Thursday, 17 July 2014

Last Minute Nerves

Feeling distinctly nervous at the moment. The boat is almost ready to launch but the weather and tides are
against me this week. I should feel frustrated but no, I was happy to put off the launch date – I’m a bit nervous. I bought this old boat in an appalling state, from a farm just about as far away from the sea as you can get both vertically and horizontally. I have never seen her on the water and although I have had the engine serviced I have never seen it running.

Launching onto the estuary should be easy, she is on a road trailer and the guys at the yard are proposing that we drag the boat down at low water and let her float off on a rising tide. All should be well, providing the engine starts – and keeps running for the five or so miles between the launching site and the marina which will become her home – problem is I won’t know until I try and there is nowhere at the boatyard to tie her to if I can’t get the engine going and the prop turning. I could drop anchor of course but without a dinghy I’d have to stay with the boat until the tide puts her back on the ground.

I have back up of course, in the form of sails, but I don’t think I’ll be able to sail her onto her pontoon. If I have to pick up a mooring buoy outside, that’s where I’ll have to stay into rescued. So while various friends are loading their boats to sail to the south of France, Portugal and Spain for the summer holidays, I’m fretting about a launch and five mile voyage on gentle waters. Am I a wimp? Probably.

Meanwhile the days are filled with thousands of little jobs that simply have to be done. This week I have antifouled tuned the rigging, rove new halyards, and fitted a new lock on the main hatch and given her a new name – Yes I know, it might bring bad luck but I hope Neptune appreciates why I have named her as I have and that a placatory glass of Champagne will make him disposed to favour my actions.  In the next few days I have to fit an engine guard to protect the well, fuel up, fit an anode to the outboard, set up the boom and bend on the sails, empty the cabin of rubbish and make sure the jib roller reefing works – and then I’m out of excuses – wish me luck!