March 2010. This is the day I met Lizzy Belle. Even then I couldn't have imagined how she would change my life and how far we would go together.
HAUL OUT DAY: As we packed Lizzy Belle up Evan and I didn't say much. I'm not sure if we were both upset to leave, worried about leaving LB alone for 7 months or just exhausted from the intense heat. Either way we packed her up slowly while taking turns hitting the cold showers at the marina.
Lizzy Belle slowly began looking like a skeleton as we stripped away her sails, running rigging, solar panel and all the essentials that make her sea worthy. Sorry LB.
We took all of Ol'Beltzie's blocks in so they wouldn't "disappear" in the boat yard over the summer.
"Winterized" the outboard engine.
All the chemicals that make Lizzy Belle float.
Evan scrubbed the BBQ to keep the critters from being tempted to make LB their new home.
Deflating the zodiac. We rolled her up and stored her inside Lizzy Belle.
Folding the sails and storing them in the V-Berth.
Evan put a quick coat of paint on the exposed epoxy on the deck.
One last night of watching movies and sleeping on deck under the stars.
LB from the top of her mast without any sails.
I spread some roach killer tablets around LB. I'm not sure it will matter in 7 months but I figured I might as well try.
LB getting ready to be lifted out.
We stopped them to make sure the straps were in the right position on LB's keel.
She still looks sharp out of the water.
They power wash her hull to get all the growth off. She actually looked pretty good. I was surprised.
Lb from the inside once everything was packed up. I swear there is organization here.
They use sand screws and strap LB down in case there are really bad storms.
The Travel Lift is a cool machine. It took her right out of the water to her resting place.
I was super sick on the day of the haul out. I had a bad cold and somewhat of a fever. Evan carried my bags for me. Thanks bud.
At least LB will not be alone. Easy Listening is right around the corner. I figure they will watch the stars and wait with anticipation for our arrival back to the sun.
The last job was to take down the Canadian Flag.
Lizzy Belle in her spot for the summer. Apparently it rains a lot in August and September. We will see her again around the middle of October.
We are both home safely in Nova Scotia, hanging out with our family's and telling stories about our adventure's on the sea. I asked Evan on the plane which moment was his favourite part of the trip? He spoke about multiple different times especially in Culebra, he spoke about sailing to Anegada and about the great friends at the Beachcomber. After reflecting on it myself I couldn't choose just one because for me the entire journey was an experience that kept me on my toes. Riley joining the crew was up there, crossing the Mona Passage with Kelly, Gracie and my old man was a huge part for me and I think was the biggest confidence builder. One moment that stands out and I think I'll remember in detail for the rest of my life was sailing 4 miles off the coastline of Puerto Rico solo at 3am in the pouring rain on a race to meet Evan and Dascia. This is when all hell broke loose for LB and I. The broken/burnout exhaust pipe was pumping raw water into the boat and the alternator couldn't keep up with the amount of power the autopilot was drawing from the batteries. I was jumping back and forth from the engine room to the tiller while constantly checking the GPS for a safe harbour to anchor in. There wasn't one for twenty five miles and absolutely no one around to help me. This was the perfect challenge. These are the moments I was looking for when I set out on this journey. These are the moments that were truly testing my ability and all the knowledge I picked up over the last two years while asking friends questions or listening to old men tell stories at the bar. I believe these are the incredible moments that build character and help define who we are going to be for the rest of our lives. I want more memories like this one. I can't wait to get back out there!
The sailing is over for now my friends but the blog will still continue. There is much planning and a large amount of preparation for what is ahead. What's next you ask? That is the beauty of sailing, the open ocean does not have a dead end.
Thanks for your support,
Captain Dave Welsford