Friday, May 31, 2013

Road Trip HOME

...boat is there, we are here...
With our boat trucked to the Island Packet Yachts Refit program in Largo, FL, we hit the road to drive home! Lucky for us, we have great friends and family along the way home, so we leaned on them to take a break, enjoyed their kindness and hospitality, and began life on land in a BED, in a HOUSE, with unlimited water and power! WOW, we have been out of the "normal land life" for a bit and these simple aspects of living on land are a real treat.

One of the reasons we decided to move home was the fact that our terrific house sitter was moving out and our beautiful home would be available to us. We had moved out of our house two years ago and the thought of spending a SUMMER at home sounded great. This would be a first in 22 years, as we are usually sailing the Chesapeake or New England! So, off the boat we moved, rented a mini-van, and drove home! What a dream....six months living in our house!

Larry, Gerri, Radeen and Hayden
Along the way, we were so fortunate to have a lovely lunch near Charleston, SC, with fellow Island Packet Yacht owners, Larry and Gerri. owners of IP37 Galileo. It was so kind of them to go out of their way to intercept us on I-95 as we were passing by. This is the great aspect about our IP fleet of owners. We are so connected and we all love to meet up to share stories and visit.

Greg, Kate, Radeen and Hayden on the Beaufort waterfront
Our next stop was at our great friends and gracious hosts, Greg and Kate, who are located in the Beaufort, NC area. Arriving late at 9:30 pm, Kate presented us with hot chicken picatta, green beans, spaghetti and red wine! OMG. did we die and wake in HEAVEN? No, we were at Greg and Kate's home!

After dinner, we moved into our beautiful massive bedroom suite on the second floor where we passed out on a king sized sleep number bed. That night, we did not even move. I awoke the next day in exactly the same position I feel asleep in. It was great to be in a home with endless water, power and light. We lounged around their beautiful home for a few days, enjoying great meals and loving their Doodles, Gracie and Lucy.

Even Radeen, who is not a great animal lover, enjoyed having Gracie climb up on her lap. Lucy and Gracie are Australian Doodles and they are really wonderful pets. each so different and very fun to play with, walk, and simply pet. If we ever get a dog, this would be the breed. They are lively, well-behaved and so very smart!

The van, loaded with stuff to move home

You will notice we were living out boxes in the mini van as there is no room for luggage while living on a sailboat. When we moved off the boat, we simply packed our clothes in liquor store boxes. This required going to the van for changes of clothes, shoes and socks, and simply trying to find our stuff. This was not part of the plan, but it was how it all worked out. Life on the road in a mini van is NOT for us, that we have learned. Living on a cruising sailboat?  Now that is EASY.

Here is a great photo of Kate and Radeen, enjoying a class of Champagne

There it is....the mini van leaving Snead Island Boat Works, loaded with stuff going home. We lived out of this van for 7 days as we meandered our way from Florida to Pennsylvania.

Life on the a mini van....WHAT THE HECK are we doing?

After leaving Greg and Kate's, we were driving right past our "DC COUSINS" in the Springfield, VA area, so we were excited to stop for a family visit. What a fantastic time to see everyone! We were blessed with the entire family gathering together - thank you to the young adults who came to see us, especially on a holiday weekend. It was great being introduced to the three newest members of the family, too. Thank you to Sherry and Paul and Diane and Tim for hosting us for a wonderful stay!

Here are some great photos of our DC FAMILY

Radeen, Baby Brea and her proud aunts, Heather and Allison

Hayden, Baby Brea, Aunt Heather and Aunt Allison
Radeen, Allison, and Sherry, who is Norah and Brea's Grandmom
Brea's big sister, Norah, with her mom, Kristin, and Radeen

 Thane Hayden with his Grandmom Diane and his Great Aunt Sherry

Diane and Thane Hayden (a family name used for many generations!)

Norah teaching school

Thane Hayden, Norah and Baby Brea...the next generations of cousins!

Paul, Radeen, Sherry and Hayden

The next day, we sadly departed the DC Cousins, excited to move back into our own house!

Saltbox 13....there it is...what a beautiful home. We designed and built this in 1984.
It is cozy and simple, with passive solar, and it is our very own design!

Radeen gives a "WE DID IT!" We moved least until Oct/Nov, when we set sail again

Welcome to the JUNK MAIL, a table full of mail

So....good bye to the cruising life for a break. Hello to land life for several months. We are so looking forward to this time where we can live in our home, relax, drive a car, have barbecues and share some dinners with the friends and family we have missed so much. We can also run all the water we want because WE HAVE A WELL with 38 gallons/minute capacity! This may spoil us, but I doubt it. We already miss the boating life a bit....the peace, the calm, and the friendships. We will return to that in late October, when we rebuild the boat after the factory refit is complete.

Radeen says goodbye to the Gulf of Mexico at Bradenton Beach

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Trucking to Island Packet Yachts Refit Program

...there is our boat as nearly as big as an auto carrier...
Today we hauled the boat at Snead Island Boat Works and loaded it onto a Joule Yacht Transport Tractor Trailer. The truck driver drove it up to Largo Florida via route 75 then route 4 and 275 because the boat was too wide to truck across the Tampa Bay Skyway Bridge! This was really an exciting process and a relief after months of planning, emails, and this massive final week of offloading.

