Thursday, September 1, 2011

Still on the Hard, and Working Hard

Originally Posted in the Annapolis Capital: August 18, 9:15 am | (permalink) | (0 comments)

Two weeks out of the water are drawing to a close, we expect to “splash” (put the boat back into the water) on Friday … and it can’t come soon enough! The shaft and propeller are back in place, held in by a new cutlass bearing (one, exactly one, cutlass bearing this time!), the bottom and new waterline have been painted and we are literally just hanging out waiting for the paint to dry. Dan, with his more practiced technique, did the burgundy paint; I was relegated to the underwater parts. Or, as Dennis, one of the yard guys, put it, “He did the parts people would see. You did the parts fish would see.” A lot of work for the marina staff, and us, but we’re incredibly happy that its fixed, and that we’ve gotten to the root of the problem – I think this means it’s likely to stay fixed!

P8171178 painting the bottom[photo: Bottom paint is meant to repel marine growth, so it’s not likely to be too good for people, either. Note to self: Tyvek in August ain’t too great either.]

P8161168 spuds and prop[photo: Marina mechanic Scott “Spuds” Callahan reinstalling our propeller]

Although we’ve spent a lot of days with paintbrushes in hand, it hasn’t been all work. We got a break one day when marina friend Chris Rizzo offered to take us for a short evening sail on his Hunter 30 sailboat “Domingoman.” Winds were light, if our boat had been in the water there wouldn’t have been enough of a breeze to move us, but for Chris’ smaller boat it was perfect, and we glided along, serene and peaceful in the sunset. Last Saturday we were up early to put on a single coat of paint, then we took the afternoon off to attend the Boat Home Tour at Gangplank Marina while the paint dried (more about that coming in a separate post).

Our really fun break came one afternoon last week when we headed to Oxford. I was amused to realize that although I knew the way well by boat, I had never been there by car. We drove and walked the historic town, stopping for ice cream. We visited Cutts and Caseshipyard, and chatted with owner Eddie Cutts Jr, an odd conversation that was partly shipbuilding and partly life philosophy, about their unique method of restoring/building wooden boats, and mirror bright varnish, and the idea that anything worth doing is worth doing as well as you possibly can. The highlight of our getaway though, was a rather unlikely party at Oxford Inn.

Given our lifestyle and the title of this blog, you would think any christening ceremony we attended would be for the launch of a boat, right? Not this time – this time was all about a car. Not just any car – an impeccably restored London taxicab born the same year as my kid brother Brian, 1958. I’m all about *any* form of transportation, and Oxford is a town that is proud of its British history and will throw a party for any reason, the quirkier the better. So there we were… and what a fun party it was. Elegant appetizers (I was tempted by the ceviche served in ceramic spoons, but my far and away favorite was the shotglass of gazpacho) were just the backdrop for chatting with absolutely fascinating people. Here’s what the local paper said about it. There was even a signature drink created just for the occasion appropriately named the “Black Cab.” The whole thing was a little frustrating irony for me personally, though. The classic taxi is intended to pick you up at your marina if you’re going out to dinner at Pope’s Tavern (attached to the Oxford Inn). And here I was, aching for a ride in this thing -- I remember riding in taxis just like it when I visited London with my parents and brother in 1969 -- but for the first time in my life I was in Oxford by car instead of by boat!

P1010344 dinner table at oxford inn[photo: After the boatyard grime, an elegant table is doubly appealing. Especially when, shortly after I took the photo, we sat down to delicious rockfish and impossibly fresh “Maryland succotash” with corn and limas and tiny grape tomatoes.]

P1010294 the taxi arrives[photo: The taxi! And an excuse to go back, by boat next time, and get a ride from a marina to go to dinner. And we’ll certainly go back; the food and company was awesome!]

P1010302 dan lisa and the taxi[photo: owner Dan Zimbelman and owner/chef Lisa MacDougal ... and of course, the taxi, the real star of the party]

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