Rather than pay the Hartge Yacht Yard to pack up Astraea for shipping, Natalie and I flew in to Baltimore to do the job with help from my family. We scored round trip tickets for the incredible price of $152! We spent the first night in Greenbelt with Nicole and Karl, Natalie’s sister and brother in law. Friday, the next morning we got up early and drove down the see Astraea for the first time.
Due to yard scheduling, Astraea was already in the water and the masts had been removed. We went aboard and got familiar with her. What was most surprising was the extent of water damage from the leaking portlights. It’s going to be the first project we tackle once Astraea is in San Diego. Other than the water leaks, the boat was in the condition I expected. She needs a lot of scrubbing and TLC before we move aboard.
We spent the rest of the day getting the masts ready for shipping. First we removed all the standing rigging, the wires that support the mast, and the running rigging, the lines that work the sails. We stored the standing rigging in small flat cardboard boxes and coiled up and labeled the running rigging. We removed the radar antenna (and later on Sunday the radar support). Then we wrapped the masts up with bubble wrap to prevent road debris from damage during shipping.
After the masts were wrapped we checked out all the stuff in the storage lockers. There was a lot of stuff in there. Below is a partial gear list of goodies:
- Dinghy + Oars
- 6hp Johnson outboard motor
- Dinghy wheels
- Autopilot and spare
- Cockpit cushions
- Fishing equipment
- Sailing gloves
- Fuel and water jerry cans
- Extra parts for the Monitor windvane
- 3 power inverters
- Weems and Plath navigation tools
- Jumpstart battery
- Extra GPS antenna
- Chart books for California through Panama
- Wichard GYB’Easy Boom Brake
- TV antenna and digital TV converter
- Sony worldwide radio
- Oil change pump
- ATN Mastclimber
- Baja fuel filter
- Force 10 grill
- 5 Inflatable lifejackets
- 5 fenders
- 2 Extra anchors and rode
There’s plenty of great cruising gear. If we wanted to, all we’d need to do is fix the mast foot, provision and be off. We considered spending the night aboard, but it was really cold and the toilet is winterized, so we decided to treat Mom and Dad to dinner at Pirate’s Cove Restaurant and then spend the night back at Nicole and Karl’s. Saturday the weather was cold and wet so we spent the day checking out all the stuff inside the boat. We also made the pizza in the previous post. Getting the oven started took a while, but like anything new, there will be a learning curve. The good news is that there’s an owner’s manual for everything onboard.
Natalie was excited about how clean and new the engine looks. We didn’t get a chance to run it because it has been winterized, but once we’re in San Diego we’ll light her off and take a tour of the bay. Saturday night Nicole and Karl were out visiting with Karl’s family so we drove up to PA and spent the night with Mom and Dad.
Sunday, Dad and I drove down to finish wrapping up the main masts and the booms. We tied the booms to the deck and removed the lifelines and bow pulpit. Natalie came in the afternoon and brought us Subway for lunch. Later, Mom returned with my sister, Lizze, and her fiancé, Chris. The way the wind blows all the water to the other side of the bay left Astraea stuck in the mud.
With everyone there we moved the masts onto the same sawhorses. Then we took everything in the storage unit and packed it below in the boat. When the boat was all packed up the V-berth was full of standing rigging and fuel jugs, and the master berth was filled with sails and running rigging. The quarterberths and cockpit were filled with all the other stuff. Astraea was packed up tight and secure for the long truck ride west.
Monday we stopped by the yard to show Nicole the boat, but Astraea was already out of the water and on the Travelift awaiting the truck on Tuesday. The rudder post had 3 inches of mud on the bottom. We were in there pretty good on Sunday. I paid the yard bill and we headed up to Annapolis for lunch. We flew out of BWI that evening and were home shortly after 11pm. Eric off Coconutz picked us up at the airport (Thanks again!) and we were reunited with Koku.
Tuesday morning Dad was back down with the boat. He met the trucker who will be bringing Astraea cross country. Dad described him as, “… a crusty bugger, missing half his teeth, has a big fu Manchu and a wonderful west Texas drawl! Darn nice guy.” Well, it looks like she’s in safe hands and should arrive in San Diego on February 22.