June 28, 2017: “Oh, dear–what NOW?”

Wednesday began well with Morning Prayer accompanied by a bird song concert, time for Walt to work on his accounting, and time for me to sort, reorganize, and consolidate food supplies for easier access. We started motoring away from Eagle harbor a little after 11 am over rippling viridian waters and beneath powdery silver-gray skies, and I was at the helm for most of the way to Anacortes. As usual, we encountered tide rips and generally gentle winds and currents running sometimes against us and sometimes with us, and Walt took over the steering as we approached the Marine Servicenter docks at about 1 pm as the sun finally banished the last of the clouds.

While Walt filled the 120-gallon fuel tank and topped up our two propane tanks, I pulled myself up the steep ramp to the shore (very low tides again!) to inform the office personnel of our arrival for haul-out. They had the thruster’s gear box and inquired about oil for it, and by about 2 pm the TraveLift’s huge slings had been maneuvered into place by the operator of the giant machine to support Braesail beheath its hull before and behind its keel, and its 33,000 lbs. had been hoisted out of the water and suspended over the blacktop of the repair lot on the shore; this was accomplished as the tide was receding enough to cause the boat’s keel and rudder to touch the mud at the bottom of the marina–JUST in time!

We used the onshore restrooms and I disposed of trash, and then we waited in the office’s reception area for information about the repair. Soon frustrating news arrived along with our red plastic propeller in the hand of a repairman: the damaged gearbox had chewed up the hub of the new propeller installed in Everett before we departed two weeks ago (if only they had detected the stripped gears when testing that propeller!), which meant that we would have to buy ANOTHER one and have it attached to the new gearbox! No propellers were available in Anacortes, so one was ordered from a store in Seattle to be delivered before noon on Thursday, meaning that Braesail would have to be lowered back into the water this afternoon, we would spend the night on board in a nearby slip, the boat would be hauled out AGAIN Thursday following the arrival of the propeller and the location of a vacant time slot in the day’s haul-out schedule, the whole assembly would be tested, and if all was well at last, we could be on our way–at some point in the day.  AAAUGH!! We were NOT pleased by the prospect of more repairs, more time at the dock, and more money spent! So we sat in the office, spoke with the personnel, and tried to decide on the best thing to do.

It was now mid-afternoon, and I had eaten nothing since around 9 am when I’d had a little instant oatmeal. I found a little box of raisins in my purse on which to snack and was munching away when one of the repair facility workers appeared with a left-over slice of pizza, and he kindly offered it to me. I gratefully accepted his gift, and when he asked me about the repair (“Did you run into something?”), I shared my tale of woe. He was very sympathetic and I thanked him for listening AND for the pizza, found myself feeling better, decided that we were MUCH better off than 99.9% of the world’s population, and I should stop whingeing and moaning, griping and grousing, and carping and complaining, and be thankful that things weren’t even worse, time- AND money-wise. What did my mom say throughout my youth? “‘Cheer up–things could be worse!’ So I did and they WERE!” We had a place in which to spend the night and the prospect of the repairs FINALLY coming to an end (for this time!) tomorrow (we’ll see!).

After the gearbox was installed, Braesail was lifted back into the water and Walt motored over to a slip on the “F” dock, where I met him. Some of the dock workers helped tie up the boat, and by about 6 pm we had drowned our sorrows in corn chips and tomato salsa, Walt was napping in the aft cabin, and I was failing to sleep in the comfort of the cockpit because I kept coughing. I began work on this post, and later in the evening, Walt grilled salmon fillets to serve with salad and the last of the baby potatoes (they cannot be imported into Canada). I cleaned the cabin and galley and considered taking a shower before crawling into bed after an emotionally tiring day!

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