16 August 2017–It took 14 months but we finally relaunched the Far Reach on 15 Aug 2017. During that time we completed several projects, the most important of which was completely repainting the topside from the waterline to the gunwale. This was necessary to address the bubbles that formed in the Awlgrip during our offshore passage to the West Indies in December 2015. You can see the details of that project on our website http://www.farreachvoyages.com. We also touched up the barrier coats and repainted the bottom with anti-fouling paint.
We made several attempts to launch the FR for about a week but intense thunderstorms caused us to keep cancelling. Finally, we got it done. It was hot and windlass. Typical US east coast summer weather. It took us about 10 minutes to get ready to depart. We fired up the little 9.9 Honda outboard and started north up the ICW. We could have made it all the way to the marina (about 20 miles) but to be honest we both wanted to spend the night on the boat and just enjoy her again along with the magic that comes with life afloat. So, we found a little wide spot near the head of Adams Creek, not to far from the Neuse River, and dropped the hook in about 7′ of water. It was warm. We put the canvas up and got out our books. We lounged in the shade and chatted. We made some popcorn on the stove and talked about all we had done as a couple to get where we were. I could feel the easy way of living on the Far Reach flooding back in to me. It was simply grand to be back aboard, however briefly, and just lollygag the day away with Gayle. The fading light was lovely. We sprawled on the side deck. We saw an osprey. We watched gathering thunderclouds form to the West and the breeze picked up. It was heavy with humidity but not too hot. We cooked and ate. Darkness fell. We watched the lights of a series of tugs pushing fuel barges north and south on the ICW. I slept well.
The next day we weighed anchor and motored on out onto the Neuse. It was like a mill pond…not a breath of wind. The weatherman called for significant thunder storms later in the day. I was disappointed that I could not sail so we motored along just beating a huge electrical storm into the marina. We got the Far Reach in her new slip, a 26′ wide catamaran slip. With full length piers down both sides it will give us lots of protective room should we get the large surge common to the area in strong NE winds and passing offshore hurricanes.
I’m looking forward to completing some small projects and spending some time sailing and exploring the local waters.