Closer To Getting Nowhere

Thursday January 10, 2013

Just as we had rolled out of bed this morning, we got a text from Rode Trip saying that we better be up and ready because they were on their way over to visit.  We had mentioned to them that the keel was coming off today and we all wanted to watch it, and maybe open a bottle of wine to celebrate.  We weren’t given an exact time from the marina, they had only said sometime in the afternoon, so we assumed it would take place between one and four.  Since they had come in late morning and there isn’t much to do while hanging around in a boatyard we thought we’d make the trip up to Sailor’s Exchange (not the bathroom one) since it was on their list of things to check out while in town.  Walking down the dirt road the marina is on, that apparently has been under construction for over a year, we passed the boat yard where Frank and Yu are, and saw them climbing down the ladder from their boat.  We waived and continued on our way until their car pulled up behind us and they offered us a ride.  Piling four people into the backseat of a hatchback was a little crowded, plus it was a very bumpy ride, but we all got there in one piece and tumbled out the doors once they were opened.

Instead of flocking to my normal area of books and magazines once inside, Stephanie and I poked around the antique are for a little while and looked through all the country’s flags that were for sale.    They still haven’t picked up a Bahamian courtesy flag yet, but for the price of $13 they were asking here, they weren’t going home today with one either.  Doing a sweep of the aisles I tried to get interested in all the little blocks and water pumps and things that might be useful to the boat, but they could only hold my attention so long and soon I was in the book corner, flipping through magazines of places we still hope to travel one day.  Stephanie soon joined me and we talked about jumping off points to the Bahamas while looking at maps and where we’d like to check in.  They have a tentative plan to jump out from St. Augustine if the right weather window comes, otherwise, just like us, they’ll probably go over from Lake Worth to West End.  After we got that out of the way and wondered what our guys were up to, or how much money they were spending, we went in search and found them at the check-out counter.  Brian was leaving empty handed, but Matt had found a block with an attached cam cleat for us, and also a casting net for catching shrimp and small fish to be used as bait.  From what we hear they’re supposed to be great, and even Brian has brought in handfuls of shrimp with his already.

Making the long walk back to the boat yard we walked up just in time to see Serendipity hanging in the lift.  Punching the code into the gate and running in we found out that we were too late to catch the full show, the rudder and keel had already been removed.  We missed the big show, but we were still able to watch them set the boat on a new set of blocks just ahead of where the keel remained and then drive off with the lift.  From what we could gather from the workers, the rudder would be shipped off the next day for repairs as it was definitely now obvious that it was bent.  We’re not sure what method they’re going to choose to fix it, but Matt thinks it will involve them splitting it down the middle, making a cast with the good side, molding a new half, and then piecing it back together with foam and fiberglass.  We don’t know how long that will take, but it’s not looking like we’ll be put back together tomorrow as we’d hoped.  Since Serendip will have to be lifted regardless just to get the rudder back on, the keel will stay off as well until everything is ready.  The only good news is they assured us we’d still be stable enough for us to continue to live on the boat on the hard, even without the keel attached.  Music to our ears since we thought we’d be spending that time in a hotel or forced (willingly) to the other side of the state to stay with family.

While Matt went through the details with the yard workers and wallowed in pity that we wouldn’t be put back together right away, Brian and Stephanie and I decided to take up an empty part of the yard to try out the new casting net.  Since Brian already had some experience with his and I’m terrible at learning from books, I need to see it to learn it, we figured it was a great opportunity for me to become a casting pro.  Unraveling it from all the line it was bound in, he showed me the different parts and the steps to get it ready to throw.  Not that I knew anything about casting nets before this, except it was a great opportunity to provide us with some shrimp cocktails, I honestly thought it would be as easy as picking it up and throwing it in the water.  Oh no.  There are many more steps to it than that.  Letting Brain take a few practice runs himself so I could see how it was done he showed me how to loop the rope in my hand and then gather the top half of the net in it.  The next step was to separate half the net from itself by wrapping it across your leg, and then gathering that half to then wrap over your arm holding the rope.  Here’s where it starts to get tricky.  After that part have to look down where the bottom and weighted part is starting to run up and cause two different heights between the net still sitting by your legs (Still with me?  Confusing, I know) and then grab that part and put it between your teeth.  When that’s done you take the net that was draped over your arm and let it fall back down, causing a triangle shape that I can still never make out.  Now you’re ready to toss.  Standing with your back to the area you want it to end up you do some kind of discus toss, letting it release from your arms and mouth, and it should open up and drape over the water.  Theoretically pretending there was water there and not dirt, you’d let it sink for a few minutes and then yank all the line in which closes the bottom and secures your catch.  I did a few practice rounds myself which weren’t as terrible as I thought, but one thing I wasn’t expecting is how heavy the weights on the bottom were and the net did not go very far from where I tossed it.  Looks like if we’re going to be having shrimp cocktails soon, I need to work on my upper body strength.

Why don’t we have this on the boat?

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