Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Count Down to Maiden Voyage

We left Mystic Seaport Sunday afternoon to give the brothers and offsprings a chance to experience Alizée on the water. "Mystic Drawbridge, Mystic Drawbridge. Outbound sailing vessel Alizée for your 2:40 opening. Over..." and up went the bridge, stopping traffic downtown Mystic for several boats itching to sail. Alizée is certified for 6 passengers (with life jacket for each.. not like Titanic). I was #7 that day so I got to see her on the water from afar.

After the 45 min down river under motor to Fisher's Sound, the wind was perfect for a family outing and our 17 year old niece Olivia took her up to 8 knots. Sweeetttt.... Last dinner with the bros before they extended their trip to visit Martha's Vineyard while we drove Alizée's empty trailer and truck to Belfast, ME where they will be waiting for us until we arrive mid-to-late July. Bill got a kick out of passing trucks this time as the trailer is much lighter empty.

We did not spend much time in Belfast as it will be our home port for most of the summer - once we get there that is ;)

Driving back with a one way car rental, we took the opportunity to swing by Freeport, ME, Portland, ME and Marblehead, MA to enjoy some of the land lubber places we wanted to visit but will likely moor or anchor on our way to Belfast.

Freeport is home of the LL Bean headquarters. While we did not stop to shop or even see the store, we did catch their branded car. Downtown Freeport looked very upscale with designer stores galore. Wish Shelby would have been around for a 'girls stroll in town' moment but we had to get to Portland before the stomach rumbles hit. Maybe next time on our way to Portland to pick up our summer visitors in August.

Portland and its cobblestone streets is very quaint and quite a walkable city. Looks like the summer has not hit there yet - and as our waiter said 'no cruise ship in town means no crowd'. We liked it that way.

It even has a piece of the Berlin Wall displayed on one of its piers.

A couple hours south, Marblehead is as cute as can be and only 18 miles from Boston - you can see downtown Boston from here, a bit like downtown Sydney from Mandalay Bay (wink to Cath & John). The harbor has 2,000 moorings with boats, quite a sight.

Today we are getting ready for departure to Block Island with the usual large provisioning and laundry for Spencer and I, and boat "list of stuff" for Bill. It is usually best not to stick around when Captain is getting the boat ready and likely encountering boat anomalies. Spence and I learned that a long time ago, and opted to skiddadle quickly;) For now, the only raised concerns is a small oil leak out of the engine, and exploded Dale Pale's ale in the bilge.

We should get to Block Island tomorrow early afternoon to pick up our first mooring and official start Alizée's maiden voyage.

We absolutely loved Mystic but are ready to sail !!!!!

PS - we did address the issue where family and friends without a gmail address could not post comments on the blog, so hoping to hear from y'all soon!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Bringing Home the Glassware!

Yippee! Today we won best in show for owner built sail! Definitely puts a punctuation mark in our story line this Spring. In my mind, this marks the end of building and launching Alizée and the beginning of our voyage to Maine: the end of Spring and beginning of Summer. Not only does the award reflect well on us, it reflects well on the designer, Dudley Dix, who was present when the award was given. I am pleased to give something back to Dudley in return for a great design and much help along the way.

The whole affair was an excuse for a family gathering. John Eric and Sherine drove down from Boston to be with us (Cath, Spencer, and I), my brothers Charles and Jonathan, and niece and nephew, Olivia and Jackson. At one point we were all on Alizée drinking celebratory champaign along side a galette brought by the Boston crowd. If Shelby and David were here it would have been complete, but it was not to be. We will, however, see them soon in Maine, Neptune willing.

We were also runner up for the Interlux "I built it myself contest". This contest is oriented more towards boats than yachts: we were the only one actually in the water. The judges were flattering and particularly enamored with Spencer's four bar linkage system for raising the movie project from within the cabin table. This contest was won by Raven, a classic and flawless rowing dinghy. Still, the representatives told Alizée's story and encouraged everyone to come back and have a look; the boat from Colorado is becoming a minor legend. And come they did with endless questions. We all took turns workin' the crowd, which was great fun.

We had a distinguished guest for the afternoon when Dudley dropped by to chat. It's always interesting to listen to his stories and learn a bit more about his background and experiences.

