Just past midnight on Saturday, as the tide was ebbing along with our hopes of floating EVEREST on this tide cycle, the pushing, grinding and levering of a dozen people pushed EVEREST the final ten feet that she needed to clear the seawall that she had been trapped on since Hurricane Fabian. EVEREST is floating on a mooring just behind Ocean Sails in St. Georges, happy to be free of the land once again.
The final push came after one day of repair to the gashes and rents in the carbon skin of EVEREST and three solid days of work moving her closer and closer to the ocean. It was quite a process, moving this 21st century race boat back to the sea with old fashioned methods; levers, ramps, jacks and muscle. We got her onto two long, heavy planks, then jacked her keel onto a steel I-beam. Once she was on this “race track”, we began to use two small bottle jacks to move her the twenty feet or so that she needed to travel to get back into the water. She hung up on rocks, blocks and old piles of steel, but we levered and jacked her over every obstacle. We needed the high tide to float her though, and were very close as the tide receeded Saturday morning. Unfortunately, at that point Jim Antrim, EVEREST’s designer, who had flown all the way from California to help re-float the boat, had to return home. But he left us just a few feet short of the water.
Steve and Suzanne Hollis of Ocean Sails had called in the troops for this final push; neighbors, family and friends joined Steve, Suzanne, Paul LaVigne, Carl Soares, Errol Madden and I in the darkness as the tide came in. Our hopes rose with the tide and started receeding with it until that final push launched EVEREST into St. Georges harbor
Later today I will return home to Milwaukee, leaving EVEREST on her mooring here as I assemble the parts and funds needed for the next step; sailing her under jury rig back to Charleston Boatworks in South Carolina. That will have to wait until after the hurricane season season some time in November.
Special thanks must go to Steve and Suzanne Hollis, who organized this effort and made room in their home for Jim and I, to Paul LaVigne, who did much of the prep work, to Carl Soares, who brought not just help but a great attitude, to Jim Antrim, for his constant support and help, and to Tony and Joanie Driza, who made it possible for me to fly here. To all of those who were standing waist deep in the dark waters of St. Georges harbor, thanks as well.
EVEREST will sail again – soon!
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