The trailer wasn't in the dealer's lot long before we were over there checking it out. It lived up to expectations – well-built, with all the features we had ordered. There were some pleasant surprises as well. The extended tongue was a well-built 2nd hitch, easy to connect to the truck ball mount and strong as well. When lining the truck up with the trailer tongue, it appears we will only need a simple ball mount, without any drops in it. The dealer agreed to hold the trailer in his lot until we were ready to leave.
What, you may ask, is a gin pole?
When raising and lowering a mast, it's helpful to have something to give you more leverage for both control and to help manage the weight of the mast as it is coming down. When the mast is horizontal or vertical, gravity is working to keep it in place, but any angle in-between and it can be very heavy,. A gin pole provides the leverage to get the mast to vertical (when raising) or to horizontal (when lowering) and doing it under control.. The pole is attached to the mast at its base at a 90 degree angle, with lines at the far end that attach both to the top of the mast (i.e., a halyard) and to a cleat or winch on the deck. The latter is a pulley with a 5:1 purchase that controls the movement of the whole assembly, making it easier to move the weight of the mast.
So, we're getting closer to having everything ready for the big day when boat and trailer get together for the first time. We just need the weather furtner north to warm up first.
We made our annual trek to Key West on St. Patrick's Day, taking advantage of a bus fare holiday for the round trip. Needless to say, there were lots of people wearing green, some of them more distinctive than others. We took in a new attraction for the first time, Key West now has its first legal rum distillery. It was right there, just off Duval Street in an old bottling plant. Who knew? On the walls of the show room were the pictures of some of their predecessors (mug shots that is) that put an emphasis on their new "legal" status.
Late March usually finds us watching the weather looking for winds to carry us back north. Not so this year, but we still have lots of neighbors looking for weather to leave either north up the coast, east to the Bahamas, south to Cuba or west to Mexico. In a fit of spite, winter's last gasp has thrown up a series of fronts that have been kicking up the winds and making departure difficult. However, by month-end we have seen the mooring balls around us empty out and we have said goodbye to a number of firends for another year.