Last weekend was my last chance to take care of any last minute tasks before launching. By the way, this does not mean that work on the boat has finished - far from it. I just need to get back on the water otherwise I might do something stupid like ..buy another boat! For the past few weeks I've been frantically looking at boats on the internet, just as I was doing before buying Ting-a-Ling. In order to avoid any rash decisions I made the rash decision to launch just when everyone else is lifting their boat out, at the end of September. But the thought of some fine autumn and winter sailing on the river and maybe beyond, is just too good to resist.
So I hopped on my bike and rode the 50 long miles to the boatyard on the weekend to seal some deck leaks (round the samson post and baby-stay chainplate), charge the batteries, shut the sea-cocks, install a wind-vane and antenna on the mast-head and do some surgery on the toe-rail and the deck where a wiggly stanchion post sits. Not major jobs you would think but having the mast sitting horizontally on the deck, a few metres above the ground doesn't really help. In any case I managed to do everything I had planned for so the boat could finally return to the its element after two years on the hard.
At the time I'm writing this, Ting-a-Ling must be floating (hopefully) on the river Crouch in Essex but unfortunately I couldn't be there for the launch and haven't called the boatyard to check but I hope everything went smoothly. I can't wait to get there but some prior arrangements for this weekend means that I'll have to wait for another week before I get to see her.
I still have to fit all the running rigging and god knows if I remember how to do that but that's hardly a problem - I'm sure some of the good fellas around - if anyone is still out there by early October - will show me the ropes if need be.
Of course, the work will continue but perhaps on a more leisurely pace.