Ganymede out of her Winter Coccoon

And if the morning begins inauspiciously, should you still carry on with the plan?  That was the big question Saturday, when day dawned quite icy, and Ganymede’s cozy shrinkwrap winter canopy seemed a most necessary bulwark against the inclemency of the great outdoors.  But it’s removal couldn’t well be postponed much longer: it would take a full day, once begun, to dismantle it and tidy up underneath enough to be ok in case of rain, and last Saturday was the only full day I had in my near future.  We frittered time away until ten o’clock, when it became apparent that it didn’t really mean to rain, and then distributed sharp knives among the children so they could stab at the cover to their heart’s content.

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Before long the plastic was all in ribbons and the kids had lost interest and set the knives down.  The only fleshwound to show for all those Vorpal Blades that had lately gone snicker-snack against the PVC frame tubes was one I had inflicted on myself, using the smallest and bluntest of our selection of cutlery.  Of course we were out of small band aids, so I went about the next two days with an adhesive bandage the size of a small blanket clinging to my hand.

There was an unseen difficulty in dismantling the canopy frame, one that in retrospect I should have anticipated, but these things are easy to forget: every bit of plywood and two-by-four is prime building material for children’s forts.  Pretty soon the finger pier was chock-a-block with fragile structures, and the eight or so marina children were forging alliances with and against each other, knocking things down, rebuilding, and then spreading elaborate picnics with whatever foodstuffs they could forage.  It became increasingly difficult to find room for all the stuff that had to be removed, and in the end I had to toss everything as far along the pier as I could reach from the foredeck.

I didn’t, of course, get everything done that I’d wanted to—it was too windy to go up the mast and reeve halyards, and too chilly to scrub the decks and cabin, which they most desperately need.  In the end I installed the outboard engine bracket and the Sailomat windvane, and had the good fortune not to drop my only socket handle in the water until I was mostly finished with it, so the day was largely a success.  Now we’re in a race to get everything back together before Ganyede’s haulout next Monday; sails bent, engine installed and running, water jugs stowed decently below, sheer stripe sanded for a fresh coat of paint.  It’s nice to see Ganymede out of her winter coccoon, even if she’s looking a little disheveled, with dirty decks and black streaks down her hull.  Getting her shipshape is just a matter of time and effort, and given the plans we have for her this year, I’ll grudge her neither.

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