It's been a big day and were all winding down and thinking about moving on tomorrow. If we have a little wind, we'll go out for a family sail and slip Alizée back at Seaport Marine.

Festival Day 1 Report

Festival started yesterday and boy was it a hoot! We had to inspect and adapt quickly when the organizer asked us to relocate Alizée to make room for a bigger boat. That suddenly dropped the visibility of our Colorado calling on the transom (back of the boat). Realizing the lost opportunity to tell our story, the marketing part of my brain went in immediate action to create a minimum viable fact sheet.

People would squint at the poster probably thinking the boat was for sale and looking for a price tag. Instead we saw jaw droppings. Built in Colorado? you're kidding me, right? did you sail her here? Did you build it from a kit? Nope scratch. Surely you built in a garage while in Colorado. Nope in our uncovered driveway.

Then Alizée's designer, Dudley Dix, added to the marketing masterplan by requesting that Alizée be entered in the "I Built it Myself" contest. Participants have to move their boat to the lawn for best viewing, so we figured we did not qualify but we are now in that contest - kinda rightfully if u ask me. New poster board added to the deck and new set of judges will examine her today.

By mid-afternoon, we were getting very hot looking for shade in the cockpit as we answered the many questions people had.  "What is her deck made off?" was the #1 question. Her marine cork (not teak) was puzzling to them. "Where are you taking her?" Maine? "do you have a sonar to look for rocks?" New Englanders from all over were dropping us their cell number to volunteer local knowledge when we pass by their area. We got to speak French to 3 folks, but not a single soul asked what Alizée stands for. I would have lost that bet!

Spencer was getting hot (what is it about the sun here? it feels so hot! and you get so tan so quickly) so he decided to cool off by rigging Puff for sailing, another casualty project of Bill's 

"Stop building and start sailing" movement as the festival deadline approached.

We ended the day in true Connor celebration fashion, with the 3 brothers and some of their offsprings at the Engine Room brewery. Today more family members are coming from Boston to see us and the judges will come aboard to rate Ms. Alizée! It is humbly to see the admiration in the eyes of sailors walking around the show.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wooden Boat Festival

This morning we moved up the Mystic river to the Mystic Seaport Museum, site of the incredible Wooden Boat Festival each year. Lining up for the 9:40 bridge opening, we found ourselves following the distinguished guest of this festival, the sixty five foot Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a from Hawaii. She's been traveling the globe to connect all the World's native and indigenous cultures. When they arrived at the seaport, there was an elaborate welcoming ceremony performed by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, for which we were just in time.

The day has been a parade of gorgeous wooden boats, one after the other streaming into the seaport. As a contemporary new build, we're a little out of place in the company of classics, but hey, to each his own. We are berthed on the seawall across the wharf from the Charles Morgan, the last surviving wooden whaler in the World. Five years ago, we saw her here on the dry dock undergoing an extensive restoration. Now she's afloat next door and the museum's main attraction.

Next up the quay from us is a drop dead gorgeous ketch: came in right behind us this morning. On said ketch is a cat, apparently named Turkey. While we weren't looking, Turkey took up residence on Alizée. Spencer discovered her lounging in the cabin with an assumed air of "this is my boat now". Whether on land or sea, we seem to attract cats.

My brothers have arrived with their charges and we'll all meet up tomorrow. Yea!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Details, details

Before we head out, we're trying everything once because, by default, nothing to do with a boats ever works the first time. This evening we pulled out our baby Weber, hooked it up to the propane system, to grill some tuna (Cath and I) and steak (Spencer). Now there are all sorts of shiny stainless marine grills out there to set you back a hundred or two. There's even a snazzy Australian one for almost a grand - yikes! I'll bet our little pedestrian Weber out grills them all for a fraction of the price. I just changed out a few screws with stainless and fitted a propane quick release to hook it up to the mothership's system. Works a charm.

