Sunday, October 9, 2011

Luck, first cousin to The Magic

We had more than our share of The Magic this weekend, so we really had no claim on a streak of luck. But it worked out that way anyway.

Yesterday's big do at the marina was a wedding. Dennis, (he of mast climbing fame and owner of the marina) traded "I do's" with Petra, charmer from Germany and Sister of good friend Ulli (she of Trimaran fame and one time Commodore of the Yacht Club). Ulli's husband Thor is the incoming Commodore - so it was very much a family affair. Part of the celebration was an evening "Wedding Regatta." Some 18 sailboats headed out following Dennis' Desperado, complete with a Newlywed sign flying off her stern. The weather was prefect, the sail was perfect, and a horizon of full sails crossing a setting sun is a sight fit for a wedding.

Kintala was among the fleet of course, but we didn't make the turn for home, ducking into Coles Creek instead. A peaceful night after a long, busy day was just the ticket. This morning we sailed off the hook a bit early since Daughter-who-is-the-youngest was due to visit, bringing granddaughter-who-is-also-the-youngest, for their first sail on the new boat. Ghosting out onto the lake in zephyrs we were greeted by hundreds of King pelicans, hundreds more cormorants, and still hundreds more gulls. It was an amazing sight and we were quite content to drift slowly among them. But time was running out to meet Daughter youngest so we were forced to fire up the motor.

There is a smell that every mechanic has burned into his or her alarm system - that of hot metal being tortured to destruction. I caught just a whiff, but it was enough to set my internal klaxon to blaring. The V-drive was actually being pretty quiet, but I eased back on the throttle and waited to see if we would make it to the dock.

Almost. Entering the marina I dropped the boat into neutral to make the first of two 180 degree turns. That was all the life left in the V-drive. Selecting forward provoked ugly thrashing, clunking noises from below - and that was pretty much that. A call out to friend Bill of Paradise, informing him that we were drifting helpless in a marina full of boats was all it took. Within minutes Schmidty was pulling alongside in "Alcestis" to tug us home, Joel and Gary on board to help. At the dock a half-dozen stood buy to ease a wounded Kintala safely onto her pier - and that was pretty much that.

We could not have coughed the V-drive at a more opportune moment. Instead of being a disaster it was a non-event. The Magic and a wedding, the pelicans and a big dose of luck, all in the same weekend. No one can ask much better than that. Still, in spite of my best efforts it must be admitted that Kintala really is a project boat now; tied to her pier basically immobile, hatches missing, head about to be removed, (and not a moment too soon) sailing season likely over...for the next few weeks and maybe months she belongs to mechanics, not sailors.

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