As late as last (Friday) evening the weather forecast
continued rain, heavy through today and tapering off late tomorrow; the
temperature only reaching perhaps the low-50s.
But this morning the forecast had abruptly changed: The rain would stop and the sun
would push through the clouds by mid-morning, the temperature would
climb into the low-60s by early-afternoon, reaching into the 70s by Thursday,
with no further rain in
sight until at least week's end.
year it's been a tricky call. With all the teak trim removed last
fall and refinished
over the winter, once
the tarps are taken off the cabin will be wide open until I can get it
put back together. I figure I'll
need a good two days to reinstall the teak so I can get the boat closed
up, two uninterrupted rain-free days. It suddenly appeared that I had
those near-perfect conditions about to be delivered unexpectedly.
It was a late start already by two weeks -- last year I uncovered Chip
Ahoy on March 31; in 2005 it happened on March 30, mid-March in 2004.
big day had finally
arrived -- it was time to move, to pull Chip Ahoy out from alongside to in front
of the house where my projects are done and uncover it. Season '08
was upon me at last, it had
It's time to get to work. (Apr. 12, 2008)
Barbara joined in to lend a hand and
serve as the big event's official photographer.
Our first task was to untie all the lines holding the tarps secured over
the boat for the winter. I added the brown tarp last fall to cover an area of the
blue tarp that showed signs of wearing out.
With all the tie-down lines unfastened and removed the
annual big moment was at hand.
Ta-dah! Chip Ahoy is revealed for Sailing Season 2008,
exposed to sun and sky for the first time since November 9th, five long
and plodding months ago!
I pulled the tarp out of the way, spread it out over the
lawn, and inspected it for wear and damage. It's gotten pretty
thin in places, I found more new holes to patch with duck tape -- it might be
time to consider buying a new one for next winter. Chip Mate, the
dinghy, is in the foreground still assuming its winter position, bow
resting elevated on a sawhorse. It too still needs work.
With me recovering from a
broken shoulder, it
never saw the water last season, or got the
repairs it needs.
It sure is a big sucker of a tarp. I recall it cost
quite a bit a few years back, somewhere around $40. Maybe patched up a bit more it'll make it
through another winter . . . ? Oh well, I'll worry about that in
the fall. Today I have better things on my mind!
The PVC pipe skeleton frame needs to
be removed next. The
solid one-piece frame covering the cockpit came off "Carpe Diem" after I bought it from
Wally Riddle. He did a nice job of cementing together all the
pieces into one solid unit. Forward of that are six of the individual
pipes with elbow ends
cemented on that I've used for a few years. The combination worked
beautifully supporting the tarp throughout the winter.
The skeleton frame disassembled into its component
parts and ready to be stored away until next fall. Wally's creation leans against the covered picnic table and
lawn furniture. I suppose I can uncover them as well, unstack and set
up the furniture for the summer ahead, if I ever find the
As soon as I can recruit another able body the mast will
come off next and be laid across its three sawhorses alongside in the yard.
A shot of Chip Ahoy uncovered, taken from my bedroom
Close-up of the
cockpit and cabin top with teak trim removed
I planned to get right to work installing the most
critical teak trim, so I could slide the companionway hatch shut and
drop in the cribboards to close up the cabin, but by early afternoon the temperature had
dropped to chilly with the onshore easterly breeze, and the sky had
turned gray, increasingly threatening. It felt like the approach
of rain -- but that couldn't be, according to the morning's weather
forecast. Regardless, it sure did feel like it, more so by the minute . . .
Close-up of split sliding hatch rail remnant
Split hatch rail
My plan was interrupted, the fine weather was
deteriorating quickly. I dug out the small pup tent tarp and covered the open cabin
top with it, tying it off to the trailer -- and none too soon. The
unexpected showers arrived and quickly turned into a downpour accompanied by thunder
and lightning that's lasted for hours and is ongoing still this evening.
Oh well, tomorrow is another day -- and today Chip Ahoy got uncovered
and is accessible and waiting from now on!
Sailing Season '08 has officially begun!