Sitting on the Sidelines

‘Wednesday June 13, 2012

It is mid June now and our boat is still not in the water.  It’s amazing how quickly it can go from ‘I think we’ll have it in by Memorial Day….ok, maybe one week later….or just one more’.  Not that we won’t be spending every single day for the next few years living on and enjoying the boat, but I was sick of having it on the hard and wanted it in the water now so I gave up my weekly racing time to help finish the last few projects before it can be splashed.  Let it be known though that when I did suggest giving up my precious racing time to Matt I was under the impression that we would be launched that Saturday and enjoy the weekend on the boat in the water.  It was only after I promised this that I found out Torresen’s does not launch on Saturdays (Matt stil had work of his own to do on Friday) and we’d still be in the yard for yet another Sunday to do work.  I may have been able to go back on my word and say that since I had a full Sunday ahead of me again that my assistance would no longer be needed for a few hours on a Wednesday night, but Matt has been working so many long and hard hours to get this ready that I would have felt way too selfish to leave him to do the work alone again.  After picking him up from work we drove out to Muskegon and pulled into the marina just as  all the racers were making their way into the lake to prepare for the start and I could only stay on land and watch them go.

Serendipity was now alone in her row as all other boats had already launched or been moved to another area of the boat yard.  Grabbing my grungy clothes out of the car I looked over to the yacht club and saw Island Dream still sitting in her usual spot and I was tempted to make a run for it only leaving a dust cloud and my regards behind.  Being the dutiful wife though I walked to the restrooms instead to get changed.  When I got back to the car Island Dream was now gone and I looked out to the lake to see the boats begin to gather, some flying downwind with their spinnakers raised.  When I looked over to our boat I was happy to see that Matt had brought down the aft cradle pads and there was plently of room to get in and work.  No more cut and scrapped hands for me today, hopefully.  Getting the Makita out of the backseat I attached it to the extension cord I had just run and went to slide it between the cradle pad and the hull.  Silly me, I didn’t take into consideration that where would have to be enough room to account for the hight of the sander as well which would fit into some spots without a problem but could not squueze into the lower areas where the pad was still within an inch and a half to two inches from the hull.  My delusions of having both sides finished in 30 minutes were gone as I realized that I would have to back to hand sanding for a good portion of it.  Hoping I’d have more luck on the other side I quickly ducked over there and found there was an extra half inch or so of leeway and I worked at different angles getting almost 2/3 of the paint of with the power sander.

When I was left with an area that could only be hand sanded I dreaded what it might do to my hands since they were just starting to heal from Sunday.  Taking another sanding pad that had once belonged to the Makita I folded it in half and instead of using just one hand this time I tried a new method of grabbing each side of the pad and moving it from right to left in a sawing motion.  This actually let me put a lot more force behind it and didn’t require nearly as much work as how I was doing it last time.  Not that it was instantanious but this new way was definitely cutting down on time and on strenght from me.  Within 15-20 minutes that side was completely done and I was able to go back to the other side.  It was looking like I’d have about an hour of sunlight left before it started to go below the trees and I figured if I could have this side sanded by that time I would be in good shape.  The painting would only take me 5-10 minutes so this was really all that needed to be done by me on this trip out.  Going back to my sawing sanding motion I did find the starboard side had a little less room for my hands which made it slightly more difficult but I kept plugging along determined to get it finished.  Off on the lake I could see all the boats racing downwind with their spinnakers up and I kept my eye out for Island Dream.  In the distance I could see their blue, orange and yellow spinnaker and watched them mesmerized while they cruised along as it was much more fun than doing work.  As they were coming to the point to make a turn and lower the spinnaker there was a crane blocking my view so I climbed a few steps up the ladder to be able to see more clearly.   I would have given anything to be out there with them at that moment and not only because sailing on a boat is much more fun than working on one.  Waiting in anticipation I saw Island Dream round the marker and the spinnaker swiflly come down and out of sight as they began to make their way back upwind.  Everything went perfectly and I think a few guys in the boat yard were very curious as to why I was jumping up and down on the ladder with excitement.

 Getting back to my sanding and nearing the end the work did slow down and there were a few areas I was cursing, but just as the sun fell behind the trees I was scraping off the very last bit of VC-17 from our boat.  I triumphantly turned to Matt to show that it was finally complete,  and better yet I had finished it all on my own this time, but I don’t think he was as excited for me as I was.  Ready to get the paint buckets out and finish this job up once and for all he said I could probably hold off on that tonight because the new through-hull he’d be putting in on Friday would need to be painted as well and I may as well do it all at once.  Since the sky was still light we tried to squeeze in one more project of adding our home port to the stern.  We assumed it would be a fairly quick project and it was.  Matt took out the step ladder and positioned the letters on the stern while I stood back to make sure everything looked even and then he scraped them on with my ok.

Loading the car up to go home for the night I was disappointed not to carry on my weekly tradition of racing tonight but I was so so happy to now be 100% completely done with sanding.  Plus after just a little bit of cleaning up this weekend and getting everything on the inside straightened out we’ll finally be ready to get in the water.  So next week when I’m back on Island Dream and we leave the docks to race I can proudly point to Serendipity in the water and say in a Forrest Gump voice ‘That’s my boat…‘.

I may not have any pictures of my own to add for this night, but I will steal some of Tom’s from the race.  Here’s the crew that was out racing while I was gone.  And I found out after I got home from sanding and jumping on Facebook that I missed some real excitement where a strong gust of wind swung the boom over the cockping and knocked Mark right in the head!  Luckily he’s ok but was out of commission for about 15 minutes.  You see what happens when I’m not around to supervise?  All kidding aside, it was fortunate that nothing more serious happened and Mark sounds like he’ll be recovering just fine.

Skipper Tom

Hey…that doesn’t look like work!

Miss these guys!!

That looks just an iiiinsy bit painful!

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