Day 328, Year 8: New Dinghy Arrival
Date: Friday, September 27, 2013
Weather: Partly Sunny, Still Cool (mid-60’s F)
Location: Eel Pond, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

The new dinghy arrived on the West Marine delivery truck at 6:30 am this morning. Mark drove into town to help unload it and an hour later he was back here in Woods Hole with the dinghy in a borrowed truck. It wouldn’t fit in the back of our Taurus. We had to move fast as Mark had to be back at West Marine to officially go to work at 9 am, but we did have time to unload the dinghy, take it out of its very nice cover (that will never be used again), inflate the tubes, and admire. We left it on the lawn in back of Redfield, the WHOI building where Jed works and where there is a great little ramp for launching the dinghy once the work is done. We both drove back to West Marine. I dropped Mark off and went to Heather and Jed’s to finish the laundry I started yesterday. I needed to kill some time while waiting for the other items we had ordered from the West Marine warehouse to be unpacked and available for pick-up. Around noon I picked up the dinghy bottom paint and KeelGuard protector and headed back to Woods Hole. My goal was mark off the area on the dinghy where the KeelGuard will be installed and then tape-off and paint the bottom. Painting the bottom of a dinghy is not necessary unless you live aboard and leave the dinghy in the water all of the time. If you do, and if you don’t use bottom paint, the dinghy bottom very quickly grows all sorts of creatures that are very hard to remove. Barnacles are at the top of that list, but the algae, depending on the variety, can be difficult to remove as well. We didn’t have a huge problem with this as we sailed around the world, but the cooler waters of New England promote unbelievable growth and a dinghy with no bottom paint in Eel Pond for the summer is not a pretty sight. So before launching this new dinghy, we thought it best to go ahead and apply the bottom paint and put on the keel guard. This is a rubber strip applied to the ‘v’ of the keel with 3-M adhesive. This keeps the keel from getting scratched and dinged when pulling it up on coral and pebble beaches. I used masking tape to mark off the area where the keel guard would be applied and then started taping off the area where we would apply black bottom paint. I did the job, but I was just not certain that the area I had marked off was just right. It needs to be right at the water line, and since we have never had this dinghy in the water, I was using another West Marine dinghy in Eel Pond as my guide. But still, I decided I wanted Mark’s input before forging ahead. Besides, it was time for me to go back into town to pick Sam up from school. I had planned to take him home and stay there until Heather and Jed arrived, but when I told Sam what I had been doing all day, he really, really wanted to go to Woods Hole to see the new dinghy. So off we went. When we got there, he danced around the new dinghy with great excitement and immediately started making plans for launching it. He also wanted to see if he could pick up one end of it, and with surprisingly little difficulty, he was able to do so. We then picked Jonah up from preschool and I drove Sam, Jonah, and Jed into Falmouth to meet up with Heather and Oliver on my way to pick Mark up from work. When Mark and I got back to Woods Hole, the Captain gave his assessment of my work for the day, made a few changes, and then watched while I painted the bottom. I had on the paint clothes, but he was still in this West Marine clothes. So he really couldn’t help. But this spectacle drew a few observers interested in the details of why we use bottom paint and how effective we find the keel guard. It was twilight when we finished, but we were glad to get that first coat of bottom paint on the dinghy. Now we will be able to get a second coat on tomorrow after the keel guard is applied. And then we will be able to launch the dinghy on Sunday morning with Sam and Jonah and Oliver’s help. This will mean a special trip in to get Ollie, but he likes driving the dinghy like Sam did when he was Oliver’s age. So the youngest Captain-in-Training should be present.

130927 Day 328, Cape Cod, USA–New Dinghy Arrival