Sailing #65

The boat has been on Lake Travis for a month now. Our favorite excuse for why it's taken so long to publish these last chapters is that we've been busy sailing. And that's the truth. Here are a few photos of us enjoying Dolce Vitaville on Lake Travis.

 
Here we are pulling into our dock space.

Here are a few of the folks who have sailed with us.

 
 
Ou first canine passengers. They were very well behaved.
Fun at the helm.
This is our spinnaker. We stlill have things to learn about this.
We hope to have a chance to take each and every one of you sailing. Thanks for following our blog on our incredible journey from Maine to Lake Travis. We hope to be sailing with you soon.
Life is good.
Fair winds,
Stephen and Franci

 

Into the lake #64

Tuesday morning we arrived at the boat early to get ready for the actual launch into Lake Travis. We put the dinghy back onto the boat and fastened the fenders to the starboard side of the boat. Eric drove the boat through the parking lot to Eriksen Marine, next door to Emerald Point Marina.

We were able to hire them and their equipment to help launch the boat into the lake. This large tractor lowered the trailer and boat down to the water's edge.
Stephen and dockhands with boat hooks were on the dock ready to receive the boat.
Here's a video of the boat being launched into Lake Travis. It was a very exciting moment.
This is how it looked as we drove away from the launch spot.
Here's the happy crew on the first ride on Lake Travis for Dolce Vitaville..
Our friend Lyse was with us during many of the activities in both Seabrook and Lake Travis. Dick met us at the Lakeway Marina and he helped us complete all the things that still needed to be put back together. Of great importance, he re-connected all of the electrical wires that had been disconnected with the unstepping of the mast. He and Stephen also put the jib back on.
 
 

The day came to a close, but he came back early the next morning to do a few last minute things before their noon flight back home to Maine. He helped us re-install the screacher. The screacher is a large sail that we use instead of the jib during light winds. We have found it to be very helpful on Lake Travis at times.

He discussed with us how to install the new parts we have gathered to make the screacher easier to manage.
 
We are thrilled with our new home at Lakeway Marina. My family kept a boat or two there for thirty years so we feel right at home. In addition the folks who work there as well as the services are just great.
We have an end tie close to the breakwater and entrance into Lakeway Marina. We love our location. In the lower photo we are the sailboat on the right. Home Sweet Home. Lucky us!

Life is good.

Fair winds,

Stephen and Franci

 

Dolce Vitaville goes back together. #63

Our apologies that it has taken so long to put out this portion of the blog. In the last post we had arrived at Lake Travis having left Seabrook very early that morning. (Sunday, July 14)
That same day Dick Vermeulen, the designer and builder of the Maine Cat 30, flew in from Maine with his wife and partner, Lynn. We felt so blessed to have Dick himself come to help us put the boat back together. We met up with Dick and Lynn at my sister Lois' house in Lakeway. She and her husband, Earl, fed all of us a fabulous dinner. Lois and Earl would be our hosts for the next three days while the boat was being launched and put back together. I regret that I did not get a photo of Dick and Lynn that evening.
The following morning was a rainy day in Texas and the work went on as planned. The temperatures the week before had been in the 100's. We were so thrilled to have cool weather for the launching of the boat.
 

The mast comes off the trailer.

Dick Vermeulen checks things out.

Dick, Stephen and Eric Stough getting the mast ready to go up.

Late morning the crane arrived.
Here's a video of the mast going back onto the boat.

There were many wires and lines that go through the mast.

The shrouds which support the mast were reconnected. After a lunch break for all involved we returned to the boat to finish putting up the boom and the sails. Here are a few videos of that as well as a video of Dick going up the mast in a Boston's chair to attach the masthead fly.

 
Dick and Stephen re-connected the boom.
They attached the topping lift to the boom.
They attached the sails.
Lynn got to help reinstall the lazy jack.
 
Soon the day was done. We would all plan to re-group in the morning for the actual launching of the boat.
Life is good,
Fair winds,
Stephen and Franci
 
 
 
 
 

 

Loading the Truck #62

Thursday was a quiet day. We hung out at the Seabrook Marina pool and got to know some of the other local boat owners. We will miss Seabrook Marina. It has been a marvelous home for Dolce Vitaville for the last month. Thursday evening Eric and his friend, Dave, arrived with the truck. We had a great dinner at Skipper's.

