Launch Day, June 21, 2012

Moving aboard was quite the task, but we finally had all of our belongings stowed away after a late night at the boatyard (and thanks to Kathy for helping to pack, move, and clean during her visit to Whittier Meadows). On the eve of our launch, Brian prepped the deck by securing kayaks, diesel tanks, the boom, etc. and setting dock lines and bumpers. Exhausted, dirty, and hungry we left the boatyard prepared for the day ahead.

At 9:15am we arrived at the boatyard on a very HOT first day of summer. We received well wishes from fellow boater, Richard, who anticipates his launch next week. Boatyard staff had to dodge some bees that had nestled in the jack stands, but sting-free they loaded Rode Trip onto the trailer.

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At the boat ramp Rode Trip’s mast was raised via crane and all the rigging was attached. Rode Trip towered over the power boats and jet skis that were launching for a day of fishing and riding.


Rode Trip was eased into the water. We noticed she was lower on her lines, meaning sitting lower in the water due to added weight. But we still have empty spaces! The rode, anchor chain, will .need to be redistributed so that it lies lower in the bilge to disperse some weight from the bow.

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We cast off from the dock with perfect timing to motor under the Newburyport US 1 Bridge at the 11:30am opening.

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We picked up a mooring on the first try; not too shabby after a long winter break. We put up the boom and Brian adjusted the rigging. We checked in with the harbor master to pay our fees for the night. The launch was a success! We headed back to Amesbury where we hoped to sell our cars (in progress) and tidy Whittier Meadows.

Minor Details

I’m happy to say that the interior of Rode Trip is move-in ready! We’re shifting gears to get our stuff stowed and add some final homey touches. I’ve touched up interior paint, vacuumed and dusted every crevice, and added non-skid shelf liners to drawers and shelves. Brian has fashioned curtains, lee cloths, and a silverware holder (thanks Katie’s sewing machine) and we’ve fitted everything prior to installing. We added a mirror to the head and found places for our most treasured pictures. Amidst the packing, we’re also completing those last minute “big projects” like painting the deck, installing the propane tanks, refitting the hatch sliders, and installing the solar panel. And of course sorting tools, building our medical kit, and inventorying our safety gear. Phew!

At the end of long days, it’s even difficult to cook a hearty meal. Brian is often asking, “where’s the…” and, “have you seen…” because the contents of our kitchen are either packed for storage or in some ‘to the boat’ pile. We’ve been letting our brains unwind with episodes of How I MetYour Mother and glasses of wine.

Fortunately we did get some play time on Tuesday while we puppy-sat. Meet Kaya, Sunny & Berkley’s newest family member. Kaya is very sweet and playful…but I don’t think she’s quite developed her work ethic.

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Running Reflections

Brian and I drove home from Portland, ME last night and could’t wipe the smiles off our faces.  We were excited about cruising and for a brief moment of mutual bliss we felt oddly prepared – or I should say prepared enough.

I awoke this morning and set out for a seven mile run assuming that my fears would resurface and anxiety would inevitably slow the progress necessary to move onto the boat as scheduled.  As my body settled into mile two, my mind swirled with medical jargon, dollar signs, and “what if?” scenarios.  “Ok,” I thought, “now is time to panic; here are all the fears that our mothers warned us about (some new that I wouldn’t dare tell them about) AND I can see the metaphorical shower drain in the center of our boat into which all our money goes as fellow boat owners warned me about.”  Instead of panic, I was eerily calm and confident.  I might also add that my body was relieved to encounter a long downhill which is rare on any running course in Amesbury.  My swirling brain slowed with the new found knowledge telling me “hey, for any of those what if’s for accidents or illnesses, I do know how I can stabilize and hopefully improve the situation.”  Keeping the boat safe, in addition to tending a patient, will require some additional field training however; but that won’t come until we’re in the water.  Breathing got a bit easier at this point which could have been either my reaching the four mile mark where I tend to warm-up or more likely excitement replacing my worries.  Except, of course, for dollar signs…they just keep on swirling.  Enough with this running, it’s a sunny day and I have a deck to paint!

Now, if all of this has you thinking, “how many miles did she run?”  The answer is Yes, 7 and Yes even having just run a marathon 7 miles still feels like an eternity!