Well, that took a bit of time. We finally arrived in our new home port of Chicago the other day, after a chilly and breezy passage down from Racine, Wisconsin.
Tortuga wintered at the Racine Riverside Marina inside a heated warehouse. During the cold months the yard labored to repair the damages that the boat had suffered as a result of her trip from Canada to the Great Lakes last Fall. A gouge in the aluminum hull had to be repaired as well as a wrecked portlight. To the yard’s credit the lads did a fantastic job. Along the way they replaced the lifelines, sent the sails out for some repair and a good washing, and polished the hull.
Like last year, final commissioning took about a month. Tortuga was gently placed in the water and the mast went up in short order. All of the electronics needed to be reestablished and checked. The motor needed some adjustments. The sails were installed, and the running rigging was sorted out. Many of the boat’s engineering systems proved to be a learning adventure for the yard, but in the end it all turned out fantastically.
Last week was a complete scrub down, both inside and out, that cleared away the winter’s accumulated dust and grim. We did a short sea trial of the motor on a very cold and blustery day, and finally got all of the provisions onboard.
Over the weekend, the only days that Janet and I had mutually available, we brought our friend Anu onboard and set out for Chicago. The intent was to sail but the 30 knot winds and high, disorganized waves made the passage more uncomfortable than it needed to be. We fired up the motor, and along with a headsail we averaged 8 knots and made it to Chicago in the late afternoon.
We’re currently tied up in a slip and are settling into marina life. Now if it would just warm-up a little…