Before we could feel comfortable sailing CC around the world, we needed to pull her out of the water and rub her belly a bit. After realizing how many hoops we would have to jump through to pull her out in Ft. Lauderdale, our good friend Peter suggested a small boat yard about 90 miles north in Ft. Pierce, Florida.
Leaving our small Ft. Lauderdale slip for the first time felt amazing, a small taste of what was to come. Freedom!
“17th street bridge, 17th street bridge, this is 44 foot sailing vessel Cool Change requesting an opening.”
Our 90 mile sail turned into 120 miles with winds on the nose. We were learning how she sails for the first time! We had lots to learn, but she was more than happy to teach us. We sailed straight into the night and watched the full moon rise over the ocean.
Lost wind that evening and had to motor for a bit. The winds picked up to 20 to 25 knots late in the night and we were sailing again! The boat speed hit 9 knots with a single reef in the main.
Peanut took his first deck poop! Good boyyyyy!
Tres Caballeros sailing into the sunset. For the majority of this trip Bru was feeling pretty sick. Having only spent a few days on the ocean before, he still has a ways to go before he gets his sea legs.
We arrived in Ft. Pierce in the dark and had to navigate to a small anchorage without a real depth sounder. As we dropped the hook our neighbor Ben came out to say hi and give us some info about the area. We had arrived in our first anchorage!
The next day we waited to hear from the boat yard, they needed to make room for us by moving around some other boats. Turns out Ben was pulling out his boat in the same yard. Felt awesome to be somewhere, even if it was just a muddy little channel a few miles from home.
After one more night on the hook we made our way to Riverside Marina. Pulling our 44 foot girl into that little channel was a fun challenge, the wind was blowing us into the other boats. We had to crab crawl our way into the slip, missing the other boats by inches. We felt at home right away, everyone was very friendly and helpful. A few people were even living on their boats in the yard, which we fully intended on doing as well.
Watching these boat yard dudes operate was impressive. They use a small remote control to roll around this giant machine that can pull many thousands of pounds worth of boat out of the water.
Ben showed us around town a bit. We rode down to the nearest grocery store to supply up for the following week of work.
Instead of carrying our groceries miles down the road we opted to borrow a shopping cart. Arrrrr!
The sun set on another day and we were ready to give CC’s belly a make over. We wanted to move quickly because we were being charged by the day to use the yards facilities. Ben said it best, “The race is on now boys, you gotta beat the yard!”
The next morning we got right to it. The hull didn’t look too bad, a few small blisters here and there. Some of the local old timers would stop and give us their 2 cents from time to time. Everyone seems to have a different method to their madness. One thing they all agreed on is that CC is a gorgeous boat who’s build to cross oceans. Exactly what we want to hear.
3 coats of black copper-based bottom paint. Let’s go! Normally people suit up with protective gear when working with this stuff. Us? We’re building our immune systems.
Freshly polished propeller and new zinc anodes. Lovely work Scotsman.
A dirty crew after a long weekend of work. Bru, Brandon, Peanut, Scotsman and of course the lovely Cool Change.
After just three days in the yard we were ready to put her back in the water! We beat the yard :)
Our sail back was much faster. It felt like we gained 3 knots after all the work we had done. We were ready to embark on the first leg our journey..