We splashed today. We could not have planned a more miserable day to plan going back into the water. It poured in torrents all through the night and we only hoped that the clouds would rain themselves out before our 0930 appointment with the TravelLift.
Luck was with us. It did not rain on our walk from the hotel to the boatyard. It did not rain while we were making final preparations to go back into the water. We waited rather impatiently as another boat was hauled and then it was Nine of Cups' turn and the TravelLift moved into place.
The slings were put into place and the stands were moved out of the way. Cole, the lift operator, is quite friendly and very proficient at his job. He had us ready to go within minutes.
With Cups in the sling, we knocked away the keel supports and David slapped some anti-fouling paint on the places we hadn't been able to access while Cups was on the stands.
We had planned letting the paint dry for a ½ hour or so, but Cole indicated that radar showed a rather large squall heading our way. It was already blowing nearing 20 knots; we really didn't need any more wind for launching. Without delay, Cole had Cups moving toward the lift bay.
She looked beautiful with her new blue bottom, red bootstripe and shiny topsides. Cole lowered away and her keel touched the water. Splash!
We scrambled aboard using the anchor as a step and ducked under the bow pulpit. We were ready for take off. David burped the shaft seal and turned on the engine.
A friend had brought over large cardboard boxes which David had rigged to shield Cups from the dirty slings and keep the topsides clean. We had a time tying them to lifelines as the wind gusted and blew them like kites. Marcie rigged the docking lines to tie back up at the marina and grabbed the boat hook … just in case. We were ready to head out.
We're pleased to report … no drama. Cole moved us as far to the end of the bay as possible. David backed her out and the wind caught us, but in the right way. He made a u-turn and maneuvered Cups across the channel … the northwest wind pushing us closer to the dock without much effort on our part. We were tying up and removing the cardboard protectors when the winds increased and the torrential rains started up once again. Thank you, Neptune!