10 Jun 2014

[Captains Blog] The Maiden Voyage

We inflated the dinghy to mount it on the new stern davits only to find that the span between the davit arms was a bit too wide for the support points on the dinghy. This is due to the bathing platform being so wide, and the davits had to be fitted on either side of the platform. This was unexpected, and we needed to find a solution. Richard (the Broker we bought Tumi from) and I put our heads together and came up with the answer which involves webbing straps, and a couple of eye bolts. It meant having to deflate the tubes, remove the aluminium floor, drill holes in the base for the new bolts, and re-inflate again. The result is almost perfect, and with some padding on the retaining arms on the outboard end of the davits, we should be done. It has meant that we can now raise the dinghy high enough out of the water to sail properly.

Taking control of a brand new boat in the confined space of a marina is a daunting task and not for the faint hearted. Thankfully, my cojones were big enough to take on the task and even though the adrenaline was pumping somewhat we made our way out very serenely. It's like taking a Bugatti Veyron for a drive for the first time - you never really know how it will handle or how well it will perform, and on the water in windy conditions, it becomes very interesting indeed! We prepared our dock lines and made slips (lines that are wrapped once around the cleat on the pontoon that can be quickly slipped loose when ready) used the bow thruster to move the bow across the wind, and we were away.  All I had to do then, was get her back safely into the marina and into her docking space. This was complicated by the big gin palace that was moored right behind where we needed to go, but we took it nice and steady, pointing into the dock and turning at the right point to nestle gently alongside the pontoon. Phew!

It has been a real challenge getting all the equipment we need to make our lives afloat comfortable loaded onto Tumi. The list of goodies was very long, and we are just about there. We have had to compromise in a couple of places, but overall, we have managed to fit things where we needed them to go, so that they were tucked away tidily but were easily accessible when needed. I have done the radio licensing for Tumi, thankfully keeping the call sign and MMSI numbers that I was already used to, and extending the scope of the licence to include MF/HF radio as well. It's nice to be legal!