We also unpacked our folding Brommies. If you've never seen these engineering wonders, just search around for "Brompton bicycle". They have a cult following to rival Apple fanboys. They are also the only bikes that could even remotely fit aboard Alizée. We tooled around Noank, just down the road from Mystic. Weee!
Also to try out is our movie system. Being able to watch movies seems an anachronism on a boat without pressurized water or even a water heater. But, if you know us, it is essential. Because the boat has to run on the equivalent of a dim light bulb, our boat theater cannot consume any significant power. Forget LED screens, DVD drives, and such. Also, we have no room for non-essentials, so in addition to consuming no power, it must be infinitesimally small. Again forget LED screens, DVD drives, and such. The end result is a tiny pico projector and a wrinkled, home made screen hung from a deck beam. Because the days are so long, we have to start the movie in broad sunlight. The picture quality doesn't get good until an hour into the movie. For some reason, probably an issue ripping the DVDs, the audio progressively lags the visual. Ah well, totally works for us!
The Wooden Boat Festival draws near. Tomorrow we will move up the river to Mystic Seaport where we'll tie up for the show. Alizée will be on display for all to see. Now that she's our residence, she starting to get that lived in look, so we'll tidy her up a bit for the festival.

My brothers and some related souls will be arriving tomorrow to hang with us during the festival. All in all, another big day coming up!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Row, row, ...

Puff, our wee dinghy, is part diversion, but mostly a solution to a problem. The issue at hand is getting back-and-forth from the mother ship and land, or sometimes another boat. Ya sure, you can tie up to a dock in some marina, but 1) it'll cost you an arm and a leg, of which we have only so many, and 2) anyplace worth cruising doesn't have marinas: to our way of thinking anyway. So how do you get to that deserted beach and even the grocery store up the hill from you anchorage? You pile into your dinghy, that's what you do.

No facet of cruising that causes more debate that dinghies. First, where do you store the freakin' thing on the mother ship? There is essentially nowhere on the deck of a small yacht that you can safely store a dinghy. You can get small blow up dinghies that you might be able to deflate and store below, but that's a host of other problems and most small boats don't have room below for even a deflated dinghy.

Then you have the inflatable vs. hard dinghy thing. If you go inflatable, you have to also carry an outboard and gasoline 'cause you can't really row them. We had an (de)inflatable for awhile. A lobster just about sunk it for us. For Alizée I choose to build a modified Iain Oughtred 9 foot rowing/sailing pram. By changing the shape slightly and making the front 18" removable, we are able to lash Puff securely to chocks on the cabin top. We're going to do our best to forsake those horrid outboards and row. And row. And row some more. It's good for ya.

Puff has never been in the water until today. We did head to a lake in Boulder once to try her out: the lake was frozen. Sea trials are not all about learning to raise the sails. You also have all sorts of other routines to figure out from making coffee in the morning to launching the dinghy from the mothership. Generally, you have an idea how all these things should happen, but the original edition never works out quite right. At least a dozen times a day, "Oh, I didn't think about that!" To launch Puff, we have to hoist her out of her chocks, rotate her from upside down to right side up, and plop her into the water. Sounds easy, and it would be on shore, but from the deck of a boat it's a challenge. We did pretty well, but the procedure will no doubt be refined over the Summer until we know it so well not a word will be said as we hoist, haul, and slip her from her cabin top perch to the water below in perfect coordination.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

We are sailing! Today we shoved off for Alizée's first sail. Not much wind: 5-10 kts., more 5 than 10. Still, enough to fill the sails and move us along at a few knots. We commissioned the autopilot and then sailed upwind towards Watch Hill. The sails look sweet, though we have a kink or two to work out with the genoa furling system.

At the top of Fisher's Island Sound, we turned around and up with the kite. Top down furling is not quite as idiot proof as it appears. Definitely a learning curve to rolling the spinnaker up, but we're getting the hang of it. We need more wind to tune up the rig tension, so that will be another day. Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Goodbye and Hello

While cruising and, sometimes, even while stuck in a bloody marina you meet some interesting characters and, inevitably, you pay the price of their company with a goodbye. We've had the pleasure of hanging a bit with Steve and heard some of his story. It would not be proper to repeat it here. Suffice to say, he has been around taking care of a passed friend's last work of art, a 65' foot wood sloop that has had the misfortune of hard times and a sordid recent past. Steve is a man of boats and on a mission to bring his current steed into shape, launch out of Annapolis, and sail somewhere. Anywhere. Else. Though many futures are possible, chances are we'll never see Steve again. So, we say goodbye, remember this week where we crossed on the docks, and recall his wicked wit with a chuckle.

While Steve has heading out, Spencer is back with us. We've been working hard to get everything set for a first sail tomorrow. Wish us luck!

