Aboard Astraea

Invest in experiences, not things

The main mast before priming and sanding
The main mast before priming and sanding

Astraea launched and work continues on the mast

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Natalie and I at the helm on our maiden voyage aboard Astraea

Natalie and I at the helm on our maiden voyage aboard Astraea

We launched Astraea on Thursday afternoon after the yard put some bottom paint over the area of the keel that was repaired. I talked to Allen on the phone and he said, “We’ll launch at one o’clock in the afternoon.” I showed up at the yard promptly at 1:00 and she was already in the water! We tied her off to the docks and started the diesel engine on the second try. Another learning curve – I had to read the manual to find out that to start the engine you need to push the glow plug warmer button and the start button at the same time.

Eric gives the helm a try

Eric gives the helm a try

I called Eric, off Coconutz, and he came over to help bring Astraea back to Pier 32. The engine started up without a hitch, water flowed out through the cooling seawater discharge on the stern of the boat. We were in business! I did a forward and reverse throttle check and everything worked as it should. I had some difficulty getting away from the dock at Knight and Carver, but didn’t hit anything.

We tried docking at the pumpout dock at Pepper Park so I could get a feel for how the boat turns. It was difficult for me to make the U turn in to the dock. After 3 failed attempts I decided to just bring it in to the new slip. Going very slowly down the fairway to the 300 dock my heart was racing. I turned the wheel hard to the right, using all the rudder I had and we slid right in to the slip! I’m going to need a lot more practice coming in and out of the slip, so I’m glad we’re in a wider slip for now.

Max, one of the marina maintenance staff, came down to measure the boat so we know how much we’ll be paying each month. Without the windvane we’re 42 feet. With it we’re a bit longer.

Little fish eating the algae growing down by our new dock

Little fish eating the algae growing down by our new dock

Later that evening, Jaime and Eric came over to say “Congratulations!” We showed them around and talked about the projects we have lined up.

The main mast before priming and sanding

The main mast before priming and sanding

Friday I started work on the mast. I sanded all the new wood area down and cleaned it up with denatured alcohol and a rag. Then I mixed up a 2 part primer and put down a thin coat. Tomorrow I’ll be back to work more on the main mast paint and then Natalie and I will start attaching the rigging.

The main mast after priming

The main mast after priming

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