Splash Down Day

On this sprinkle-damp morning I am as “gespannt” as I was to get hauled out that first day three weeks ago.  Today Bonita goes back in the water.  It’s 7 am now and I’m scheduled for 11 am in the slings.  Activity in the yard started at 5:30.

The last three days have been a flurry of activity to make sure that Bonita would be ready to launch today.  Friday the stands were shifted and I sanded and painted the squares that were left.  The top sides still needed more sanding so they won’t come out bumpy and grow algae.  Janet stayed all day and turned out to be a very talented and energetic sander.  Super helpful since I was drooping visibly.

A slight distraction was the unveiling of the boat that Cree has been building for the last seven months in the shed. Last night someone described the long thin sleek boat with a torpedo weight at the bottom of the keel as sexy, but I guess that would be a subjective assessment.  It looks like it has ambitions to be fast and flashy.  Maybe that’s just the red racing stripes talking.  I was instructed to put a racing stripe on Bonita because “it will make her go faster” so she now has a quiet little grey stripe for speed.

Saturday I struggled with topside paint.  I worked with an extreme sense of urgency but still found drips and bloops later.  The sunny side of the hull was also the dirt catching side.  The heat made the paint gum up fast despite adding thinners.  Then my trusty roller started glooping chunks of green antifouling paint into the white topside (eek) and Janet quick delivered her roller handle – that decided to drag, not roll.  So Janet scurried to the chandlery for me and put a new roller on my tab.

In the middle of the application one of my chatty neighbors came over because he heard my “bird noises” – screeches and squawks from behind the face mask.  He hovered below the ladder and I yelled at him “bad timing, don’t talk to me, pissed off here, save yourself” to prevent shrapnel from hitting innocent bystanders.  At the end of the day I painted the eyes back on the bow and taped up the top stripe. I was dead tired but it didn’t feel like I had accomplished much.

Sunday was a beautiful sunny day and I got another top coat on making a total of five layers on the hull.  Interlux Brightside paint is forgiving but only for about the first 45 seconds and then it begins to gum.  Fortunately it can be sanded later after it dries thoroughly and it touches up neatly.  So the results are that it could be better, but considering the conditions and my inexperience I’m happy with the glossy reflection in Bonita’s sides.  I will finish the top stripe and name painting in the slip at the Berkeley Marina where I will be through June.

I cannot believe it has been three weeks already.  It feels like it has been three days.

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