November 5, 2018
Steady rain fell throughout the morning, and on and off all day. We awaited word from Rick, the boatyard owner, on whether we would be launched. There were several other boats that needed to be hauled out first. Sometime after 2:00 pm, Chris, a solidly-built yard employee with dark stubble and a deep Virginia accent, expertly maneuvered the marine lift through the yard, and deposited a sailboat across from ours. This vessel belonged to a young couple from Wyoming, and had had lost all its electronics in a lightning strike on the Chesapeake Bay, while at anchor in a quiet cove. Fortunately, there was no other damage. Weather is the formidable force that has the last word when it comes to sailing. Other than placing grounding rods on the keel, in an attempt to lead lightning down the mast, through the keel and into the water, there is not much that can be done to protect a boat from a lightning strike.
It was time for Delfina to take her ride to the water. Chris fastened the wide canvas straps beneath her hull, raised her up off the jack stands, and drove the marine lift to the water’s edge. The heft involved in the launching process, by both man and machine, is truly impressive.
Once Delfina was lowered into the water, Chris and another deck hand brought here alongside the dock. Christoph and I proceeded to load all the frozen food we had brought for the next four months from the boatyard's freezer, where we had stowed it upon our arrival, into large freezer bags that we carried aboard and unloaded into the boat’s freezer. We brought aboard all the other equipment and provisions that we had packed, including luxuries, like beach chairs. Delfina has three cabins, and we stowed the beach chairs in the handy port berth, which we use as a large storage space. It houses a washer and dryer beneath the berth, on which we have arrayed our folding bikes, paddle board, and other large equipment. Stowing gear in small spaces is a challenging task, but Christoph and I seem to take an inordinate amount of pleasure in making efficient use of available space––a helpful propensity when living aboard.