November 4, 2012
There is nothing quite like watching what may ultimately be the boat that will take you around the world hauled out for its survey. It's a slow process. The yard workers back her into the stirrups by hand, pulling on her deck lines. They place the stirrups into very specific spots to give her just the right support. Then, slowly, all 30,000 pounds of her levitate out of the sea, into the air. You can see her sleek bottom, her graceful lines from every angle. Your heart can't help but leap with excitment.
On Monday morning, we began with the structural survey and haul out. The surveyor peeked here and there, tapping on her deck and hull with his little hammer as he went. Sonrisa responded with a sharp rap each time, rather than a dull thud. This was good, as it meant that she was strong and solid. After they put her back in the water, the rig surveyor came for a visit and went aloft. He seemed happy with her rig, indicating that the current installation is good for a few more years and it is over sized for her needs. The engine surveyor, Alfredo, was originally from Mexico. As he climbed aboard he cheerfully exclaimed in his most South American accent "Ssonrrrrriisa! A good boat to take to South America, no?" He laid out his tools in a very methodical fashion, looked inside and then said her engine is the type of engine mechanics hate -- because they never break! Her engine is well maintained, clean and in great shape.
We finished up the weekend with the conclusion that there is nothing about her condition that should keep us from making the leap. It's obvious that she has been loved for years and cared for with the precision of someone who wants only the best for her. The only thing left at this point is to finalize all of the paperwork, get the loan funded, and close the deal.