As of approximately 9:00 this morning Away is once again in the water. The feeling is quite overwhelming, even more than selling my apartment and moving onto her. The feeling is kind of weird to be honest.
I mean, quitting my job, selling my apartment and leaving my family, friends and country didn’t feel at all this strong. Don’t get me wrong here, allt those things were all very strong feelings. But I have in some way already worked through them in the process.
Having Away in the hoist, seeing her going down from where she’d been sitting for the last ten(!) months to the water, getting maneuvered into position and then finally being lowered down into the water was an incredible feeling. But not only that, once she was in the water and the engine was started and she was tied to the pier temporarily and the boat manager gave me firm shake of the hand and they all went away I was standing there on my own, with my boat. In the water.
I presume the feelings I had can be a little like when a couple first becomes parents? To have been preparing for a very possible future, when responsibilities shifts in an instant and it is real. You are there, and now it is up to you to make the best of the situation.
The only comment I got before all left was to back out of the harbor, since the wind would probably not let me turn. Me? Back out of the harbor? I mean, sure, it’s not hard. But, me? Okay…
And thus, my travels begins.
As with all journeys it all starts with one step, one small step. Mine was to go to a mooring just outside Kinsale to get things sorted. The boat is to be honest in a bit of disarray since the last few days has been hectic and I’ve been scrambling.
It was time to start learning new things, and the first one was to recover from sudden and unexpected rattling from the steering wheel as I was trying to maneuver out of the boat yard dock. It came hard to port and I just didn’t know what was happening. but what I had experienced was the removable steering wheel putting it self into position, as I turned. and since I didn’t have any connection to the rudder any more, it turned to one of its end points as I later found out. The rocks was getting closer and as I tried to turn the steering wheel it seemed stuck, because in my mind the rudder was still straight. Since the wind at the same time was pushing me bow first into the rocks, I put in reverse and turned the wheel the other direction, and it moved. The boat came to a stop and I was once more in control.
Yeah. Freaky start. But now I will add a new thing on my departure check list: Check that the steering wheel is properly attached.
So, I passed by the Charles Fort, one of two forts that in the past protected the anchorage and town and made it to what it is today. Earlier I have taken walks to the fort just to get out and to get some exercise, and this was the first time I’ve seen it from the sea, in my own boat, steering by.
Went around the bend, passed the two marinas and found my mooring. And now, time for another lesson. Have you ever moored a boat? It is a buoy with really good holding (hopefully) and they are usually picked up with the boat hook by someone at the bow while another person is controlling the boat.
Yeah, one person short.
So I had to just figure this one out myself. Well, I guess it isn’t hard to understand how to do it, but doing it is a bit different. I mean, I knew that I needed to get a line from the bow to the stern, where I would lasso the buoy so that I would have an initial line to hold me to the mooring, but did I mention that it is in the outlet of a river? No? And that there is a tidal shift of nearly four meters? Important details, it seems.
I had about a knot of current against me when coming up to the mooring, so I understood that I had to do some trial runs first, to match speed and to figure things out as I saw them. First of all, I realized that the best approach would be to come in with some speed but in neutral, have the line ready attached in one end and the other ready for me to pull on when I manage to lasso the buoy. Boat handling was also a thing I noticed, after some test runs and trying to get the line attached on the starboard side I realized that it was better tro try on the port side, since the current was constantly pushing me into the buoy.
After some more fiddling around, success!
I was so hungry and sleep deprived I realized that I needed both before I could carry on securing Away to the mooring properly. I got down, made some bagels and poured a glass of apple juice, had that and dropped dead on my bed. I was working on the boat almost until midnight last night and didn’t get much sleep really. Wonder why… And then I got up at 5:00 this morning to try to finish the polishing of the boat. Sadly It didn’t get completed, so now I have to wax the last bits of her in the water. I digress.
As I woke up a few hours later I realized that the boat had turned 180 degrees and was now stern to the bridge over the river, as she earlier was bow to it. I realized that just having a loop around the buoy wouldn’t cut it. So it was time to get the dinghy in the water and fix that.
It seems that the dinghy motor won’t start by the way. No wonder, really, since it has been on its side all winter, leaking oil into my boat. But I can’t even get it to splutter, so something is wrong with it. Tomorrow I will have to row onto shore and get some new gasoline and oil. Did I mention strong tides? Yeah, it has to be timed properly so I don’t have to row against it, that would probably be a workout, if it would even work. 1 knot is easy to row against for a short period of time, but after a while it will get tedious.
Time to sleep. Tomorrow is a new day.