Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

Launching Mike Sullivan's "Carpe Diem"
June 14, 2007

Click thumbnails below for a larger picture


It was a blustery day, unseasonably cool for June even in New England with the threat of rain.  While it's in the 90s on Hudson Bay in Canada, it reached only the mid-50s here, with a strong northeast wind.  We arrived and met at the Winter Island (Salem) launching ramp -- across Salem Harbor from my home -- at 10:00 am, with the tide high in an hour.

A small-craft advisory flag was blowing straight out beneath Old Glory on the nearby flag pole as we readied Mike Sullivan's "Carpe Diem" for its first launch under his new ownership.  Mike brought along his son, Paul, and his son's friend, Peter.  We were met there by Alan of Atlantic Charters to lend a hand.  I was available in the capacity of non-active advisor (still strapped and wrapped while the broken bones heal) and event backup-photographer.  (Peter was also taking photos.)  Mike, worry not:  no set-backs!

The mast-up worked nicely.  Alan had never seen one before, wasn't going to use it until I recommended it highly, told him that I'd considered "stealing it" before selling "Carpe Diem" to use on "Chip Ahoy"!  He readily admitted later that it made raising the mast much easier.

With the wind blowing at a pretty steady 20-25 mph, the mast was again upright -- after resting horizontally in my backyard for over a year.

The rigging and final preparations begin.

Mike Sullivan (left) and yours truly (the walking wounded).  At least I was helpful in directing some of the rigging intricacies.

"Carpe Diem" slips into the water, after over a year land-bound.

Tying it up to the dock.  I didn't even walk down the dock, it was rolling and buckling so much.

Alongside the dock.  No, that's not Humphrey Bogart's "African Queen" -- it's a tourist cruise boat, and its off-loaded passengers looked like it hadn't been a fun trip in small-craft winds and lots of rolling.

The "African Queen" imposter pulled in and tied up at the least opportune time, making it more difficult  to maneuver out from the dock.  The plan was to pull "Carpe Diem" out to the front dock, where the tourist boat just docked to discharge its passengers, who hurried up the dock to solid ground.

With Alan at the helm, he made adversity look easy.  The launch went very well, especially considering the weather conditions.

A crowded "Carpe Diem" motored off into the rolling harbor on its way to find its mooring for the first time, at about noon.  Just as good I had no intention of being aboard.

I no sooner arrived back home across the harbor in Marblehead when the crew arrived.  The harbor launch picked them up out at the mooring, but wouldn't take them back across the harbor to Winter Island; it was too rough.  At the Village Street dock, they walked up the hill to my house, then I drove them around to the Salem launch ramp, their vehicles and the trailer.


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