Saturday, May 09, 2009

Splash Day

[I wrote this post on Tuesday, May 5, but it took a while to get the photos up. So, pretend you are reading this last Tuesday, and everything will be fine. ]

So today is our Splash Day, the date the boat is scheduled to be moved out of the boatyard and into the water.

This is a very good thing, of course, and yesterday was a perfect day for boating--bright blue sky, temps in the mid 70s, the kind of day you would swear God was dropping in and arranging perfect weather for the visit.

Today, it's supposed to rain. The sun comes and goes, and rain spits then passes off, so I'm driving around town, turning my headlights on and off, switching between my glasses and sunglasses. Temps are bobbing up and down like a yo-yo, and it's a still a perfect day to be on the boat. Because everyday is a good day to be on the boat.

Lady Cliff, still attached to the truck, soaking in the water.

When I arrive at the boatyard about 11:20, the Lady Cliff is at the base of a cement ramp, soaking in the river. This is an incredibly important and frustrating part of owning a wooden boat, because over the long winter, the planks of the boat dry out and contract. So, the boat has to be put into the water partway, and the bilge pumps run as the wood takes up water and swells to close all the gaps.

Pumping out the water below the floor of the aft cabin

It was a longer winter this winter than the last couple of years, and L.C. was in the shop getting more done than in past years, so the swelling process is taking longer than usual. Cpt. Sweetie is understandably reluctant to leave his Precious while she's still taking on water, so his day has been carved into half-hour chunks as he rearranges his work meetings, or does them by phone.

Run off from the pump. This is very tasty if you are a dog.

Of course, Cabin Boy Bermondsey came with me to check out what was going on, and to see if we could babysit the boat while Cpt. Sweetie went to work.

Cabin Boy Bermondsey reporting that the engine room is dry!

It turns out that both the Cabin Boy and I are equally useless, because there are questions about amperage, and galvanic circuits, and the current question is whether to replace a bilge pump and rewire it or not. Voltimeters seem to be involved. Auxiliary pumps are being moved around to stay ahead of the incoming water.

Of course, once the conversation includes a question of "galvanics" my mind is off and thinking about "Possession," by A.S. Byatt, in which her fictional Victorian poet describes sexual attraction as "the kick galvanic." So I'm no help at all, but I am somewhat entertaining.

Both Cpt. Sweetie and the restorer who did the work on the boat over the winter are currently crawling about the engines, tracing wires beneath the flooring of the saloon. I have contributed by fetching lunch and returning Cabin Boy Bermondsey back home, so we can all stop worrying he is going to fall off the boat.

I can swim, you know. Plus, if you just put the life jacket on me, no one would have to worry.

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