Lift and splash…

boat-in-slip

Windsong II at the Mariner Cay Marina in Port Salerno, Florida

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Finally, Windsong II is back in salt water. And the two salty dogs and their two salty owners are now living aboard.

The staff at Hinckley Marine lifted her up on Monday, moved her down to the water and gently “splashed” her.

lift

Windsong II on the travelift being lowered into the water or “splashed”.

 

bobleaving

Leaving Hinckley Marine, where Windsong II has been well taken care of since we left her here last year.

We spent a bit of time at the dock putting on her jib and running up her diesel. When all checked out well, we motored out into the Manatee Pocket and brought her into a slip at Mariner’s Cay Marina.

Bob had adjusted the pitch of the propeller last week and he was pleased that this had improved the handling of the boat, so it was a smooth and uneventful trip.

Mariner’s Cay Marina is a small, quiet, pretty facility tucked into the Manatee Pocket, which is a safe harbour off the ocean at the St. Lucie Inlet. The Pocket is home to a large fishing fleet. Shrimp, herring, tuna, pompano, mahi mahi…you name it…they fish it.

We have met our dockmates and look forward to getting to know them better. One couple are from Michigan with a two-year old poodle and the others are full-time cruisers with an older dog.

The two salty dogs feel very welcome here as this is a super dog-friendly place. The amenities are nice and handy and we have full use of the two swimming pools.

We are busy stowing our gear and it is amazing how this boat swallows it all up. We still have to put on our mainsail but it’s too windy today, so that will have to wait.

So far, the wifi is working well, so let’s hope that keeps up!

More soon…

Getting ready to launch…

davits

Well, we’re not actually living on the boat yet…

There’s always a million things to do to get a boat ready to launch and a recent bout of colds and flu have slowed us down a bit.

Windsong II is still in the Hinckley boatyard in Port Salerno, but the last few days have seen a spurt of activity around her.

One of the major projects that needed to be done while the boat was still on land was the addition of davits to function as a dinghy lift. Davits are a frame attached to the stern of the boat that allow you to lift the dinghy up and down with a series of pulleys.

When you’re under way, towing the dinghy behind you slows the boat by almost a knot, so it is safer and faster to have your dinghy suspended behind your boat in a way that you can easily get it up and down when needed.

The davits were custom made for our boat by Marine Systems in Vancouver, B.C.

Bob’s brother Leo gave him a helping hand to install the davits and as you can see from the picture above they are working perfectly.

What you can’t see in the picture is that the dinghy cannot move. It is tightly clamped in position. This is critical because if the dinghy were to move with each wave, it would eventually wear away the fabric eating holes into it — which is not a good thing in a dinghy!

So that’s one major job done. Bob also reinstalled the bimini and dodger that you can see in the picture. Still to be done are starting the diesel engine, reinstalling the steering wheel and giving the boat a good wash.

Then, maybe — just maybe — we can put her in the water…

davits2

Getting ready to go south…

salty-dogs

The two salty dogs, Angus and Charles, are packing their toys and treats into their little bags and getting read to head south to spend time on their sailboat Windsong II. They hope to depart in early January.

Angus and Charles have great memories of last year’s trip and are looking forward to another winter in warmer climes and on their favorite boat.

charles Admiral angus