I know many of you remember Carol, who worked at our front desk for well over a decade. She loved everyone, and always had a hug ready for them. She loved to travel and see friends and relatives. She retired from our office, only to spend even more time traveling and donating time to charities. When she passed away suddenly a couple of years ago, it was like loosing a very dear family member.
Quite a few years ago, Carol gave us some cookie mixes, created by a charity to help abused women. Snickerdoodles. The bag looked so cool, I could hardly wait to try and make them. But I decided it would be best to wait for a special occasion. Time and occasions came and went, but I never got around to making the Snickerdoodles. When I had time, the occasion didn’t seem special enough. When a fitting occasion arrived, I didn’t have time or just didn’t remember.
So now we moved everything to a boat. Including a mix for Snickerdoodles. I decided now would be a great time to make them… honoring Carol and the women she supported. But had the mix gone bad? As they were baking, the boat filled with a wonderful aroma, and when I took them out of the oven, they looked great!
But they tasted lousy. Not horrible, but not worth the eating. Sigh. I dumped them all in the trash. All those years spent waiting for the right time to do something… I bet you can see where this is going. The time to make your Snickerdoodles is now. If you wait too long, you will miss out entirely. Savor your Snickerdoodles!
So in our last episode, we had hauled out Grace to have some work done. We have now had her bottom cleaned and painted (is it politically incorrect to say “her bottom looks really good?”). The props have been swapped, the rudder removed and cleaned up, the end of the keel that supports the rudder rebuilt (it was apparently damaged in a grounding incident).
The stabilizer fins are being removed and serviced.
All is going pretty well, except one big problem… the bow thruster has some teeth missing! With all the teeth I’ve replaced in my career, you’d think this would not be too big of a problem, but I am not very skilled at replacing teeth in gears. It looks like somehow a log or something very hard was ingested into the thruster, breaking these very important teeth. So they will have to be restored by the company that created them, and they live in Western Canada. And have just apparently changed gear suppliers, so they are having a difficult time getting me the proper teeth to make me smile. Sigh. So we are stuck here, on the hard, for at least another week. Sigh again.
So we decided to move all our stuff on board now, instead of waiting till we are again in the water. We had almost everything we own shipped to Ft Lauderdale in a POD. I was hoping we’d be launched by now, and could just take stuff from the POD to the van, and then down a dock and onboard. Now we would have to carry all 8,342 boxes up the ladder and onto the stern. (maybe that isn’t the exact number, but it feels like it!)
So here is the van with 82% of all the POD contents loaded… notice how the rear is sagging! (we were too, but I don’t know if that made the van any happier). So after a myriad of trips up the ladder with heavy boxes, we got two van loads dumped into our nice boat…
And this is what she looks like! Hopefully, by Monday she will be all ship shaped again… I’ll admit I’m grateful there is a Sabbath rest in between now and then!
Grace needs a little “out of the water” time – to get the bottom painted, some seals upgraded, the prop swapped out with the spare, the rudder adjusted, and the stabilizer fins serviced. So we left our beautiful marina, and did the 1.5 hour trip to the Playboy Marine Boatyard. (Not sure where the name came from – not a bunny in sight.) So down the New River, past many beautiful old Florida type homes, then by hundreds of high rises, and under 5 drawbridges. Next a few minutes on the Intra-Coastal Waterway.
Then up the Dania Cut-off Canal; more industrial and less private homes. There are many boatyards along this canal. We were soon at the Playboy Marine site, and the Travelift was in place awaiting our arrival. A little intimidating, with a bit of wind pushing us forward, and two gigantic Mega Million Dollar yachts close on either side!
But we managed rather painlessly to get Grace in proper position, and the excellent handlers arranged the slings under her hull and lifted her out of the water. She only weighs 98,000 pounds!
If you ever get somewhat smug, thinking you have a big boat, Ft Lauderdale is the perfect cure for that! Our boat looks like a toy between these two Super Yachts!
Once lifted out of the water, they power wash her and drive her to a parking spot, where they carefully rest her on blocks and chocks, undo the slings, and drive the Travelift to the next boat. They seem to move about 1 boat every hour. Again, while I am very impressed how the Travelift can easily lift a boat this size, the next yard over has one twice the size used to lift boats you see on either side of us.
So now our “little boat” is “on the hard”, getting her work done. She does somewhat dwarf the van…
I know I said we were finally on the boat… but we hadn’t finished moving out of our house yet. So we have been doing a bit of driving. Like 6,000 miles! We have been dispersing furniture and things all over the country. We are getting pretty good at dragging U-haul trailers around- from our home in Denver to Monterey, California to see friends, then a cousin in Grass Valley, California, and on to Kennewick Washington to spend a little time with our oldest daughter and her family. With the trailer emptied and returned, we drove back to Denver to finish emptying the house. Then the second trip – this time to Minneapolis via Lincoln, Nebraska. Another trailer load of furniture and storage stuff! While staying with our younger daughter and her family, we got to visit the cute little chocolate shop where she works as a chocolatier. Very cool!
Then back to Denver and get rid of anything left in the house! Some things shipped to keep on the boat, more stuff shipped to each of the kids, some to other family members, lots donated locally and even more to the dumpster!! In 41 years of marriage we have accumulated lots of stuff! And we are now on an anti-stuff crusade!
So our first day back at the boat we got her new name put on! It looks great! Fun to watch him put it on, too. We worked a long time to get just the font, size and placement as we wanted, so it was great fun to see it finally done!