When we had our crane appointment in late September and started our antifouling project, the plan was to be back in the water in December 2019.
We worked hard to meet this deadline and from our side we would have made it. Due to a few unforeseen events that required the support of the marina, there were some small delays. As the December deadline approached, we were soon planning to leave for our holiday in Germany and, considering that we had replaced the thru hulls and valves, we did not want to leave the boat unattended in the water. Back in mid-January 2020, there were a few small things to be prepared and so it was the end of January, to be exact the last when the crane appointment was due.
As always an exciting moment and for us this time a little bit more, because we did not know if everything was tight. We had checked the thru hulls as best we could, but you never know. The evening before, the marina made some preparations and on 31.01. early at 8:00 am, the time had come. The traveller came and was towed under the boat. As with parking the boat, this was not easy and so the boat had to be lifted several times and the support points had to be shifted to get the traveller under the boat at all. After all this had worked, this time without a scratch, the boat was driven to the crane place. Now we had earned ourselves a coffee. Afterwards the disaster began. The boat was lifted out of the support with the crane and became top-heavy, the displacement of the front webbing was not sufficient and the Katinka was still not balanced. Unfortunately the instructions to the crane operator were sparse and at this moment too late. The front support come apart and the boat tilted to port.
In the aft section a point of support pressed against the inner starboard hull. In this situation there was no turning back. The boat now had to get into the water quickly. When lifting, the rear support point scratched along the side of the hull - I could have cried - but the danger was not over yet. Extremely top-heavy the Katinka was lifted and lowered over the water. Luck in misfortune! Nothing had happened except the scratch. But now the exciting moment came, was everything tight or was it shallow somewhere. With the flashlight I searched the ship's ports and as if I did not want to believe it, I drove with my fingers along the hull of the ship, they remained dry. Everything tight! It took a load off my mind. Even the rudder shafts did not let any water through. Nevertheless, the tension only subsided after a few days, after we checked the valves again and again. By now I think we can say that they're all really tight. The scratching will have an aftermath, but at the moment everyone's overfriendly here. After it was clear that we will stay above the waterline - at least with the part of the boat that is intended for it - we moved to our berth at the pier. Sheltered, between two big boats in front of us and two behind us, we also have a nice garden and a barbecue area in front of the front door.
With all the hectic and tension, the first medical emergency this year, on board the Katinka, has almost disappeared. I had not shaved for a long time and the beard started to scratch again. Probably still dominated by the events, I drove with the sharp blade a little too briskly over my tender chin and cut a deep wound in the same. At least according to the blood the wound must have been very deep. Reflexively I applied a pressure bandage and when the shock subsided a burning pain set in. Gaby said that it would need stitches and was already tampering with our emergency case. Only when I assured her that it was probably not so bad after all and that the bleeding could be stopped, did she give up her plan.
Nevertheless, it is good to know that one is prepared for emergencies, even if it went relatively smoothly this time. Otherwise we slowly get used to the life on board in the water again. The comfortable getting in and out without a ladder, the light weighing of the boat by the water movement, the creaking of the mooring lines when the boat pulls on the bollard, all this simply went away in the last months and we are happy to be back in the water. Unfortunately, a fresh breeze from the northeast with very cool temperatures of around 10°C is keeping us from our spring cleaning, but we are confident that this will not last long and that we will slowly get away again, first towards the south. In the meantime we have done one or two things inside the ship, so the watermaker is now ready for operation and waiting for its first use.
Since we are still lying in fresh water here and the Tiber is not one of the cleanest rivers, we wait a little longer. The next few weeks we will try to clean the boat, remove the rust and allow a winch a little fat here and there. We will also check the furling system and the mainsail, everything that needs to be done smoothly, we will do now. After that we are ready to sail and then we want to start again. Our next destinations are Ponza, the Amalfi Coast and then the Aeolian Islands, further to Sicily and then Sardinia. This will definitely be an exciting time and we would be happy if you accompany us here in the blog.
What we are doing next week you can read here as usual. Until then fair winds and keep your ears stiff.