The Payoff – Blanca, 14Jul2014

In May, I was able to get the navigation lights all installed.  That required a “mini-mast” on the bridge for a mast-head light.  That light will move to the real mast-head when we get one.  I also installed a life-ring holder for the life-ring, complete with Blanca’s name. (Thanks,!) All set with all the required equipment.

We had a beautiful Memorial Day evening on the river, starting with a boat ride with friends for an hour or so, then anchored off the beach to watch the holiday boat-burning bonfire.

While anchoring, I snagged a crab-pot with the port prop.  It’s almost impossible to avoid them in the 10-15′ range off the beach!  The prop wound the pot-warp up like a windlass– pulled the pot up to the prop and wrapped it around the blades like a rag-doll.  Over the side I went!

After an hour or so of fighting with the mangled wire, both in swim-trunks and then with scuba, I emerged victorious, with no damage other than scrapes all over my hands.  The poor crab that was in the pot had the ride of his life, before being dismembered.  I’m an Apex Predator!!

After dark, while idling up the channel to drop off our friends at the fuel dock, I had to counter-steer quite a bit to keep straight.  Current?  Wind?  Um– try disconnected prop-shaft flange!  The struggling while anchoring made the flange-bolts work loose, and the prop pulled partway out.  Another foot and we’d have had a 1 1/2 inch hole where the prop shaft used to be!  I pulled that back together and snugged those bolts down tight at the fuel dock.  Sea-trials find problems; it’s nice to be able to fix them myself.

We anchored out in peaceful Herring Creek over night.  The loudest thing we could hear was a dog barking in the distance and the gentle lapping of the ripples against the hull.  Our friends who like to kayak paddled out to us early the next morning and quietly left hot coffee on the gunwale for us to find when we woke up.  Nice.

Finally, some payoff for the work I’ve been doing the last 4 years.  Feels good.