After a week in Las Vegas, we headed off in Blue to King Harbor Marine Center in Redondo Beach, California as promised to help Cups’ new owner, Murray, recommission her and sail her to her new home. We were out of the city early morning heading towards Los Angeles, ~ a 5-hour ride away. We’d traveled this road several times in the past on trips back to the USA via LAX and were very familiar with the Wonders of I-15. This time, however, we were making haste and didn’t stop to explore. Even when I saw the gigantic Eddie World sundae begging us to stop, I could not convince David to alter his course. We were on a recommissioning-mission.
It was easy to spot Cups as we drove into the boatyard. She was right out front with Murray sitting on the aft deck box reviewing the never-ending list of to-do’s. He had done a surprising amount of work already … the bow, mast and stern pulpits were in place as were all the winches. The stanchions and lifelines were installed; the dodger and bimini were looking great; the wheel was on and the binnacle was just waiting for the compass to be complete. A new coat of bottom paint had just been applied and Cups was starting to look like a happy girl again, but she was in dire need of her mast.
We had transported the compass, the radar dome and the dinghy engine in Blue to prevent any damage during transport. The guys began immediately ticking off list items. The heat was on … the splash and mast stepping were scheduled for early the next morning and it was already mid-day. One by one, they worked through the list and as the boatyard gates were closing, the guys called it a day. The TraveLift showed up last thing and cradled Cups for her morning ride to the splash slip. A few things remained to be done, but we figured we’d get an early start on Friday.
Murray’s home is 55 miles from Redondo Beach … in California time on the 405 that’s at least two hours and we were not disappointed … a long day. Up at 0430 the next morning, groggy and foggy, we hustled back down the highway to the boatyard. Cups was waiting impatiently. The guys installed the compass, did some final work to prep the mast, as the yard crew revved up the TraveLift. Cups was on the move.
In the slings, she swayed ever so gently … she must have smelled the water. They lowered her gently into the water and the launch crew hand-lined her to the stepping dock. The mast rolled into place and big hoisting lines were placed strategically on her. The crane fired up and lifted while the crew carefully guided the mast into place.
As David and I were below preparing for the mast to be lowered, we heard a heart-piercing “NOOOOOO!!!” and then a huge thud and another. Did they drop the mast? Thankfully, no. Instead, a novice sailor in a 20’ Beneteau t-boned Cups at full throttle when his outboard engine got stuck in gear and could not be maneuvered. Oh, no! Cups had not been in the water 15 minutes and already she had a couple sizable dings. Murray was devastated, as was the novice sailor. Emotions calmed and insurance info exchanged, we got back to the matter at hand.
While Murray and crew wrestled Cups’ 63’ aluminum mast into place, David waited below decks to seat it properly into the mast foot and connect all the cables.
Tom, a good friend of Murray’s and an experienced sailor, was on hand to help reattach and tune the rigging. Things were going like clockwork … other than the earlier “ouch”.
David backed Cups off the dock and we headed the short distance to a free berth at the King Harbor Yacht Club where Cups would relax for the night and get used to the Pacific waters.
After a light yacht club lunch and celebratory beer, we got down to cleaning Cups in preparation for her inaugural cruise to the Cabrillo Way Marina about 20+ nm to the south. Murray swabbed the decks; we polished; we cleaned; we tidied up. Nine of Cups was looking proud as we left her for the night and headed back onto the 405 for the 2-hour ride back to Lake Forest … exhausted, but elated.