Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Last Full Day

“And what are we going to do today?” was the question that hung in the cockpit on Thursday morning. Burlington had been “done” the day before. We got into town just in time for lunch, and then what?

The only logical answer to that question was to rent electric bikes. We arrived at the bike rental place while the bike rental guy showed us the bikes. They looked like ordinary bikes, but they had a battery pack under the seat and an electric motor on the sprocket of the back wheel. When you pedal a sensor picks up that your feet are cycling around and sends juice to the motor on the back wheel. You get something like three times the energy from one cycle around on the pedals. And then there’s the throttle handle in case you don’t feel like pedaling.

OK, electric bikes? Wicked cool.

Once back at the boat we untied from the mooring and threw up the sails. Because we could, as the masts and sails were back on. As the sun threatened to set, we sailed west right into it toward New York. The wind was perfect across the beam (perpendicular to the boat) right where Sabine likes it. If she was an actual woman, she’d turn toward it, a contented smile would cross her face and she’d arch her back and sweep her hair off her neck to feel the breeze cool her skin. She kinda did that. She tipped slightly in the opposite direction and silently flowed through the lake.

It was with that sail that we’d traveled more than 500 miles since leaving East Greenwich on July 3.

The next morning we sailed to Shelburne Shipyard, where we’d leave Sabine until getting back the week of August 16th. She’d been taking on more water than we’d like since the great rope mishap at Chipman Point a few days before. Apparently my carelessness with that rope, and it’s wrapping in the prop, caused the prop shaft to fall out of alignment.

Luckily there is a Yanmar mechanic at Shelburne, so he can suss out what is wrong with Sabine’s diesel and fix it before we’re due back. A phone call after we’d left her there revealed that the water leaks in the engine room caused the pulleys on the belt system on the diesel also engine mounts to rust to the point where they are no longer even a little bit viable. Long story short, wrapping the line around that prop could have knocked the diesel off its mounts and render it entirely useless. So, in a way it was a good (but very costly) thing that I’d wrapped that line and misaligned the prop shaft—else we’d never known about the rusted out engine mounts.

Friday we rented a car, piled the dogs, bags, kids and us into it and drove to Massachusetts to meet my brother and sister-in-law to give them back their children. Then the long and tired ride back to Rhode Island.

But the adventure resumes in a few short days.

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