Sunday, June 23, 2019

3 years later: Alizée on the move …..

In 2016, Bill and our son Spencer trucked our homebuilt 40 ft sailboat Alizée from her Colorado driveway to her launch port (Mystic Seaport) over five days. That summer she took us from Connecticut to Maine where she has been patiently waiting in storage while we were living it up in New Zealand.

Although we absolutely loved Maine, the lobster industry (pots, pot toggles and 4am wakeup calls in anchorages) made sailing too stressful (and dangerous) for our “bulb keeled girl”, so we decided to experiment sailing in a place unknown to us: the Great Lakes.

We left Auckland on the last day of NZ autumn in unusual hail storm to arrive in an equally unusual heatwave in Northern California, where we paid a quick visit to the soon-to-be-first-time-parents, daughter Shelby and hubby David. We then move onto\ unusually green Colorado. With tenants still in our home in Boulder, we declared Spencer’s townhome in Denver our home base to prep for Alizée's relocation. We exchanged rent for healthy home cooked dinners and it was great seeing him in his environment.

With two weeks to prep, we promptly started the Truck Readiness Project to get Zoë (our affectionate name for the truck barely strong enough to tow a 15,000 lb sailboat) ready for her cross country trip to Maine sans-boat and truck her from Maine to Lake Huron:
  • Bill’s CO driver’s license expired while we were in NZ so he had the joy of retaking the written and eye exams to get a temporary “learner’s permit” until he passed the driving test. DMV figured he’s been driving on the “wrong side” of the road for too long!
  • Zoë got new shocks (all done in Spencer’s garage - please don’t report us. That’s a no-no in his townhouse complex)
  • We applied for the required oversize load permits for each state we’ll traverse. Ohio is so scared we will wreck their bridges they require extra insurance. Since I will be the navigator this time, having to decipher the cryptic route mandated by each state (please no Amish country fairs this time), we need to make sure we are well insured. I may easily be distracted by coffee shops in sight.
  • Bill solved the puzzle of restarting the boat batteries (after 3 yrs!) by using Zoë’s battery and a inverter. We'll see!
Between truck projects and meal cooking, it has been fun rediscovering Colorado and reconnecting with friends, as we missed strong human connections while in NZ. We even found a “beach series” and breca-like event in the Boulder Reservoir: the “Stroke Stride Series” with 750 m or 1,500m options, 8 swims a season. Water temp at 59F/15C with the unusually late snow, but right in line with the current water temp in Auckland! Sadly we did not get a chance to try this time around.

Over the next five days, we’ll be driving Zoë the 2,250 miles from Colorado to Belfast, Maine to get our girl out of her shed and ready to be relocated. Then it will be a crazy three days of trucking her to Lake Huron. We'll try to post frequent updates. Good night from our first stop - Omaha, Nebraska.
Nebraska ominous weather and dog-friendly rest stops

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