In the course of rigging the reef lines (which lower the sail a bit to reduce the pressure when the wind pipes up), we had a one ended halyard (halyards are the lines used to raise a sail). Where was the other end? Oh, oh. There it is about 50 feet up at the top of the mast. I have no idea how that happened, but there's only one option: climb the mast and bring it down. I guess Spencer was bored since he seemed rather eager to make the journey. Up he went and down he came, halyard in hand. Yea!

One of the little items different between boats and cars is insurance. We must carry liability insurance to even tie up or get hauled out of the water in many places. Being an owner built boat, I figured there would be no way we could get the equivalent of collision insurance, what we call hull insurance. Turns out, as long as a marine surveyor inspects the boat and finds it well found (sound), then the insurance company would be happy to take your money. Alizée had a spotless survey and shortly we'll be covered for less than the cost of insuring a car of 1/10th the value. Double yea!

Time is flying. This time next week we'll be in the Wooden Boat Festival and, shortly after, on our way North. All forces willing. Cheers!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Changing of the Guard

Cath flew in yesterday to relieve yoeman David from the arduous task of helping out and entertaining the old man. No stranger to life aboard, particularly with respect to the bathing challenges, she seriously lightened the folicular load before reporting for duty. Also makes it a bit harder for the captain to get a good handhold.

For a little retrospective, David, as in son-in-law David, spent two weeks with me in Mystic. Just the two of us. Just consider, for a moment, the relational risk involved here. The two men Shelby loves most, in close proximity, on a boat, for an extended period. We might have had an annihilation somewhat akin to crossing the beams. But we didn't. It was pretty awesome actually. A quick study and super handy to have around, David helped finish off a ton of those pesky projects on the never ending list. We had a chance to get to know each other in a real and positive way. I'm not letting him off the hook for a dowery though: just reduced it to one camel.

Sails! We drove up to Newport to pick up the mainsail and get it bent on while the winds were calm. Newport was crazy. I'm pretty sure I couldn't afford a cup of coffee there. It would also be just fine if I never had to go there again. The genoa (the front sail, or fro'sail for you land lubbers) was due Saturday morning. Lo and behold, when we returned from dinner this evening, she was sitting there in the cockpit. If we had had more the 15 minutes of daylight left, I would have hoisted her up proper. As is we'll have to wait until morning. Spencer comes in mid-day Saturday. If the weather holds and I finish a bit 'o splicin', we should be able to have a first sail Sunday!

Cath and I have been walking around Mystic to help get her bearings, which are sadly misaligned. "The Sound is that way, right?" Uh, no. It's a river so you have a 50/50 chance. I guess it's a lot easier when you have a mountain range next to ya.
Many of the houses date back to the 1800's, a few to the late 1700's, when Mystic was a working seaport. Some are even labeled with the date as well as the name and occupation of the original owner. Merchants. Ship builders. Captains. The most impressive was apparently for the banker. Some things never change. Particularly outside of the weekend jam, we enjoy walking the quiet streets of the neighborhoods.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits

I've been cutoff from the blogosphere with no phone and no Internet: implies no posts. We sorta have Internet in the marina but they want you to, gasp, pay for it. I thought the inalienable rights of any modern civilization were free education, medical care, and Internet. Guess not. On all counts. Of course, I'm not what you would call a civilized man. Anyone who, except Spencer, who can source that quote in my person, can have a free beer. The phone's another story. Best theory is that crawling out on the bowsprit with phone in pocket is not a good idea. I hated that phone. So I bought another just like it.

Our boat lunches are looking up. Check that out - a panini! We (really David) found a micro griddle/grill that fits over the front two burners of stove. I made the bread this morning. If you believe that, check out the Mystic bridge and get back to me for a unique opportunity.

I really wish we had a shot of the spinnaker we flew this morning, straining at the dock lines. I have this kite on a top down furler, but to get it onto the furler you first hoist it freehand and then roll it up. Of course, the wind shifted and it promptly filled with a crack against the pilings. We had a bit of a scramble to get it under control and rolled up while carefully flying it between pilings to avoid a tear. So no photos, but it is pretty!

My Honey is coming in tomorrow, so I took a trip to a local barber shop to get cleaned up a bit. We finished up a handful of miscellaneous boat projects. David gave the entire deck a good scrubbing and she looks great. Our small solar array seems to be holding its own. One week and we haven't had to run the engine to charge the batteries.

