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

The never-ending project to fill my hole in the ocean while bailing it out

Uncovering Chip Ahoy for the 2010 Season!
Saturday, April 3, 2010

Click thumbnails for a larger picture

After a record-breaking month of March monsoons and torrential rainfall, April moved in and immediately introduced spring at last. Today the temperature climbed to almost 80 under a clear and sunny sky. It was time to pull Chip Ahoy from alongside the house to out front so the pre-launch work can begin.

But the first job was to move the hill of crushed stone that was blockading Chip Ahoy, a remnant of winter snowplowing. Bob Donovan brought his Bobcat over and made short work of moving it out of the way, spreading the stone around in front of the house.  (Apr. 3, 2010)


While he was leveling the mound, I hooked up the trailer hitch to the Blazer. When he was done, I moved Chip Ahoy from its winter resting place to its spring position. In the left photo, my step-up plank is visible in the lower-right corner; I can back the trailer's right wheel up onto any of the three positions to level the boat and trailer on the slanted ground.

With anticipation and delight, I began the annual uncovering ritual.

Barbara comfortably performed the official photographer chores, assisted by a neighbor's golden retriever. Jinks stops by a couple times a day for his Milkbone rations. Though I don't own a pet, a number of of them have adopted me: Barbara's cat Gilly, Ozzie ("Slick," another neighbor's cat), the pair of mallard ducks which have migrated right up to my backyard for the past couple of years, and other assorted wildlife.

Chip Ahoy, stripped down to the bone -- to its skeleton frame anyway. The temporary covers over the cabin windows wintered well, just as I left them after removing the windows last fall.

The PVC pipe frame came off next, and uncovering for the season was complete.

The tarps, after folding, and frame parts are ready to be stored away until next fall. On the right, a lone and hearty crocus has sprung up where only a few days ago it was submerged beneath the monsoon lake.   (Closeup)

By the end of the day Chip Ahoy was one step closer to where it belongs. The long-range forecast for the coming week is calling for more beautiful weather -- sunny and seasonably warm. (Today's high temperature was 20 - 25 above the average for this date.) I hope to get started tomorrow (Easter Sunday) with reinstalling the first window.  (Apr. 3, 2010)

Sailing Season 2010 has officially begun!