A great word … “splash”. It's a figure of speech called onomatopoeia … when a word mimics the sound it actually makes. There's always a little trepidation when we hear the TraveLift rumble up and get into position to lift Cups for her trip back to the water. They hitched up the straps, lifted her a little and then removed the stands. David snuck underneath to paint the small patches at the bottom of the keel that we hadn't been able to paint.
Will those straps hold our 20-ton girl? Of course, they will, but there's always a hitch in our breaths as they pull the stands away.
We followed her down the dirt road to the haul-out/launch bay. The TraveLift moves about 2 miles/hour and Cups swayed ever so slightly as they rolled along. It wasn't hard to keep up.
The driver aligned the TraveLift wheels with the narrow tracks and they moved Cups over the water. Slowly, slowly, slowly they lowered her and then in slow-mo, her keel touched the water. There's no actual loud splash … at least there shouldn't be. It's a gentle reunion with the water and she was once again floating, the straps still in place till we boarded her and made ready to go.
We clambered aboard, a long step from the TraveLift track onto the port side deck. David checked the new seacock and thru-hull for leaks and made sure the engine seacock was open. He started the engine and burped the new shaft seal. We checked there was water coming out the exhaust. He gave forward and reverse gears a try to make sure we were ready. We'd already rigged lines and the dock guys were holding the lines as the TraveLift lowered and released the straps and Cups was on her own. We backed slowly out of the launch slip into the waters of Chaguaramas Harbour.
As luck would have it, Zephyr, a sister ship to Nine of Cups, had been hauled the day before. Bill stopped by just before we splashed to ask if we were interested in the mooring they'd just left which was all paid up for another week. How sweet is that? David maneuvered us to the mooring field, I hauled in the docklines and prepared to pick up the mooring. Two tries before I lassoed the sucker … I'm out of practice. But we're back in the water and making plans for finally putting some miles under the keel in 2016.