Fighting the weather, offloading and decommissioning

 Cups looked cold and lonely waiting in the haul-out slip.

Cups looked cold and lonely waiting in the haul-out slip.

It’s been a busy few days. We were a bit worried when we woke up at Lin’s in Canton, MA to yet more snow and cold temps. We finished up chores and packing and requiring more patience than I prefer to expend, we waited till the snow stopped in mid-afternoon and began our short journey south to Chesapeake, VA. It’s just about a 600 mile jaunt and in our younger days, it was a good day’s drive. Now, these old bones and tired bladders need to stop frequently to stretch and pee, so it’s become a 2-day trip. The roads were thankfully and unexpectedly clear … even heading over the Cross Bronx Expressway and the GW Bridge in NYC were painless. We’ve driven this route so many times over the past couple of years, we know it by heart. Kind of glad this will be the last trip along this route.

When we arrived at the Atlantic Yacht Basin, Nine of Cups was looking cold and lonely … snow on her decks and ice in the slipway. She’d already been moved to the haul-out slip by the AYB staff, awaiting her haul-out and imminent departure to points west.

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We’d already offloaded lots of ‘stuff’ from Cups into Blue, but there was more to go. Eighteen years of accumulated stuff takes some time to sort through. We had big bags for drop-off at the local thrift shop and big bags for the trash dumpsters. Plastic tubs were filled and hauled out to Blue. David had constructed temporary containment barriers of 2x3s and 2x12 wooden planks. Covered with cargo netting, all the tubs of ‘stuff’ seem to be staying in place and riding nicely.

 Still snow on the aft deck, but it melted quickly once the temps warmed up.

Still snow on the aft deck, but it melted quickly once the temps warmed up.

Though cold in the morning, the temp rose steadily during the day to the mid-50s on Saturday. Murray, the new owner, arrived bright and early. He and David had made a good start on the decommissioning during his prior visit and the mast had been unstepped as well, but there still seemed a long list of to-do’s. Height is a major restriction for hauling Cups cross-country … all those pesky bridges. Thus, it’s been necessary to remove anything that extends beyond the cockpit combing. In other words, a lot of stuff ... like all the cockpit winches, the compass, all the stanchions and lifelines, the bimini and the dodger.

 Some parts, like the boom crutch, required some intensive "coaxing".

Some parts, like the boom crutch, required some intensive "coaxing".

Most required a little ‘coaxing’ to be removed. Additionally, the bow pulpit, the mast pulpit, the stern pulpit and the swim ladder need to be removed and the dinghy will have to be deflated and stowed on the aft deck. A few parts (like the big Boss anchor) will be more easily handled once Cups is hauled on Monday, but for the most part, she’s quickly becoming a very bare boat.

 Cups' 62-foot mast was wrapped in blankets and lashed tightly.

Cups' 62-foot mast was wrapped in blankets and lashed tightly.

 Murray removes the radar dome.

Murray removes the radar dome.

Sunday was spent wrapping and lashing Cups’ 62-foot mast and beginning to stow most everything removed from the decks down below. Murray was just informed that the trucker will arrive a day or two late due to weather (go figure). Nonetheless, the goal is to have all the decommissioning and stowing complete by end of day Monday. We’re all tired, but the work is going well and we’re working well together.