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Last Minute Preparations
(March 30 - April 12, 1999.

Tuesday, March 30, 1999. The boat goes back to dry dock for one last session--working on making the arch fold for our low bridges in the Erie Canal and near Chicago, and tuning the props.  Unfortunately, tuning the props requires pulling the boat out of the water again.  Our trip to Key West consumed more fuel that we expected, and the wisdom of our advisors seems to be that perhaps the propellers need to be tuned.  They are very high-tech and there is a service in Tampa which uses lasers and computers to assure that the curve to each blade is within spec.  We ask Viking to wait to pull the boat until we depart on Thursday for our annual short ski holiday in Vail with the Aaby's. 

Thursday, April 1, 1999. We leave for Vail and three days of skiing with Nils Erik and Mary Jane Aaby.  The Aaby's are world-class skiers, and we look forward to a couple of days of late winter skiing.  The slopes are well-groomed and there is fresh powder every morning.  Weather is cold but the sun is bright.  It doesn't get much better than this.

Monday, April 5, 1999.  We return to St. Petersburg.  The boat is still out of the water, so we move into a motel.  Jan is not happy.

Tuesday, April 6, 1999.  The boat is still in dry dock.  Work on the stereo system has started.  We're junking the old stereo system for a small theater setup in the salon, with improvements in the staterooms, as well.  Steven Sampson at Savi Technologies had developed the wonderful theater in our Bayway home, and has worked on boats before, so we entrust him with the job.  Installation should be done in a day or so.

The folding of the arch proves to be rather straightforward.  We will utilize the dinghy crane in a nearly upright position to take the load of the arch. Unless we need to unhinge it (a possibility to get through Chicago), Jan and I should be able to handle it.   We don't have a definitive answer to the exact height restrictions on either the Erie Canal or the Calumet Waterway.  We need to get those data.

Wednesday, April 7, 1999.  The boat goes back in the water tonight. Props have been tuned.  We leave the motel and move back aboard.  The stereo system is far from complete, and we try to "work around it" even though everything is torn up.   We have dinner at the Birkenstocks.  Bob and Trish fix Florida Lobster which they've caught.  Fabulous! We would like to join them for the lobster season some time.

Thursday, April 8, 1999. More work on the stereo system--Savi leaves at midnight, but it still isn't complete. We have them assemble things as well as they can because there is an open boat tomorrow.

Friday, April 9, 1999.  Today we have scheduled a large "Open Boat".  We move the boat to SPYC in the morning after finally leaving Viking for the last time (hopefully) and spend the day cleaning it.  It's a mess--boatyard grit is the worst.  We finish just as people begin to arrive.  This evening we stagger two open boats for (1) all SRG employees, and (2) business, professional contacts and friends.  We figure 150 people attend the parties--50 or more on the bridge at one time.   Interlude doesn't sink under the weight...we must be on the right track.

Saturday, April 10, 1999.  We spend the day running errands and working on the boat.  Dinner is at the Meyers with some other friends.  A very relaxing end to a frantic day.  Savi spends the day working on the stereo system again.  They're still not finished.

Sunday, April 11, 1999.  We move the boat to the Jody and Bill Burnette's dock about noon and prepare for another open house and party that Jody, Bill, John and Pat Walsh are giving for us.  We dock in front of their house, around forty people tour the boat and we have a wonderful evening with Salty Sister friends.  Salty Sisters are a special group of women at the SPYC and Jan's class is very close--and a wonderful group of couples (the spouses are the "bilge brothers" (or is it "briny brothers" ???)  Be sure to look at the photos of the cake they had prepared for us.  It is surely one-of-a-kind.  

Our friends also give us a photo of our burgee and info relating to two cloth ones they're having made for us.  One will fly on the Interlude, the second we'll hang at the SPYC.  Wow, what a great gift! [We had designed our "personal signal" so that it could be painted on the cabin sides of the boat, crossed with the SPYC burgee.  So, we knew what it looked like in paint; but the Salties are giving us real burgees to fly from a halyard on the boat.]

Monday, April 12, 1999. Day before departure.  Jan and Bill move the boat back to the yacht club and then spend a few hours at the office wrapping up odds and ends before running errands.  Savi is working on the stereo. We arrive at the boat about 5:00 PM and sit on the flybridge with some friends while Savi works below.  We celebrate happy hour in perfect weather.  Eventually, we go to dinner with the Burnettes.  On our way, we discover that our cars have been severely "keyed" in the SPYC garage.   That takes time for police reports, etc.  Eventually we go to dinner nearby only to be found by friends to tell us the culprits who have damaged our cars have been found--10 or 11 year old kids.  The police get a confession.  The cars are a mess--a third car is also involved.  More fun--we'll work on it by "remote control" once we get underway.

We return to the boat about 10:30 PM and Savi is still working on the stereo.   About 1:30am we go to bed--Savi is still working.  They let themselves out sometime during the night.