I say this every year, but really, it is true. We toil diligently, doggedly all winter long on the mothership and the business. We pay great attention to tiny details guests will never see or realize, but all the efforts are entirely focused towards finally leaving the dock for our season! Whales, dolphins, sunsets, snow capped peaks, new friends, that is the motivation behind this whole endeavour.
Here Fern and I finally leave home with the COLUMBIA III to begin our 2012 season. Luke drops the mooring lines and we are away!!!!
I back away from the home dock, sound the air horn so everyone knows we are leaving and Miray and Theo wave from the shore . . . well, Theo’s was a pretty small wave.
And there she goes . . . The mothership won’t be home until mid to late October . . . ” Safe travels”.
After working alone the whole winter on the Columbia III, installing a new radar, electronic compass, fuel transfer system, satellite phone, and zillions of small upgrades and minor maintenance details (some one has to change the water filters), the crew began working in earnest on the annual painting refit on the first of April. Now, a month and many hours and sheets of sand paper later . . . we pulled the mothership carefully out of the boatshed. Everyone came down for the ceremony, the splendour! and the excitement! WOW! She really, really looks shiny and perfect. But after all that effort she’d better look good.
Skipper/lead guide Luke Hyatt makes sure the delicate and expensive bits on the roof clear the door safely.
Now here is a hero shot! The masts go up for the summer. The boat won’t be back in its sheltering home until late next October.
Grandson Theo helps mom, just by sleeping amongst the dock paraphanalia.
And mom, Miray, carries load after load back onto the Columbia III in preparation for her 2012 season.
As I stood back to admire all the hard work that has gone into preparing the Columbia III, I noticed the reflection. “Now that’s a shiny boat! Look at the bell!” Even on a dull grey day, the bell cast a reflection on the wheelhouse wall.