Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bailing The Boat

It's been raining non-stop for the last month.  We New Englanders are used to rainy springs, but this rain is later in the season than usual, and it has taken us all by surprise.  Rainy skies or not, sailing lessons are starting up in a few weeks and so we hired a recent college grad to make some repairs to the boat and get it into the water.  

The boat was been in the water for two weeks, but the repairs are slower going.  It ends up, that some supplies take longer to arrive than we expected.  I'm not worried that the repairs won't happen, but some time around hour 8 of yet another day of torrential downpours, I suddenly realized that the lack of floatation (the repair that we are waiting for) in the boat combined with the heavy weight of the rain water might equal disaster for our little dingy.

If the boat filled with water and slipped under the lake.... mercy, I hate to even think about it!  I mean, there is nothing inside the boat to keep it floating just under the surface.  We moor our boat in our pool's lake inlet and I have no idea how deep that area of the lake is.  If the boat sinks to the bottom, is it even possible to get it out?  Search me.

After a year of having the boat all to himself, Henry will be sharing the boat this year with Georgia and her good friend Caroline.  Henry is thrilled about this fact as it means that the maintenance chores will be divided among three.... once lessons get started, I mean, and the girls learn how to row a boat to the moored sailboat, hook the sailboat to the row boat and then row it back to the dock for bailing.  I figure that Henry has about a month and a half of solitary bailing before the girls are really ready to help.

On Sunday, I took Henry and Josie to the pool so that we could bail out the boat.

It was freezing:

Henry rowed out to the mooring:

while I admired the approaching storm clouds and the gray-ness of the day:

and Josie amused herself by pulling all the row boats closer to the dock:

That's when Henry got to our mooring and he found it completely empty with the buoy partially submerged in the water.

Panic!  Horror!  The boat was already at the bottom of the lake!

I started to create a game plan in my head, while Henry rowed around the boat basin, hoping to find our boat attached to a different mooring.  Could I pay the college grad to dive underwater and .... what exactly?  How could we possibly get this boat back up to the surface?

But then Henry called out!  He found the boat further along the moorings.  The college grad had hooked it to another mooring number - the one that matched the mooring number sticker on the front of our boat which had been there since we bought the boat used three years ago.  Whoops!  Note to self:  Remove the old mooring sticker before next spring!

The boat was pretty full of algae-green water, but it wasn't as full as it could have been considering the rain we've had:

These are good pictures to show how badly damaged our floatation is.  It's broken, missing large sections and moldy beyond words.  We have no idea how old our boat is - most of the boats sailing on this lake get passed down from family to family over decades.  I was talking to a friend the other day and found out that the boat she and her sisters used to learn how to sail in the late seventies, is now owned and used by another family at the pool.  And there were probably three owners in between.  We are a recycling community.  

Our rotten, broken floatation may be original to a 40 year old boat, who knows, but we need to get it replaced quickly.  I do not have the emotional capacity to go through that scare again.  

We brought buckets with us to the dock which made bailing the boat really easy and quick:

Henry said the water was freezing:

Once the boat was water-free, Henry took Josie for a row boat ride back to the mooring:

She was excited:

Bailing the boat didn't take as long as I expected, which was a relief:

It felt good to start doing "summer chores" even if it certainly doesn't feel like summer.

If we do them... maybe summer WILL COME.

Let's hope.


Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

Martha, I heard a funny story on the radio this week ... a woman said her husband and his buddies recently bought a boat that doesn't run. They paid 89 cents for it (they live on the lake and basically took it off someone's hands so he didn't have to haul it away).

They tie it up to their Jet Ski, tow it to a nearby cove and play on it all day ... jumping off of it, swimming around it, sunbathing. Then they tow it back to their house each night. Isn't that hilarious? I think it's pretty ingenious, if a little redneck. ;)

Martha said...

That's awesome! It makes for a very inexpensive float!

Anonymous said...

Oh this made me laugh out loud!! Can you just pictures the two of them trying to do this w/o tipping or falling in?!
They are going to have a blast and Henry is going to be so happy to be able to tell them what to do next rain storm.

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