2 Years, 10 Months, and 15 Days

It's been 2 years, 6 months, and 20 days since the Buena Vista last touched the water but she is back and is in better shape than ever. 

This has been a long time coming.
We did not get to this point without some very hard and sweaty work. Since making it to Savannah we have scrubbed every inch of her from the top of the mast to the bottom of the keel. We also made a few improvements along the way now that we've had a season (and then some) to figure her out. 

As you can see, she's got a fresh coat of bottom paint and is ready for the water. 

To give you an idea of what we were able to accomplish, here's a before and after the cleansing that really shows you how far she has come. 

Overall one of the biggest improvement came from one of the most unlikely of sources, the motor. 

Those of you who read this blog might remember the Shear Pin Incident of 2011, but for those of you who missed that glorious day let's just say that it did not end well thanks to this 50 pounds of metal. But since we have done everything short of an exorcism to this motor I can easily say that it's now one of the more solid pieces of equipment on the boat. Who knows, it might even make it away from the dock before it causes issues this time around. 

My old arch enemy & now trusted ally

Now that we had her in shipshape it was time to get her to the water. This turned out to be easy enough thanks to our pals at U-Haul and a few dollar bills. I have to say that you get some rather odd looks as you are towing at 22' sailboat through the historic streets of Savannah. I was not really sure if people were jealous, curious, or just concerned for our wellbeing, but at least they stayed out of our way for the most part. 

By the time we got her to the marina it was all downhill from there. It was almost like she knew we were getting closer and was doing her part to get home. All went well at the lift and before we could snap too many pictures it was once again time for her first few hundred yards upriver for the season to Sail Harbor Marina and her home for the season. Unlike the last few times she's made this trip, this one was quite enjoyable with everyone in a numb like state of disbelief that the Buena Vista was actually in salt water again. 

This amount of joy is typically not expressed at this stage of the process.

Once we got her safely to Sail Harbor all that was left to do was step the mast before she was ready for the open seas. This as we all know is much easier said than done, but thankfully my parents were able to make it down at the last minute for this momentous occasion. 

Our motley crew: Mike Crawley, Kristen Crawley, & Michelle Crawley
After a few tense minutes of lifting heavy objects covered with wire, finding parts, making parts due and some plan ole' rigging we had the mast vertical and to make things even better we still had a few good hours of light and weather. With all of these things lining up it was time to kick the tires and light the fires because "if something gonna' happen, it's gonna happen out there" to quote the great Captain Ron.

Before we were more than 100 yards from the dock the wonderful little motor that could made a familiar high pitched noise, it had sheared the pin on the prop. I am still not sure if this was the motor trying to remind me who was really the boss or if was just trying to throw up the last of her worn out parts, but she could not have done it at a better time. We easily drifted back into our slip and thanks to my (previous) hatred of the motor I had thought to buy a spare pin just in case. We had it replaced in no time and were back on our way to the deeper water. 

Once we made it past the dangers lurking just below the surface we killed the engine, hoisted the sail(s) and tried to catch the wind. We did not do a lot of sailing that day, but the most important part was that my father was able to sail for the first time since the Buena Vista has been around. He was finally able to see all of his hard work in action. 

This day has been coming for 2 years, 10 months, and 15 days but who's counting?

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