Welcome to Voyager’s third season with her rookie owners. Whether or not it will be a third season of boating is yet to be determined. Events have transpired in 2020 which have made life unpredictable and complex. Planning is sometimes an exercise in futility. Our false sense of security at being in control of our future has been exposed as just wishful thinking.
Covid 19 has changed the world for all of us. We no longer just run to the store, or visit casually with others without thinking, “Do I have my mask?” “Am I 6 feet away?” “Where’s the hand sanitizer?” We have been fortunate so far, that no one in our family has become ill. We are grateful for health.
Boating seems like an ideal way to isolate, by being away from populated areas and out in the fresh sea air. When boating, there are times when you need to “come in” for provisioning, laundry, boat parts, etc. By observing precautions at these times, we hope to stay safe. But first, we have to get the boat in the water, and that has proven to be a challenge this year.
We began the season late, by choice, because we were blessed with the arrival of a new grandson. There are priorities in life, and we chose the greater of two goods when we chose family time over boating. The family time was wonderful, and our new grandson is a perfect cherub. But eventually our attention wandered north to Voyager, and the possibility of a shortened season of boating. The Great Northwest awaits!
Mike made the trip north first, to get our Big Girl prepped and ready for the water. There is a lot of preparation to do, and of course there are a lot of projects that we never seem to get to when we’re out on the water. Who wants to work at such a time?
After having had two previous seasons of various difficulties with our windlass, Mike decided to check the main gear box. [Note: you can read about these earlier windlass malfunctions in previous blogs. We referred to our windlass as “Chain Biter.”] What Mike found in the gearbox was a cause for alarm.
After much discussion about possible solutions, we decided that the best option was to purcha$e a brand new windla$$. This was an expense we weren’t expecting, but safety dictated the solution.
The necessary research was done by Mike, and he decided upon the best windlass for our current and future needs. An order was placed, and our new windlass began the process of traveling to us from the east coast by truck. In the meantime, I had flown north to join Mike after his 2 weeks of solo time. There continued to be a flurry of work and projects by the two of us. Mike had a lot of prep to do for the new windlass: electrical wiring, new holes drilled in the deck, epoxy work – it was an extensive job. I worked on the teak decks in between runs to the parts store for Mike.
Finally, the big day arrived! The truck delivered our windlass. The next challenge was getting the massive, heavy item lifted 15 feet in the air. When the boat is not in the water, we can access it only by ladder. There was no way to carry the windlass up a ladder. The problem was solved by a forklift and driver, who lifted the windlass up to the bow pulpit, from where Mike was able to muscle it onto the deck. We have no pictures of this dramatic arrival, as we were all busy helping.
So, may we now introduce Behemoth, our new windlass!
Some see a cow or a spaceship. Others see a robot. How about you?
Readers weigh in: Is Behemoth a good name?
She’s big and beefy, and up to the challenge of raising and lowering 2 anchors and chains (one is a spare, for emergencies). She is a Lofrans brand, made in Italy. She doubles as an espresso machine if you push the right button. No, not really, but we think she should. We are getting close to finishing the installation, and then we will get to hear the new motor work. Will it be quieter than Chain Biter? We hope so. Stay tuned and we will let you know!
As always, we miss family and friends we are away from. We love you, and wish you health and good cheer.