Friday we all arose early prepared for a big day. The guys spent most of the morning preparing and adjusting things on the truck to fit the exact needs of the boat. They did a super job of building the trailer to fit. They scheduled us for the actual lift in the late afternoon so everyone enjoyed a little midday rest in the cool of our motel rooms.

 

We re-convened later that day for the actual lift onto the truck. We drove the boat over to the shipyard where the marine travelift was waiting to do the job.

They washed the boat off after it came out if the water.

Then it was on to the trailer. Everything fit perfect.

 
 

They secured things and tied things down. They put on the signs and flags.

 
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Saturday morning they spent more time making sure things were perfect and ready for an early start on Sunday morning.

We enjoyed our last day at Seabrook Marina. We hung out at the pool area some and went for lunch at Skipper's. That evening we would get to visit with our old dock neighbors, Art and Barbara. We were thrilled to finally get a chance to visit their boat, the Work of Art, an 80' long hull which they have finished themselves over the last twelve years. The work they have done on the interior of the boat is beautiful and original. They go soon to Florida where they will get outfitted with a mast and sails.

Sunday morning we took off early. We left Seabrook at 6 a.m. and took back roads across South Houston to Sugarland, eventually ending up on Highway 71 headed to Austin and Lake Travis.

 
 

The trailer had a flat tire along the way. Apparently, that 's to be expected and they had several spares.

 
 

There were a couple of wrong turns along the complicated route given us by Tx Dot but we still managed to arrive at Emerald Point before 4 p.m., a successful journey.

The driving team…..Eric and David Stough and Dave.

Life is good.

Fair winds,

Franci and Stephen

 

Unstepping the Mast #61

Wednesday, July 10

Tuesday we took Dolce Vitaville out for her final sail on Galveston Bay. Our friend, Lyse, came with us and it was a great day for sailing. We were among the few folks out sailing that day. There was a lovely southeast breeze and we enjoyed sailing all morning and long into the afternoon.

Wednesday morning we were up early ready to greet the guys from Stix N'Rign at 7a.m. They went to work dismantling the wiring and lines about the mast. They put away the screecher and jib sail. They marked and labeled each of the lines and wires as they disconnected them.

 

 

 

 

About 9 a.m, we drove the boat over to the shipyard where they began the process of taking down the jib furler, the boom and finally the mast itself. They used a crane and a large rope attached by a guy who went up the mast in a boson's chair. It was fun to watch. The guys at the Seabrook Shipyard really knew how to do it. The Stix N Rign crew along with the shipyard guys did a great job. We were impressed with their skill and expertise.

 
 

They labeled things and took pictures.

They took down the sails, then the boom and the mast.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Viewing was good in the shade.

The guys from Stix N'Rign would go on to wrap the mast and other parts in plastic wrap. They took apart the radar and shrouds and wrapped them safely in bubble wrap and delivered them back to the boat ready for the long adventure ahead. We were impressed with the thoroughness of the job. By Friday, everything would be wrapped and ready for transport.

After the mast was done, we enjoyed an afternoon by the pool and leftovers on the boat for dinner.

Life is good,

Fair winds,

Franci and Stephen

 

First encounter with unstepping a mast. #60

June 27, 2013

 

Recently our good friends, Jim Neece, and his lovely wife, Nancy, bought a new boat. Jim and Nancy are our long time friends who invited us to join them on their honeymoon in the BVI's back in 2009. We've been hooked on sailboat charters ever since. Jim and Nancy recently sold their sailboat on Lake Travis (27 foot monohull) and bought a 32' O'Day sailboat. Our friends from Houston, Helyn and Gary Mack, bought the 27 ft boat not realizing that all parties involved were friends of ours. Soon both parties discovered that they shared our friendship in common.

When the day came to unstep the mast of the boat and put it on a trailer for transport to Houston we could not resist attending the event. We had also learned that they had hired the same rigger and transporter who would soon be moving our boat from Seabrook to Lake Travis. What an opportunity. Here are few photos from that June morning at Lake Travis.

 

 

 

 

 

We only stayed for the taking down of the mast. We had other things to do that afternoon but it was a good introduction for the adventure ahead.

Life is good,

Fair winds,

Franci and Stephen