It took more than five years for this day to come, but before she made it to the water she had to face a broken impeller, a hurricane, the truck breaking down, a juvenile launching crew, and a near death illness.
The first hurdle we had to overcome was a broken impeller in the kicker motor. Thanks to a quick phone call from Dad and a rapid response time from Kristen we were able to get the little chunk of black, day-saving plastic before the shop closed. We put the little motor back together and "VROOM" we were running and that wonderful little stream of cooling water was flowing out of the engine. We had propulsion again, but we lost the day and thus the weekend. She would have to wait.
The next weekend was almost ruined by a hurricane that was predicted to slam right into Savannah the day she was to be launched. Thank goodness Irene moved up the coast, but we were still planning on getting our boat into the water come hell or very high (hurricane) induced water.
On the hour and a half trek from Lyons, GA to the coast we ran into some more issues. About 30 minutes from the coast the towing truck started to skip. We had to ask the stupid question, "what else could go wrong." We got her pulled into a Lowe's parking lot and went to work. The good news is that we knew where we were doing this time, but we were slowed by having to pick up some spare parts. Also, it's good to note that more people seem to stop and ask if you need help when you're towing a 22' sailboat (FYI).
Finally she was ready to hit the water. She was launched late in the afternoon on August 27th, 2011 from Hogan's Marina on Wilmington Island, GA. I feel confident that the staff there was an average of 14 years old and that they all thought we were crazy, but they got her into the water. At that point she could have sank to the bottom and Dad would have still been proud of her. The short motor from the launch to Sail Harbor Marina (home port) lasted less than 10 minutes, but we all felt like we were Poseidon himself, rulers of the seas.
Once we hit the dock is started to rain (again). To paint the scene for you, here's four brand new sailors trying to put the mast up for the first time, in the rain, and with darkness closing in. It took a while, some "intense" conversation, bending some parts (there's another West Marine trip), and losing a custom built mast hoist to Davie Jones before we were done but by God that mast was up and the boat is in the salt water again for the first time in who knows how many years.
Remember how we asked, "what else could go wrong?"
Well, on the day the boat was launched I started hearing a ringing in my left ear, by that evening I was having dizzy spells, and that night I almost died. I did not know it at the time, but earlier that week I had been infected with a version of Staff. Long story short and infection went crazy on my face, in my inner ear, and somewhat my brain. I still can't hear anything in my left ear which may or may not come back. They told me that if I had not been treated on Sunday morning I would 100% have been in the hospital for a week and I might have had brain issues (AKA - zombie). Thanks to some quick action by Kristen and my being awesome I pulled my brain from the clutches of the infection. Moral to the story, never utter the stupid words, "what else could go wrong."
It also helped that my doctor looked just like this guy....
"Whoa, you're one sick dude."
Location:Hogan's Marina - Savanna, GA