The Best-ish Haulout Ever

Galactic's annual haulout goes almost without a hitch.

We kept saying it - "this is the best haulout ever".

But then Alisa and I would follow that with a "not to jinx us," or touch wood.

We were very aware that we couldn't claim victory until we were back in the water.

We've been getting after our annual haulout in the Valdivia Club de Yates - the most civilized setting for a boatyard experience that we have ever seen. There's only room for one boat (that would be us) and there's a lawn right next to the slipway, with a picnic table where the whole family has been eating lunch together every day.

Galactic is in phenomenal shape, since our to-the-mats haulout in New Zealand was only ten months ago, so there has been relatively little work to do. And with that lawn right there, and a couple of very nice French kids on another boat in the marina for out boys to play with, and a few strategically-placed cartoon sessions on the iPad, Alisa was able to get off mom duty enough to do some serious boat work.

And, Alaskan readers take note, we had perfect summer weather each and every day.

So things went quickly - we came out Wednesday afternoon, and were meant to go back in the water today - Sunday afternoon. That would make it our quickest haulout ever.

And that's where things nearly went askew.

The parents of the nice French kids very kindly climbed up on Galactic to ride the cradle down into the water and help us with the business of steering backwards out of the marina on a windy afternoon.

They climbed up the ladder with us at the appointed hour - and then nothing happened.

The cable that was meant to pull us into the water had snapped.

No worries - it could be fixed.

But even with the cable fixed, the yard winch had a hard time pulling us down into the water. We would sit and wait for a while, and then all 18 tons of us would suddenly lurch backwards just a little too fast before just as suddenly stopping.

It took us an hour to get into the water. And by the time we did, the tide was going out and we couldn't reverse off the cradle. So we winched ourselves off.

All's well. After we were finally off the cradle we managed the part about backing out on a windy afternoon without any further drama.

So, all in a day's adventure.

But it was enough to qualify the whole "best haulout ever" label.

We'll call it "best-ish".