Now, Island Spirit, our 1994 IP-35, is back where she was designed and built! Imagine if you loved a classic car and you could send it back to the car manufacturer 20 years later and ask then to refurbish and upgrade the car to modern standards. If you can imagine that, then you have an idea of the excitement we are experiencing!

Many IP owners do not know that the factory has started an extensive refit program. If you are interested in this program, please contact the Vice President of IPY, Bill Bolin, for your refit needs. See this page for the email link.

Here are photos of the delivery process....

At 0830 am, we moved the boat into the haul out slings

Terry is driving the lift via a remote control which gives a better visibility

The travel lift is driven over the special yacht hauling trailer

I wore my HOPE TOWN shirt...hoping that next year, we will sail her back to HOPE TOWN

That is an IP-35 (39' 6" plus 5' dinghy davits) on a 53' yacht transport trailer

We followed the truck onto the road...the dinghy davits are hitting the trees!

Notice the width of the yacht, 12 feet on the road

Driver takes route 4 to Tampa because the boat will not fit the Skyway Bridge

Several times, it looked like she would clip the bridges, but she was just close.....maybe a foot

Next we took route 275 where they were doing road shoulder work 

SAFE ARRIVAL at 1979 Wild Acres Road, Largo, Florida
The Island Packet Yachts Facility

The truck driver did a GREAT JOB, here is his co-pilot and navigator

Island Spirit is backed into "Assembly Building #5" where she will live for 5-6 months!

Great Friends and IP 420 owners of TRUE NORTH, rented a car and met us at the factory!
Hayden, Debi (aka BLONDIE) Dennis, Radeen and Bill Bolin
Photo Credit: Captain Horace, friend and frequent crew on TRUE NORTH 

Hayden and Radeen turn their yacht over to good friend and VP Bill Bolin
Mission Completed.....we DID IT.....we trucked our yacht back to the factory for Refit !
Now, it is time to refine the work order list and the scope of jobs for our factory refit. We will take the summer off from boating and drive home to our house in PA.  In late Oct or early Nov, we will truck the boat back to the water for our third winter exploring the Bahamas.

Thank you Bill Bolin and Island Packet Yachts for creating the factory refit program!

Email your REFIT needs to the Factory
See this page for the email link

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pull the Mast final prep for Island Packet Yachts Refit

...there she is empty and with no mast...
This has been a monumental task, requiring 8 days with two of us working all day off loading our 35 foot Island Packet Yacht. We thought we had a fairly empty boat, and when people visited our boat, they always asked "Where is all your stuff?" and we would say, we really don't have that much stuff. .... WRONG on THAT....we have tons of stuff loaded on this boat, or at least we HAD tons of stuff. It is all now in a 5' x 4' climate controlled storage space. Now we know exactly what we have and how much of it there is.

5' x 4' storage, filled

I challenge anyone who lives aboard their cruising sailboat to try to empty it. You will be amazed at how much you have stored. We are now at 24 boxes plus items in bags, plus a mini van full. But then again, this is our home, we have lived here for the past two years. Imagine if you could store your home in a 5' x 4' closet...if you could, then you really don't have that much stuff.

Steve, the yard manager rigs the crane lifting point
After 5 days of work, we were ready to have the mast pulled. We wanted to pull the mast as it has been 11 years since she was last removed and inspected. The Snead Island Boat Work employees had the mast off in 45 minutes and taken to their storage yard. While there, we will rewire the lights and install new standing rigging and replace the sheaves. We plan to rebuild the boat in November after her factory refit.

Craig, Debbie, Radeen and Hayden visit at Pier 22, Bradenton
The most fun aspect is that we are near our great friends, Debbie and Craig, so we were able to have dinner with them for one more visit before we follow the boat on the truck to the factory.
Here are some random photos of the mast removal and our preparation.

We rentedI a mini van and it is filling up with stuff to go home, like our clothes, etc.

First step, we removed the mast collar at the deck and accessed the pin

Below the base of the mast, I disconnected all the wiring runs in their junction boxes

All the electrical wires were pulled from the side of the mast below the floor

A crane mounted on a truck lifted our 50 foot mast up and out, while Terry guided the bottom

Once lifted clear of the boat, the crane swings the mast to the ground cart

The yard workers help to guide the mast onto the cart as the crane operator lowerd it

There it is, our sailboat mast on the cart, ready to be wheeled to storage

Next job....wash all bedding and towels and store in sealed bags for November

Dinner...nothing left but a sip of Stoli

Island Spirit on the bulkhead at Snead Island Boat Works....ready for the truck with no mast

Impressive Florida clouds billowing late in the afternoon 
Next adventure.....load our 17,500+ lb boat onto a tractor trailer and drive it 34 miles north to Largo, FL, and then off load her into a building at the Island Packet Yachts facilities. The factory refit program will make her like new. More on that later!