Saturday, May 29, 2010

Christa is Loaded and West Bound

Central Florida. At the Rents

Elvis has left the building. So to speak. The shot below was my last glimpse yesterday as Christa headed onto San Carlos BLVD in FT Myers Florida north and then westbound for the Pacific. I think Christa was very emotional when she realized she had been classified as an "Oversize Load." No girl likes that designator.

 My last two days prior to Christa being loaded were very long days. I worked right up until the moment the boat and mast were loaded onto the flatbed. There is only so much prep one can do prior to. I prepped the standing rigging, by loosening all the turnbuckles and straitening all the cotter pins. A thankless job that will wound even the most careful rigger. I have two slices on my knuckles to prove it. I moved from my slip to the travel lift slip on the high tide Thurs and within 15 minutes the mast was unstepped and laying on two saw horses. I spent the next 5 hours prepping the mast to prevent chafe as she vibrates westward in the flatbeds mast cradle.

It was then a time consuming process of unbolt all the gear and strappinf it down onto the deck. Made more difficult by the brilliant sunshine and temps in the 90's. I then went to work below, stowing everything and generally using pillows and settee cushions to wedge everything in to mitigate any movement.

A quick note about Olsen Marine. Very very professional. I originally contracted with a boat yard next door. But it quickly became clear they really were not interested in my business. They consistently put up road blocks in front of my plans. So I ended up at Olsen's. Right out of the gate Dominick, a former Marine and Swat Team leader and now El Jefe of OM, was awesome. Every step that was planned ended up being done early and professionally. I had Dom's personal cell in case of any issues and all estimated dollar figures came in accurate. All in for the yard end I payed $1100. So for anyone who is in need and is in the FM area, please hire Olsen Marine.

Now onto the trucking portion. As I blogged before the truck is about two weeks late. But the driver, Thomas Duncan, has been a peach. It's not like at the last minute he let me know he'd be late. He engaged early which gave me plenty of time to re-tool my schedule. And after the reschedule he stayed true to the new date. Thomas is a tall Texan with the drawl to go with his height. His lingo is laced with industry terms like, "pull permits, " "dag gom feds" and "load bearing." He's a pro and proud of his equipment and work ethic. Of I am highly amused over his motto plastered on both sides of his rig. I love it! So Christa is in his care now. Tom is going to make a stop at his home in Texas for much needed R&R. He hasn't been home in weeks. This gives me some breathing room for driving across the USA in the Green Hornet. Christa's ETA to KKMI Shipyard in Richmond CA is June the 11th. 

My general plan is to leave my parents house on Monday and head to Pensacola FL and camp for the night. Then onto New Orleans, Houston and then Austin TX. That's as far as I can see right now.
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Capt Chris

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Shipyard FT Myers Florida

Moored Olsen Marine, FT Myers Florida
Moving to California in a Week. Why? Click here.

I've been busy getting Christa ready for her trip out to California. I spent most of yesterday stripping the sails and lifelines while still on the mooring. This morning, I floated in on the high tide to the docks of Olsen Marine with just inches under the keel. At least in California I won't have to be so hyper sensitive to depth. But, of course I'll have to contend with San Francisco Bay's notorious current!

As you can see, once I tied up I was able to remove the boom and some of the other rigging. Tomorrow I'll tinker with all the cotter pins on the rigging and start backing off the turnbuckle's in anticipation of the mast un-stepping scheduled for this Thursday. We'll take care of that while waterborne in the travel lift slip. Once that is complete I'll come back to the same slip and await for the truck to arrive. The truck is now enroute to SC to drop off another boat and may arrive this Friday, but most likely the truck won't be able to be on arrive in time to do everything prior to Memorial Day weekend. So my best guess is Tuesday June 1st is the big day. Meanwhile I will be back and forth to Naples to enjoy the shore side amenities.

I am happy with how things are unfolding. The yard folks have been spot on. All are retired military or former military. We all speak the same language. Beautiful. The weather is tough sometimes though. It's very hot and now each afternoon has ushered in thunderstorms. Nothing to get sweaty about, but they have produced a serious deluge. Tired of pumping out the dingy.

Yesterday, this dragon fly planted himself upon my iPad. Of course I reached for the Canon G11.

Capt Chris

 PS: Update 26 May. Truck is confirmed for a 28 May pick up. Yahoo!!!!!