Adventure Begins

Adventure Begins
By sv Prairie SeaShell on 6 Jul, 2006 8:36 PM

Moving the boat out of the backyard in Calgary. Commissioning at Shelter Island Boat Yard in Vancouver.

The Adventure Begins - Season 1

Prairie SeaShell on trailer
 Prairie SeaShell on trailer
After waiting since last September for the truck to come and get the boat our of our back yard, it finally arrived on Sunday, April 2, 2006.
We waited for this particular trucking company as they did not require a crane to load the boat. There are not many Calgary crane operators who really know how to pick up a 38’ sailboat.
It was an all day ordeal to raise the boat about 4” in order to get the trailer in underneath it. Doesn’t sound like much, but it had to be done with much care and precision in order to make sure Prairie SeaShell stayed upright. It was rather nerve wracking to watch the supports being removed and the boat slowly eased onto the trailer.
Boat lifted on trailer for trip to coast
 Boat lifted on trailer for trip to coast
The day was warm and sunny and the ground was relatively dry, so only had minimal problems with one of the tires spinning out – made a bit of a mess in our neighbour's yard, but repairs were done and he probably didn’t even notice.
We had several fellow boat builders to help and supervise the event, and good thing too. We were a little pre-occupied with the move and almost forgot the mast and boom.  They reminded us and promptly helped build a temporary cradle for them to travel on top of the deck.
Her maiden voyage, albeit on the back of a truck.
Boat hoisted by crane
 Boat hoisted by crane
The truck left the following morning, very bright and early.  Don never did meet up with him along the way, but he said the good news was that he never saw any boat parts along the highway.
By the time Don arrived at Shelter Island marina around 8 A.M. the next morning, the boat was already unloaded from the truck and placed in a front row spot, directly up from the lift. The next two weeks were devoted to getting the anchor platform finished and polished, then, it was back to Calgary to fix up the yard and re-build the fence.
Boat at Shelter Island marina
 Boat at Shelter Island marina
The next trip to the coast saw the rigging being done and the mast stepped. Don was able to assist a young couple, Michelle & Bernie, take down their mast for repairs, so he was able to have a close look at the fittings etc.
Mast falls over
 Mast falls over
All went well putting their mast back up, but we weren’t quite so lucky. Our mast was smaller than theirs, so he booked the smaller crane --- bad choice! The operator was in a bit too much of a hurry and released the mast and drove off before it was secure. It fell over sideways and lodged up against the neighbouring boat. It caught on the hose clamp that held the radar reflector. Now he had to call the big crane into action. Bernie volunteered to be lifted up with the crane to untangle the two masts.
Although it was an extremely tense day, the mast was stepped and it appeared no major damage done.
Prairie SeaShell
 Prairie SeaShell
After a few days when Don had regained his composure, he booked a crane again to lift him up in the bosun’s chair to get a closer look at any damage. Lo and behold, isn’t it the same operator that dropped the mast. Don really had to think twice about letting his guy pick him up. This time, however, he was much more careful, the repairs were made and he was set back down on terra firma.
Now, back to Calgary again this time to build a shed where the boat had been. We are storing our belongings on our own property and renting out the house.
The next trip out to the Prairie SeaShell saw a broken heat exchanger fixed, and electronics installed and up and running. The GPS, autohelm, navigation computer, win-link e-mail and radios all have to be tied together through a huge mess of wires, cables, adaptors etc. Then, everything has to be tried using the solar power and converter instead of shore power. What a job!
The surveyor, or in landlubber terms, the appraiser, also visited during this trip and gave Don a pat on the back. He thought it was a great job on the rigging and that the boat was well suited to off shore cruising. Of course, he still had some suggestions which will have to be dealt with in order to keep the insurance company happy.
By mid June I also was officially retired and spent my first two weeks of retirement madly packing, sorting, making trips to the dump and the Sally Anne. I never dreamt it would be so difficult to pack up the house after 18 years, so many decisions, parting with so many memories and trying to keep it all straight as to what went to Pam’s, Greg’s, to the boat or into storage. Retirement was turning out to be much harder than work. Fortunately my friends came to the rescue with some well needed stress relief. I was taken out to dinner many times in those first two weeks.
We put Shannon on the plane for Comox on July 3rd, as she is spending the summer working at the cadet camp there. The house was rented the day after we called the management company and they wanted occupancy July 6th, so after many tearful goodbyes, July 6th arrived and we were on our way to our new home aboard “Prairie SeaShell”.
Stay tuned for Chapter 2, coming soon … (I hope!)


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