More bad news on the sails. Now it's Saturday. Even worse, there seems to have been a communication problem and the guy working on the mainsail didn't know that the luff reef hardware needed modification, so it could be even longer. Bloody hell that's driving me crazy. If we can't pick up at least the mainsail tomorrow, we may motor out of the river and calibrate the autopilot. Not much else to do until we have sails. Curse these makers of sails.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Battened Down

We are here. In a boat. Battened down. David is catching up on sleep. I take a different tack and sip hot coffee. Raindrops come big out here. Not much to do while the weather has us holed up, but we should have a nice, well at least sunny, weather stretch starting tomorrow. The only bummer is that it will be howling for a couple of days. I'm crossing my fingers that we can get out of the slip and onto the travel lift Monday for the survey. Sucks that I couldn't get anyone out while we were still on the hard (hauled out on dry land).

We finally heard back from the sail loft, who are buried getting sails ready for the Newport-Bermuda race in a week. Our sails will be ready Wednesday, but we have to drive up to Newport and schlep em back to Mystic ourselves. It doesn't look great for getting David out for a sail before he heads out. Ah well, best laid plans. He and Shelby will join us for a bit while we're in Maine.

Master and Commander

This morning as we were tidying up the deck for the expected storms this afternoon, we saw the schooner America gliding up the river to Mystic Seaport, where she'll spend at least a week. The America was the schooner that started it all: the namesake of the America's Cup. The original has been lost; scrapped in 1945. This replica was built in 1995 and plies the East Coast with her grace during the Summers.

I was somewhat surprised that the captain invited us aboard (I don't recall whether I had puppy eyes or was drop jawed gawking, but it worked) and allowed us to roam above and below, except the forward deck where the crew was getting some work done. Just wow! David looks like he might be up for the job! Waddayathink?

We have weekend passes to Mystic Seaport, so we took a lay day and roamed around a bit this morning with a weather eye out so we could scramble back to Alizée pronto when the storms moved in. We participated in the "Poor Old Horse" ceremony/shanty, watched a whaleboat rowing demo, chatted up the cooper, and such. Finally, we skedaddled at the first drops of rain and cool down drafts. Tomorrow we'll head back for some more fun and song.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Puff Aboard!

 We loaded up our rowing/sailing dinghy Puff and strapped her down into her chocks on the cabin top. We have Alizée pretty loaded down now. The morning was spent reprogramming the tachometer to work with the high output alternator (the tach figures out the engine RPM from the alternator pulses). Once we had a good idea of actual RPM, we ran her up to full power in the slip. Good news is that we held 2800 RPM, which should work out just about right so we won't need to haul out to change the propellor pitch: just an educated guessing game really. Bad news is that the bloody ocean starts flooding in at full power. Turns out it wasn't just the short vent tube, which we replaced, so we weren't as lucky as I had hoped. The propellor pushes on the propellor shaft which pushes on the engine which pushes on the boat via squishy engine mounts. That's how she powers forward. Those mounts are a wee bit too squishy and the engine was shifting forward just enough at full power to break the seal on the propellor shaft and, voilà, flooding of da bilge.

I moved the shaft seal forward 1/2" and we now have no drips, much less gushing, at full power. Still, I'll revisit the arrangement when we have finished out this season: the kinda thing I don't want to deal with again in the middle of an ocean.

First cooked meal on Alizée - Kodiaks! Well, if you count making pancakes as cooking. Still, it's a start and the cleaning up is the hard part anyway. Tomorrow we might go all out with scrambled eggs: live big!

David has dozed off after breakfast, bless him. Not one complaint, but boat life may be taking a toll. I'll always remember Karen's post (sorry, couldn't find the exact post) when she and Jim were in the middle of the Pacific, probably still stuck in the ITCZ. It was to the effect that everyone on land thinks you're "living the life", but sometimes, when you're living on a boat, you feel like they are "living the life". It ain't all pancakes ...

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

We have sails! Oh, not quite ...

