May 12, 2012
After many weeks of waiting, and arranging, Ilya is finally back at West Basin Marina. The first part of the challenge came when I motored Ilya to Spring Cove Marina for maintenance and to get the boat ready for the season, which included, installing a windex at the top of the mast, stepping the mast, and making sure the engine was ready to go. Sounds simple, right? Well, I guess the marina staff and I didn’t communicate fully on this one. When I was told Ilya had been splashed, I discovered that the genoa hadn’t been put on the furler, and the rudder was not fully down and kind of a mess. At least I was able to call the board yard and get these things taken care of, but it did delay moving the boat to West Basin by about a week.
We took my car to the marina where our slip is and left it overnight so I could be dropped off at Spring Cove, and just motor the boat back to West Basin. It was a given that though I would be primarily motoring the boat to the marina, that I would let out the genoa for at least awhile on the journey. Such was the case. I motored until I got past the last buoys on the Solomons side them raised the jenny. It felt good to feel the wind move the boat rather than the motor, though I have to say that while the wind wasn’t much to deal with, the current was incredibly powerful throughout the ride across the river. In fact, I kept wondering if I was making any progress at all and turned on the motor a couple of times to maintain my course. I can’t say it was really any fun crossing the river beyond the simple joy of just being out there again.
As I furled the sail and moved toward the breakwater, I was surprised to notice that the current didn’t let up as I entered the protected area. In fact, it seemed to be every bit as strong as it was in the middle of the river. You might expect that this would make docking a tad more difficult, and you would be right.
Picture this: the engine was properly winterized and is probably in the best shape it’s been since it was purchased. And it still can’t have more than 150 hours on it, if that. And the marina fixed the bolt so it could move with control from side to side to give me extra turning power. Yet when I entered the fairway, I couldn’t get the boat stern into the slip. And I could barely keep it from hitting the docks on both the B and C docks. It got so bad that I actually went around again, not once but twice to try to get myself into the slip. About 30 minutes after I started, I finally got myself tied up at the appropriate slip, very tired, very embarrassed and very happy that I didn’t see another living soul at the marina while I playing Keystone Kop. Thank goodness for small favors.
I left wondering if I would possibly have forgotten this much over the winter. Maybe that’s why people take sailing vacations or courses during the winter. Hmm, maybe Ellen will check out Womanship next winter while I take ASA 104!