Headed Home

The sailing year (and the year in general) has come to an end for 2011. On December 30th the Buena Vista was pulled from the water and headed for home. Dad came into town that morning and the plan was to take her out for a quick sail, pull the mast down, motor to Hogan’s Marina, wash the bottom, and head home before the sun went down. Sounds easy right? By now we should have known that nothing on a boat is easy…

We got to the Buena Vista just before noon and it was a wonderful day for sailing with a light wind, sunny, and warm temps. It was looking so great that we made the decision that we would unload our gear and ride up to Hogan’s then grab some lunch before the sail. We were confident. After talking with Bubba (owner of Hogan’s) we decided that it might be best to skip the fun and get right to work. When we got back to the Buena Vista we packed, cleaned, pulled the sails down, and then sealed the cabin. We then pulled the rutter up and O.M.G. This thing looked like an episode of National Geographic was stuck to it and it weighed a ton with almost 5” of creatures growing on it. After a few minutes of scraping the sea life off we were glad that we skipped the sail and went to work. This was not going to be as easy as we thought.

Not easy or fun or nice.

One we scrapped the rutter clean the only thing left to do was to pull the mast down. If you’re not a trailer sailor or if you’ve never been on a boat then you need to know that there is NOT an easy way to do this. Long story short, it’s a pain. We unhooked everything possible and after a few tries we successfully got the mast on deck without knocking ourselves unconscious and/or dropping it overboard. Win for us! Once we had the mess on deck it was time to tie it down so we did not lose it going down the road. Thanks to our Mother we had a perfect “U” shaped piece to metal to hold the mast in place and all we had to do was tie back the leads, halyards, and wires but this seemed to take forever.

The first time Dad has been on board since the launching.
With everything secured we pushed off from the Sail Harbor dock for the last time in 2011 and started motoring up to Hogan’s. Within a few minutes Dad noticed that the motor was not cooling itself and the fun began. At one point the motor stopped and we were spinning around and around in the small creek and at another point we were pouring water on the hot engine. But, thankfully she got us to the lift and all was safe for now.

Stupid motor.
Once we hit the docks at Hogan’s the crackpot staff (all of which were younger than the Buena Vista) went to work with Bubba supervising. Once strapped in it was time for the show, the Buena Vista was coming out of the water.

That's a lot of scraping.

As soon as she was in the air the comments started flying. Per Bubba, this was in the “Top 10” for the year in terms of crustyness, but nonetheless we had to clean it. Thankfully everyone pitched in, at one point the entire staff of Hogan’s, me, and Dad were scrapping gunk off the boat. Per Bubba we were lucky because the gunk was coming off in sheets so within an hour the big chunks were gone and the boat weighted about 1,000 lbs less. Now that she was “clean” we put her on the trailer and pulled it around back to pressure wash. I can’t say enough about the staff at Hogan’s because they let us use their washer for more than an hour while we blasted every square inch of the Buena Vista to try to clean her before the trip home.  It was a wet, disgusting job but once we were finished I’m sure we saved hours of work in the long run.

Back where we started

By this time it was getting closer to dark. If Dad was lucky he might make it out of Savannah before the last bit of sun was behind the horizon. We thanked the staff at Hogan’s and hit the road. The Buena Vista was headed home to Lyons, GA.

Looking back, some of the most exciting and the most frustrating parts of my year were spent on the deck of the Buena Vista. It was a somber moment for me when she came out of the water, but it made me realize just how great life can be when you’re on the water. We’ve got a lot of work to get ready for next year, but I’m looking forward to it and the good times to come.

Here’s to 2012, Happy New Years.

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