I can’t wait to get on the water again. There’s nothing like it. Once your foot leaves that dock you are floating free, mind, body, and soul. Turn off you cellphones and hide your watches. They wont be needed for a while. There are no schedules. Not really. You have to work with the weather and the conditions of the ocean. If I absolutely had to be somewhere, I’d rather cruise on a rainy day than a wavy day. Today, however, we have both sunshine and flat seas, and as an added bonus, calm winds. Sure it’s a tad nippy, but the boat is heated.
Ginger Lee hasn’t been floating or running for nearly 5 months. Special attention must be paid to everything, especially the bilge; this is where the water collects if something leaks. I lift the aft deck hatch and see a steady stream coming in from the starboard rudder stuffing box. Not a problem. It’s actually designed to leak a little. About 5 drips per minute is normal. With a special tool, I quickly make the adjustment. The next problem is totally unexpected. Because we pulled into this slip bow in, I had dropped the anchor onto the dock so people could walk by without impaling themselves. As I was hoisting it, the end of the roller boom simply broke off. I guess it’s better that it happened here instead of while trying to anchor.
Odd that it failed without any load, but I figure it’s original to the boat which is a 1975 model. Forty years of service is not bad. I call the GOOD AUTOMATIC WINDLASS COMPANY in New Jersey and order another.They tell me that the new booms are much stronger, will bolt up in the exact same holes, and I will have it in two days. Excellent!
The XO unties the dock lines and stows the fenders as I back out of the slip. Good bye Moby Dick Marina. See ya in the Fall.
I hail the New Bedford Bridge on channel 13.
“New Bedford Bridge. Motor vessel Ginger Lee. Over.”
“Bridge. Go ahead Ginger Lee. Over.”
“Good morning! What time will you open Sir? Over.”
“Ten minutes Cap. West side transit. Bridge out.”
“Good copy. Ginger Lee out.”
After we clear the swing bridge, I pull over and let a fast fishing boat go through the hurricane barrier first. Hey. He’s at work.
The rest of the 3 hour trip was uneventful. Just what ya want in a shakedown cruise. A beautiful start to the season. It was great seeing our home port from the water once again, even though he trees had no leaves on them, and there were no other boats in our mooring field, on any other mooring field for that matter. That will change. Soon the trees and foliage will become lush and green; the beaches will be filled with families and sun worshipers alike; shrieking children will frolic in the warm waters; kayakers, paddleboarders, clammers will be here as well; and there will be happy boaters everywhere, enjoying our Warehamian paradise.