surprised them when we hauled out) to know where to put the straps.
The guy with the hard hat sitting on top of his dread stacked head is using a remote control to operate the lift. We’ve been hauled out at several different places (probably more than most relatively new boat owners) and this is the first time the lift didn’t have a driver on it. It was really cool to watch, but it didn’t move and stop quite as smoothly as a driver-operated lift. This caused the boat to swing more than usual. But the antenna and wind generator had plenty of clearance, so that wasn’t a problem.
The lifts are amazing to watch. They can turn 360 degrees in the same spot. This maneuverability is quite necessary in these packed in boat yards! We have so many pictures and so much video footage of our boat out of the water – probably more than pictures of the boat in the water, something I will need to remedy somehow.
As you can see, it was getting dark. The boat needed to be back in the water before dark to avoid any issues. We also still needed to get the boat to the docks and parked in its slip, which is much easier in daylight.
We made it to the launching slip and the sun hadn’t completely set yet. That’s good because the lift had no headlights to see the narrow track. The picture at the top of the page is one of my new favorite sunset pictures. What a beautiful sight after being high and dry!
They eased the boat down to let us climb aboard. The mechanic came with us to make sure the drive shaft didn’t have a problem when we started the engine and put it in gear. No water leaked in and everything functioned okay, so we were cleared to go.
The sun was down and the straps were lowered. Dave drove forward out of the launching slip. I arranged the fenders and lines for the dock and called the marina for a slip assignment. They stayed open late just for us.
And Livin’ Life is back in the water! What a wonderful sight to see! We docked on the last light.
We left our dinghy in the marina in case we needed to use it to get around. Izzy R kept it the first night, then Renegade took it in when Jeff and Izzy flew home to Irvine. Thank you Dirk and Nancy for letting us use your parking spot!
We also owe thanks to Dan and Melissa on Slow Dancing for taking in our thawed and thawing meat. Without the use of their freezer, we would have lost several hundred dollars in meat. Don’t we have the best friends? We still had to move out of the hotel room and it was late, so we spent the night in the room and checked out the next morning. The part didn’t come in or didn’t clear customs on Thursday, but we just got it and are expecting the mechanics to come soon to install it. Unfortunately, the weather has taken a turn for the worse and there are small craft advisories in place until Tuesday. We have a choice. We can stay here until then, moving out to the anchorage, and watch the forerunners of the ARC come in. We heard our friends Paul and Sheryl on Distance Shores are in the lead. Or we can make a nasty short hop to Sainte Anne, Martinique, and explore new territory with our friends on Banyan and Slow Waltz. But I’m getting ahead of myself: we still need to get that part installed!