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December Update – Back On Board!

When we returned from The Bahamas at the beginning of June we decided that rather than bring OLOH north for the season only to turn around in a couple of months and make our way south again, it would work best for our grand plans to leave OLOH in Fort Lauderdale for the summer.  We found a terrific place to tie her up in a “hurricane hole” (relatively protected in the event of a storm) that is just a short drive from our dear friend Captain Andre who was kind enough to keep an eye on her in our absence.  Our plan had always been to return right after Thanksgiving weekend, allowing us to host our traditional, big family gathering at our home which was, as always, a warm and wonderful time.  At the tail end of the weekend we cleaned up, packed up and loaded every last square inch of our rental SUV for the 1,380 mile drive back to OLOH.  Aside from the torrential rain that plagued quite a bit of day one, the drive went smoothly and by late Tuesday afternoon we were back on board!

As a fantastic bonus on day two of our road-trip as we were driving through South Carolina, our dear friend (and our broker when we purchased OLOH) Captain Michele took a drive to intercept us in Hardeeville for a reunion with her old friend Jasper who was thrilled to see her! (Oh, and she came to see us too 😊)

While we knew OLOH was is great hands with Andre, you really never know how it’s all going to work out when you leave your boat.  But as devastating as the storm season was elsewhere, it was kind to us and having Andre looking out along with regular washings and a monthly diver to check on things below the waterline, everything went well and it was nice to return and see that OLOH made it through her summer slumber in fine shape.

OLOH was a bit of a disaster zone as we were first settling in but Jasper quickly returned to his on-board routine.

There was no rest for the weary as we hit the ground running and had service people on board first thing the morning after our arrival and continuing to show up throughout the week as we knocked down our pre-haulout punchlist.  We’ll be getting into the specifics of a lot of this work in our projects section, but here’s a sampling of what was going on…

Ray from Yacht Equipment and Parts was on the job first thing after our arrival to install the new electronics for our stabilizer upgrade.
It was also time to replace OLOH’s two, 150 lb bow thruster batteries. Normally a job we would take on ourselves, we were thrilled to be referred to the super-friendly, super-professional Jeff from Batteries Etc. His installation rate was so good we couldn’t resist. Thanks Jeff!
It was time for OLOH’s fire suppression system and extinguishers to be inspected and re-certified. Here, Junior from Fire Ranger weighs one of the system’s cylinders. Details on that service coming soon.
The brilliant Jeff Comer of On Plane Marine Electronics prepares to advance OLOH’s electronics upgrade. Click here for details.
Among the jobs on our DIY list, this little bit of maintenance that you wouldn’t necessarily think of… those are the wheels for OLOH’s boarding steps. On the left is all that’s left of one of the wheels we removed. The one in the caster, for comparison, is brand new.

Just like getting service people for your home, in boating, it can be a crapshoot – you don’t always know what you’re going to get.  We are pleased to report that each of the vendors we have used while getting OLOH ready to cruise – largely people and organizations new to us – have been terrific and worthy of our recommendation (see the clickable links above).

And while it was mostly work, work, work, we did enjoy a few moments of downtime…

The good people you meet along the way… As we returned from errands one day, Joe and Linda were standing by OLOH and checking her out. Turns out they flew down from Canada to see a nearby boat for sale and were walking the docks at our current marina. As followers of they were pleasantly surprised to come across our boat and we were so happy to meet them. (Oh, and it was awesome to finally be back in shorts😎)
All this work was making us thirsty. Sometimes you shop somewhere because it’s convenient, so Happy Pappy’s it was. That was an adventure unto itself (please feel free to ask us about it in person).
By Saturday afternoon we finally got to relax and Jasper the lap dog was thrilled to have a visit from Captain Andre and friends.
The first night of Chanukah coincided with our last night on board before our haulout and the Admiral made sure we were well-prepared for the festivities.

We met with the yard on Friday to confirm our planned work and 8am Monday haulout.  While we ran through all of OLOH’s systems and checked out everything as best as we could, we were keenly aware that she hadn’t moved in six months so there was certainly some anxiety in running the boat over to the yard, despite the fact that it was only around 1/2 mile away from her summer slip.  But we are pleased to report that everything worked as it should have and the yard’s crew was there to receive us right on schedule as we pulled right into their travel-lift pit.

To leave the marina we had to back down out of a long and narrow canal where, as you see, there wasn’t much room for error on either side of OLOH.  Fortunately, it wasn’t our first time at this rodeo and our trusty Yacht Controller was at the ready.
It was dead calm as we navigated the short distance from the marina to the yard. All systems operational!
Right on schedule, the haulout crew was ready to receive Jasper (and OLOH) when we arrived. It doesn’t always work that way so extra points for the yard.
The Admiral keeps an eye on operations from the stern.
There was no easy way for Jasper to disemBARK from OLOH in the travel lift pit so the operator positioned our bow pulpit just close enough for Jasper to jump off the front. Like us, he’s always up for an adventure.

The haulout itself is always a bit stressful but you take comfort in knowing that they do this every day and with much bigger boats.  This crew is top-notch and fortunately, seeing OLOH’s bottom for the first time since our pre-purchase survey revealed nothing unexpected.

Once OLOH was “blocked” on shore, crews descended upon her to sand and scrape and prep her for the big week of work ahead.

It’s a busy week at the yard with fresh bottom paint being applied, the installation of our new stabilizer fins and a handful of other maintenance and upgrade items.  But we expect to be wet again after a week or so and look forward to pointing OLOH’s bow south to continue our adventure.  Thanks for following along!

Please be sure to subscribe to our blog on the top right of this page to get notified when new content is posted.  And please leave any comments or questions below – we love to hear from you & know that you’re along for the ride!  For the very latest on what we’re up to, be sure to like us & follow us on the M/Y OLOH Facebook Page. You can also follow us on Twitter at @MYOLOH and for plenty more pictures and video find us on Instagram and YouTube.   

And that concludes your OLOH instructions. M/Y OLOH back to 1-6. 


This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. Congrats on your trip back to OLOH! She looks GREAT. Looking forward to reading along as you continue your journey. Safe travels.
  2. AJ and Tim. Maurice and I just read this together. We LOVE the videos. What a lovely adventure. We both wish you the best winter ever, with lots of adventures and calm blue seas. Much love Kitty and Maurice.
  3. How exciting to be having all of that nice work done!! I have to admit though, I’m very curious about your adventure at Happy Pappy’s 😆
  4. Welcome back to warm ( I use that term loosely as it's 43 degrees in Tampa this am), sunny FL, and have a very Happy Hanukkah!! Boat looks great and hope you have a terrific cruising season. Paul
    1. Thanks Paul! Yeah, unexpectedly chilly this morning but the guys working on the boat were happy to be spared the intense heat of earlier this week. See you out there!
  5. Just now catching up on your blog and as always, enjoy the commentary, pics and vids! Looks like you are getting everything ready for a great winter in the Sunshine State. We will be hauling "Endless Summer" in a few weeks to do much of the same work on her. Hope the balance of your "to do" list goes well and you get underway soon!
    1. Thanks, as always, Pete! If all goes well we splash on schedule but our travel may be delayed a bit with some nasty winds coming our way. Looking forward to sharing a marina with Endless Summer soon!

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