But we do have a birthday boy today; Happy Birthday Spencer! We have a long skinny stick poking the air above and about half the rigging in place. We scrambled to get enough spars and lines in place to hoist the sails for a trial fit this morning. Alex from the Quantum Sails loft in Newport drove down with no less than five sails for us. We were a bit nervous on both sides since these were built remotely based on measurements I took when we stepped the mast in Boulder a year ago. Turns out everything fit just perfect, buuuuut we have a few changes to make, so down they came and back to the loft. We had a miscomm on the UV cover for the jib, one of the track cars on the mainsail was missing parts, and we needed a bit different arrangement for the reef points. Fingers crossed for a quick fix so that we might actually go sailing.

We moved Alizée from the boat yard to her slip. Unfortunately, we had to dock twice since our assigned slip was occupied by someone who just tied up to eat lunch. (We're right below the Red36 restaurant: really good eats BTW.) Good news is that Alizée handled great in the stiff crosswind: so nice having a tiller, rather than a wheel, for tight maneuvering. Bad news is in the middle of all the jockeying around the bilge pumps (we have two on auto for redundancy) went off, which is never a good sign. Yup - much water in the bilge. My best guess was that the engine was so severely out of line that the wobble was making it impossible for the shaft seal to keep that big ole ocean out. After mulling this possibility over during lunch, we ran the engine pretty hard at the dock. Forward, not a drop. In reverse, water spurted not from the seal, but the seal vent tube. It looks like the prop wash in reverse is pressurizing the shaft tube and forcing water up the vent. Hmmmm. If that is all it is, I'll count us lucky.

The promised nasty weather starting moving in and we were fortunate to have a helping third hand. The local yacht broker at the yard noticed Alizée and recognized her as a Dudley Dix design. A little Googling around and he landed on this blog! When we pulled into our slip, he said "You're Bill Connor, aren't you?" I felt so famous. Blush. Awe shucks. We had a blow coming in and he helped us get all trussed up in the slip to avoid banging around on the pilings as the wind freshened and shifted all around. Many thanks! He also offered to go out sailing and show us around the local waters. If only we had sails ...

Tomorrow is move in day and we begin living full time on Alizée.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

First Kiss

Alizée kissing water for the first time! HUGE day today as we launched Alizée and stepped the mast. Nervous, I hardly slept a wink last night and wasn't in the finest form. Suffice to say, recoverable mistakes were made, but we're in the water now! For good luck, I wore the Alizée flip shirt Shelby and Spencer had made when we rolled the hull over upright.

David and I moved into the service bay next to the Travel Lift (the machine with the slings) to step the rig, so we also docked Alizée for the first time. If the weather holds long enough, we'll move her to a regular slip tomorrow. Originally, we were going to move to a marina closer to the Sound to have easier access for sea trials, but I've grown rather found of Mystic and it's nice and more convenient to be up here even it it means 45 minutes of motoring down the river to go sailing.

We definitely have a few issues to sort out. One of the mainsheet blocks has up and disappeared. The trip on the trailer about threw the engine off its mounts. We spent a good part of the day tightening up hard to reach engine mount bolts and I'm sure we'll spend a good part of another day realigning the engine to the propellor shaft. It seems the anchor rollers are still on bolts from McGuckins rather than stainless. It also looks like we need to move some weight from stern to bow to get her into proper trim, though that will be a a progressive project. Tomorrow, just maybe we'll see our sails before the forecast storms move in!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Things are Happening!

After so many days of waiting, David (son in law flew out to help the old man) and I are making progress. We have the mast built up, except for one clevis pin that seems to have taken a walk. The shortened headstay is back from the riggers and this afternoon we lifted Alizée off her trailer and now she's resting in the slings while we put a few coats of antifouling paint on the bottom of the keel bulb, which hasn't seen daylight in awhile. We're going for the inverted orca look.

The weather looks great tomorrow (sorry about Colin, Cath), so we should be splashing down first thing in the morning and moving to an adjacent work slip to step the mast and finishing rigging. At long last we will finally know for sure whether or not she floats! Unfortunately, things look nasty Wed. and windy, windy Thurs. I'm anxious to see the sails actually fit the spars, but we'll just have to be patient. And speaking of patience, just 11 more days until I see my Honey again!

In the meantime we're enjoying Mystic. In the end, we might just keep her in a slip up here rather than down the river at Noank. It's a longer haul from here to get to the Sound for sea trials, but much more convenient to other 'stuff'.

Wish us luck for the big day tomorrow!