Well a lot has happened since my last post… Sail Nelson has acquired a new addition to our fleet!
Spindrift is her name and she is a 28 foot Aloha. She made the trek across Canada from Montreal to Nelson thanks to Ron Alexander Contracting and she was launched October 2 with the help of GWIL Crane. I could not recommend them both enough. Ron was extremely knowledgeable, communicated with us throughout the shipment and greatly assisted when it was time to launch her. Kelly, from GWIL cranes in Genelle, had immense amounts of patience with us while we figured out the depths, how to secure Spindrift once she was in, and then we muddled around with the mast.
I must say that this was a very stressful ordeal for me. I knew that we would be launching her in a way that I was not accustomed to. Back east every marina has a lift available and you stand on a solid dock while the boat is lifted in or out. Here, we had to launch her out into the open water (eek). We then used a very long bow line to secure her to land and had two anchors 45 degrees astern as, of course, the wind shifted 180 degrees just as we were dropping her in (of course!).
We also had to organize the variety of watercraft that we commandeered for the project. You see, as we were launching into the water with no dock around, I knew that we needed to have access to and from the boat. Which turned out to be in the form of a small motorboat, a SUP, and a kayak. We probably looked like an offbeat Cirque du Soleil show gone wrong, but we got ‘er done!
We managed to get her secured well enough to start the process of stepping the 35 foot mast. This proved to be a challenge as we had to figure out how to get the pivot point just right, but still be able to access the crane straps to return them to Kelly. The spreaders on the mast are a bit low, so the mast is top-heavy. We thought we had found the right solution only to realize we miscalculated which meant we had to send a valuable crew member up the mast using the bosun chair (thanks to Mike Bowick for the chair)! Good thing it was on our crew’s bucket list! Or so she said…
Finally, we had the boat somewhat organized and ready to head to her mooring for further rig tuning and unpacking – we only got access to her for the first time at 7 pm the evening before, so there was a lot of digging and unpacking to be completed.
I am happy to report that Spindrift is now safe and snug at the Prestige Marina where she will spend her winter getting acquainted with her new family. We are looking forward to many adventures and new sailors in the years ahead! Thanks to all who helped bring her here, and especially to Adrian and Heather who passed her down the family tree so she could move out here to beautiful Nelson BC!