Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Restoring Grace: Week One

On Monday night we loaded my parents' van with all our supplies and gear and early on Tuesday we drove down to Newport. Two of my brothers came along to fish from Newport Pier and to drive the van back. After buying some bait, we dropped them off at the pier and drove to the dock to meet Capt. Jim, who had motored across the channel with his friend Butch the previous night.

Uncle Dan and Uncle Jon rigging their tackle.
Courage, Jim's 67' schooner, was anchored about half a mile from the dinghy dock. We crammed his zodiac and Favor with most of our gear and he and I motored to Courage and transferred the cargo to her deck while Corrie and Roo took a walk around Newport.
Then it was off to Minney's Yacht Surplus for a few last things and then we dropped Butch and Jim off at the dinghy dock again, picked up Jon and Daniel from the pier (where they had been having great success) and headed over to the fuel dock to board Courage. It took a while to finally meet up as it turns out there are two fuel docks about a block away from each other.
Once on board we headed down the bay and out into the channel for our night passage to Avalon. The weather was beautiful with a flat sea and calm wind. We arrived around 10pm and spent the night on board Courage. In the morning after breakfast Jim and I took his tender down to where Grace was moored.

After casting off her mooring we towed her "on the hip" back to Courage's mooring.
We side tied Grace and transferred all our stuff over from Courage. As the weather was cooperating, we decided to stay side tied for the next day as we started getting things organized. 

Jim was kind enough to lend us his 14' inflatable with an 18hp outboard for the week, which made the trips into town much shorter than if we had been rowing Favor.  The weather was looking a bit doubtful so we decided to put Grace back on her own mooring. We towed her with Courage, still side tied, down to where the buoy that was holding up the chain was supposed to be. But there was no sign of it to be found, so we motored back and secured both boats on Courage's mooring. Jim and I took the inflatable down to look for the gear. We found the buoy tangled in some kelp a quarter mile from where it was supposed to be but couldn't find the gear even after dragging the bottom with a couple of grappling hooks. So we rigged up some ground tackle for Grace using a length of Jim's chain and shackle and our anchor and rope, and towed her back with the tender and anchored her.
Here she is on her own, finally. You can see how she is floating well off her lines in the stern due to the 1200 pounds of engine that are absent at the moment.
Roo had a wonderful time romping around in Grace's salon, which is just perfect for a little sailor who is shorter than the dinette.
Corrie's mother gave us a a marine grill as a boat-warming gift, and it served as our only means of cooking aboard since the parts we had ordered for the stove didn't come in time.

Even though there is still a lot of work to do to fit out the galley Corrie was still happy to finally have her own kitchen.
Three times a day we were treated to wonderful creations from Corrie's galley. I was amazed at how well she was able to prepare delicious meals even with the lack of cooking equipment (the icebox proved a much larger task than we had time for on this trip).

Galley overhead before cleaning
Once we were "settled" it was time to start the cleaning. Almost every painted surface inside was more or less covered with mildew stains. My great-grandfather once told me that Simple Green is great for taking stains off of boats and RVs. He was right. You can see in these before-and-after pictures how much better Grace is looking, not to mention smelling.

Galley overhead after cleaning

Port side aft before cleaning

Port side aft after cleaning

Port side forward before cleaning

Port side forward after cleaning

Once the walls and overhead were clean, it was time to tackle the drawers and lockers, many of which were lined with wallpaper that had disintegrated and was harboring all manner of unpleasant guests.
Simple Green and a scraper made the job much easier but, due to the sheer volume of the work, it still took quite a while.
Then there is this locker that has yet to be tackled. The fuel filler line is supposed to be in here but it was cut off about a foot below the deck and someone later tried to use the filler and dumped what appears to have been at one point diesel fuel over the slats and neglected to clean it up afterwards.
The cockpit was Roo's domain when he was on deck- he enjoyed playing with the pots, pans, tongs, and all manner of odds and ends that he was allowed to play with or managed to grab.
Roo is a wonderful boy and we enjoy having him along on the adventure.
After all the cleaning below, both of us were ready for something more fun. I started working on the wheel and some of the other woodwork on deck.
Grace has three nice electric panels  which are almost completely disconnected. Much of the wiring is also cut in various places.

It wasn't all work and cleaning, however- we really enjoyed the sunrises over the channel and relaxing for odd moments on the aft deck.
The view of Pinnacle Rock from our anchorage.

Sunset over the island.

The week went quickly and before we knew it it was time to leave Grace for one last dinghy trip into Avalon to catch the express back to the mainland.
It was good to be back with our families. Roo was all smiles at having Grandma back and riding in his car seat again.

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