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The Mast-Head: Back in the Water

Wed, 06/16/2021 - 18:13

Monday, which was a bit of a surprise. The boat mover let me know the evening before that he had a spot in his schedule to take it from behind the office to Three Mile Harbor. What I expected was that there would be space in the boatyard to put it up on stands for a few days or a week before it could be launched.

Nick the mover was running a bit late that morning, which I appreciated because I still had a load of tools left in the boat and wanted to start the diesel to be sure it would run. He pulled up with his long hydraulic trailer as I was contorted deep in the bilge bleeding the fuel line. The engine, a 1979 Volvo Penta 13-horsepower hunk of iron, eventually came to, and we were ready to go. I loaded my set of boat stands in the back of my pickup and followed Nick out of the driveway.

Fernando, who manages the boat storage and season commissioning, was there when we pulled in and said he would get Cerberus up in the slings of the travel lift and afloat right away. I was back in the bilge, tightening a nut on the stuffing box to stop a leak, when Rudy the rigger arrived.

Rudy, who is a cousin of mine of some sort, I believe, had noticed Cerberus from where he was working on a mast alongside one of the yard’s big sheds. He figured he might as well attach the shrouds and fore and aft stays since it was supposed to rain later. I stayed below and out of the way.

That done, I tied up at the marina’s service dock, since the mechanic was off that day and the space would not be immediately needed. In the late afternoon, I got back down to the boat. A party of boaters from the Stony Brook Yacht Club were on a nearby deck having a barbecue as I gave Cerberus a good scrubbing, washing away most of the winter’s leaves, pine needles, and dust. Then, at almost dark, I motored a bit around the harbor and moved off to a temporary spot to tie up while my mooring was readied.

Jeff, a frequent letter writer to the paper, was working on his boat’s varnish next to where I ended up. This was somewhat to my chagrin since I had mislaid something that he had wanted in the Memorial Day weekend paper. Jeff said it was okay and that he did not mind.

Cerberus was there in the morning, which meant that either the leak had stopped or the bilge pump was up to the task or both. And so the season began, a little earlier than I had thought, but so very welcome nonetheless.

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