Our Boat

Caloosa Spirit

Catalina 42 mkII

Log #3 Holding Pattern

We went up to Sage Mountain today. It’s the highest point in the Virgins, British and U.S., and the view was spectacular, as you can see from the pictures. We could even see the boat yard where Caloosa Spirit is and identify her by the tarps covering her for protection from the paint being used on a nearby boat. That was the second time we’ve been up on the Ridge Road and the second time it’s been awesome. Mountain roads in N.H. or Colo. have nothing on some of the switchbacks and steeps here. At times the incline is so steep it feels like the car will just tip over backwards!

View from Sage Mtn

View of Long Bay from Sage Mtn

Lauri called to tell us that the closing on the house took place yesterday—FINALLY! So now we are homeless, sort of. It was kind of bittersweet news. We have a lot of good memories from the house that will always stay with us, but we were really ready to leave it. And, presumably, we’ll have another land home someday.

Today we went to a different Episcopal church that’s on the other side of Road Town in Sea Cow’s Bay (like that name?). We drive by it on the way to the boat yard. Actually, we went last week, too, but got there a ½ hour late, so missed half the service. This church has only a 1-hour service, more to our liking. But we think we’re ready to try a different church next time. The Episcopal service is a little too formal for our tastes. We certainly miss First Congregational.

We really miss being on the boat—that’s what we retired for. It’s hard feeling stuck with this hotel room and not being able to “putter” with things on the boat. Jim wants to work on equipping it, and I want to get the galley and cabin organized and livable. We hoped it would be back in the water by now and that we would at least have it back here at the Base. But no such luck. Between being slow to get the go-ahead from Sunsail to do the necessary work and being swamped with other work, the boat yard crew is behind on finishing the bottom work needed—the prop shaft strut needs straightening, the rudder needs repositioning, and a crack in the hull just forward of the prop shaft needs fiberglass work. All of those things are completely fixable, but it will take a little time. So, it appears that the boat will be out of the water for at least another week. Tomorrow being a holiday doesn’t help—it’s St. Ursula’s Day. We don’t have a clue about who St. Ursula is, but we’re not very happy with her, because she’s further slowing up the progress on the boat! Despite feeling stuck on land, retirement really is pleasant, and we are genuinely enjoying the time with each other. We hardly ever think about the places we worked, and we think we’re adjusting to island time. We aren’t on any schedule, so we get up when we feel like it, eat when we’re hungry, and go to bed when we get tired. We can while away the time watching the dock activity outside our window. There’s usually a lot of boats returning to the base on Thursdays and going out on Saturdays, so that’s entertaining to watch. Frequently, it makes us VERY grateful that our boat is no longer in charter service! The view from the “veranda” (3rd floor, solid 3 ½’ wall, $5 white plastic chairs!) hasn’t changed and the weather is still gorgeous. We go to the pool almost every day, and have been to the beach a couple of times.

On the way back from the boat yard we noticed that the traffic light was blinking. That’s the first time we’ve seen it operational. Maybe they’re gearing up for having it actually direct traffic! Now what can be done about the idiot drivers who pass on hills and curves, and stop in the road to pick up, drop off, or just talk to their friends!?

The work on the boat is almost done. For a while it was looking like Jim would be getting Caloosa Spirit back for his birthday on Monday. No such luck. We weren’t able to get the splash scheduled until Tuesday, and the touch-up bottom painting won’t be finished until Monday. We’re planning to go down to the yard with whoever will bring it back so that we can ride back to the base on the boat. We want to see how the new propeller feels.

For the last week we haven’t been anywhere except back and forth to the boat yard. We’ve seen our fill of boat yards for a while. We have learned a few things about using a boat yard in the future, though:
1.We will schedule the splash date when the boat is hauled. That way the yard crew will be working on our schedule, not theirs (read “none”).
2.We’ll look for a yard where the manager actually supervises the sub-contractors, rather than just walking around looking important—or trying to, anyway.
3.We’ll try to do most of the work ourselves. That way we’ll avoid the unnecessary expenses involved in watching them do everything just to see that it all gets done!
4.A boat yard is a smelly, noisy, dirty, hot place to be avoided as much as possible!!

So it’s been “hurry up and wait” for the last week or 10 days—a holding pattern. Maybe we need to get used to it. There’s going to be more waiting in the next few weeks as Caloosa Spirit is worked on here at the Base. But what’s a little more waiting in Paradise?

Till next time,
Alice & Jim Rutherford

Posted Saturday October 26, 2002

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