Actually, I was focused on preparing the Blue Moon. Helena was focused on preparing me. We both must have done a pretty good job, because I'm tucked up in my comfy bunk (with my home made foam mattress), anchor light burning brightly from the mizzen mast, and -- miracle of miracles -- an Apple laptop connected to the Internet by a cell phone card, so I can blog all the way home.
My intention is to up anchor around 9:30 tomorrow morning, to catch the morning tide for a ride out into the Gulf of Mexico. But before I start talking about the Blue Moon, I'd better talk about Cabin Boy's launch.
I wanted to make sure this 10-thumbed builder had actually built something that would keep the water outside the boat, and me inside the boat. I was pretty confident, but not confident enough to drive to Florida without a test launch.
In fact, Cabin Boy was not 100% complete. I didn't have time to seize on the rope rub rail and -- more important -- I didn't have time to varnish the interior oak, and mahogany transom.
I could live for awhile without a rub rail, but I didn't want to launch Cabin Boy without some sort of protection for the unpainted wood. Luckily, I'd read about Linseed Oil in a recent edition of Wooden Boat, and thought that would be a good enough substitute for varnish.
So I mixed up a brew of Linseed Oil and Turpentine, and had my son Chris lather it on until the wood didn't absorb any more.
Then it was time to head off to Huntington Harbor for the big test.
I should mention that Huntington Harbor is the ideal place to test an Atkin boat, since William Atkin opened his first boat shop in Huntington, pretty close to where I intended to launch Cabin Boy.
So, on a beautiful spring day, we carried him down to the beach.
Cabin Boy -- Ready to start his Big Adventure
Poised on the water's edge, he looked ready to head out to sea.
Of course, no launch is complete without a beautiful woman and a bottle of Champagne, or -- perhaps more appropriately, in our case -- a bottle of Blue Moon.
Helena, christening the little skiff
And, no, I'm not a paid shill for Blue Moon Beer (unfortunately!)
Then it was time to push off. Pressing my son Chris as crew, we rowed out into the still waters of Huntington Harbor.
(Feather those oars, John!)
Success! No leaks, and Cabin Boy rowed beautifully, even burdened down in the stern. Later on, I rowed the boat alone, and the transom perked out of the water, and he rowed even better. Unfortunately, I'd lost my photographer by then, so no pictures!
Bow shot of Cabin Boy
I'll finish up with a nice shot of Cabin Boy's bow.
So Cabin Boy's first outing was a complete success, and he's now nodding sleepily on his painter a few feet off from the Blue Moon, ready to start his Big Adventure.
And so am I!
Tomorrow, I'll take some shots showing how nicely Cabin Boy tows behind a sail boat. He really looks -- and behaves -- like a pedigree, class act.
Thank you John Atkin, for a great little boat.
Tomorrow, the Gulf of Mexico!
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