It feels like a cosmic realignment, as though the universe was a bit more orderly now, as though a wrong has been righted: a boat has returned to where it belonged…
June 21st might have been the shortest day of this year 2019, but it certainly wasn’t the least glorious. The boys must have felt the excitement and woke up at dawn claiming “it’s not the night, mum, it’s the morning when it’s dark”. After yet another sleepless night filled with nightmares and what ifs, I can’t say I was full of energy when the morning came (with daylight that is), but I looked at my phone and there was a message from the crane company saying “lift today?” to which I replied absolutely and noticed it was already 8:45am. I so desperately wanted to have the vinyl signs on for the lift (planned around 10:30) I jumped outside and got started under the drizzling rain. I started by admiring my topsides, freshly painted in Kumeu White the week before, removed the masking tape, dried the hull with old towels, cleaned the surface with meths, and applied the vinyl decals as best as I could (spot the error if you can on the pictures).
By 10:30, still no sign of the crane, we rang, they were running behind schedule and all we had to do was wait. We were inside the club, trying to dilute our impatience watching the kids entertain themselves with paper stars they were throwing in the air. I was motionless, as if any movement could delay the imminent arrival of the crane.
Around 11 we noticed some people around our boat and rushed outside to welcome the riggers. Everything went very fast from there (twice faster than initially quoted, a few hundreds dollars saved in the process), and the emotional levels peaked first when the boat was lifted off its cradle, and a second time when it was finally freed on the water, Thomas and the kids jumping on board immediately, while I stayed behind taking dozens of pictures.
This lifting the boat operated on us on a metaphorical level too, as it seemed to take away a heavy weight we were carrying on our shoulders for months. Ensued huge smiles on everybody’s face, high fives and fist bumps that I pass on replay in my head ever since.
After settling on our new pontoon berth and making sure no water was getting in, we took the family to a nice luncheon by the water at the town basin. I don’t think our exhilaration went unnoticed from waiters and patrons alike as we definitely had the most agitated table of all.
One thought was still clouding our mind though: what about the engine? Thomas wanted to start pulling it apart asap as advised by the mechanics, I wanted to put everything back together and give it a try ourselves, just in case. Back at the club around 4 pm I happened to bump into a club member discussing with Womble about our engine issue. He claimed to be a marine engineering and he didn’t buy the story of an issue with the injector pump. He had seen the engine running the year before, just after the oil had been changed, and was both curious and generous enough to have a look with his own eyes. He and Thomas spent the next half hour by the engine applying a good dose of magic and, in equal amount, marine CRC, while I was in charge of operating the throttle and kill switch back and forth, and up and down. We finally gave a it a go, they left me the privilege of turning the engine key, and the engine …
… drum rolls …
… was RUNNING!!!
Our happiness couldn’t have been more complete. I let out a huge scream that could be heard from the other side of the marina, as our new sailor friends Mike and Jeanette reported later that night when we had dinner with them.
Elation. Relief. Freedom.