Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Departure Looms

The launch date has been set, lists have been made to organize every waking minute of our last days, and mounds of equipment are piled up in the garage waiting to find their place on Mareda. 

A small selection of equipment waiting patiently for the move to Mareda.
The reality of it all hit me this morning as I looked up the times for the bridge openings to leave Vannes.  And then what?  Where will we spend our first day sailing, our first night on Mareda?  Should we head to one of our favorite hide-away anchorages in the gulf, or should we go directly to a port in case we discover some problem? 

We’ll need some space and calm for the commissioning process:  getting to know the ropes (literally), how to use the swing keel, the electronics, the navigation systems, calibrating the anemometer and the depth sounder, swinging the compass, christening the boat and imploring Neptune to grant us safe passage in his realm.  The last time we did this, we have to first "de-name" the boat, then request a new name from Neptune, and then, in the interest of Franco-American cooperation, cut the magical serpent that followed in our wake.  With so many rituals and potential for error, it's hard to know if we did everything right.  This time should be much simpler.  

Then there are the more subtle processes of getting to know a new boat:  calibrating my own internal sensors to distinguish the normal noises from strange ones, and understanding her movements and reactions to swell and tide, particular to each boat.  With Spray, I could wake up from a sound sleep as she began to shift slightly with the slack tide.  A quick look at the clock would confirm my internal one.  I don’t remember how long it took to establish that link, but I do remember quite a few nights of hashed sleep.  Patrick remembers them, too, although not so fondly.  I would bound out of bed to check the hour, the tide tables, and have a look around on the deck to see how the boat was swinging on the anchor or mooring buoy.  He would wake up with a start. “What’s happening?!”  After a few nights, the only thing his internal sensors needed to tell him was that his wife was up to her nightly antics.  He quickly learned to just sleep through it all, knowing I would wake him up if ever there was a real need.

Enough procrastination for one day… the garage awaits !  10 days left till splashdown !

1 comments:

Astrolabe Sailing said...

I can't wait for launch day. I am so excited for you!