Day: February 25, 2016

Day #1 of Haul Out

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This morning we woke up and stowed things away on Tanda Malaika, getting her ready for haul out. Since we are operating on one engine in heavy winds, a tow boat came to tow us  to the lift. The main reason for this – aside from strong winds, is that there is a very narrow channel that a vessel can go down to the lift, and if you deviate from that channel every so slightly, you’d be grounded. If both our engines were working we would have been fine, but we didn’t want to take the chance, and the towing service was free since we are members of BoatUS.

The tow boat arrived and we tied a bridle up to the bow.

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The widest boat that the lift can take is 28ft, and Tanda Malaika is 25ft wide. The extra 3ft may seem like a lot, but when you’re pulling her into the slip with concrete on either side, it sure feels like a tight squeeze. We all felt so anxious – even nauseous, knowing that her 12 ton body (excluding all our stuff on her) was about to be lifted up.

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We each grabbed lines, threw lines and fended her off the concrete. At one point she rubbed up again a black tire, which is far better than concrete, but now has a nice big tire mark on her side. We’ll just lovingly scrub her clean.

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Two thick straps were lowered down from the lift into the water, and Danny slowly moved her forward over the straps while we held her tight on the sides. I read on the straps and the label showed that they can each hold 66000 lbs. The workers assured me that they had lifted barges which are much heavier than Tanda Malaika.

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Finally the really nerve racking time came, and they lifted her up, then drove the lift down so that she was over a large concrete area. I think we all held our breath the entire time.

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The mechanic and Danny got to work undoing the sail drives to try figure out what the problem is, and soon found that fishing line had wrapped around the propeller shaft and melted into a solid mass. It had broken the seal to the sail drive and destroyed a bearing!

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We had ordered the parts for sail drive seals, but not new bearings, so Tanda Malaika has to stay out of the water tonight, while we rented a minivan and have driven to Miami to get the parts at the Volvo engine dealer. We will return with them tomorrow so our girl can be fixed and put back in the water where she belongs.

We feel bad not being with Tanda Malaika tonight. It feel like she has gone in for surgery and I’m not there to support her. Hopefully tomorrow will go smoothly and life on the sea as we know it, will continue.