So when do you start?

It’s probably the number one question we get now. The answer is, we’ve already begun! Apologies for the gap since our last post, it’s been a heckuva month with leaving our slip in Alameda, preparing for the haul-out, completing the haul-out (yay), and making our way to a couple anchorages, to now resting in the Delta. ‘Starting’ in this sense means we’ve already been working without a set ‘home location’, we’ve been managing our resources like food, water, and energy like we will be for the rest of the trip, and we are working to build and update our routines to match the tides and winds we need to move from place to place.

The haul-out was hard. Really hard. We set out with the primary objectives of replacing eleven thru hulls and eleven shrouds and stays to make up new standing rigging. We also wanted to switch out our bronze fixed prop for a new-to-us feathering prop, replace our engine raw water filter run, add a mount and hardware for an inner forestry and running back stays, and install new chain plates. And those were just the major projects! We had a handful of other bits and projects to keep us occupied. Each of these projects were a first for us, they were mechanically simple but made complicated due to exotic and tough materials, caustic chemical sealants and solvents, and at times extremely hard access points on the boat. At one point I had to assemble a thru hull and backing plate assembly through the boats starboard settee at the extreme length of my left arm’s reach, totally out of sight. It was so far in there that Ashley’s arm wasn’t long enough so I had to tap in. If you see me sometime ask me to act out the extreme acrobatics required just for that one job, it was nuts!

Suffice to say, we got it all done and Azimuth is more seaworthy than maybe she’s ever been. I’m really proud of all the work we did, and despite it being tough and at times, extremely disheartening to bash our way through that work, it had to get done and I’m glad we were the ones to do it. (Check out some photos below for some haul-out highlights.)

After we left the boatyard, we sailed to Treasure Island in the SF Bay, set an anchor and slept for what felt like three days straight. We enjoyed the opportunity to read books and invite friends to the beach for distanced hang outs to catch up and start saying goodbye. It weather was nice but unseasonably windy and despite being tucked away in the cove, we had some fun back and forth on the anchor at times. We left Treasure Island and refueled close by at Emeryville Marina, filling our inboard tank and three of our six jerry cans. Paying more than $100 for boat fuel makes me feel like a power boater but I know it’s for a good cause. Hah. We then made our way to Berkeley Marina where we had arranged to rent an end-tie for a couple nights to help tie up some more ends on land. Finally, on Saturday April 10th we departed for the Sacramento River Delta where I’m writing this from right now!

More to come probably on specifics from haul-out projects and more updates but for now, hi, thanks for following the blog, and we’re doing it!

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