One of the reasons we waited three years to haul out (it should happen every two years) is because it's SUCH a nightmare every time! Not only do we have to watch our house being lifted out of its natural environment (a very stressful event!), but the folks who are in the business of hauling boats seem to think they are above the law or something.
Case in point: after going over every detail, with the company, of what was to happen with our haul-out (because we got so badly burned last time), we estimated that we would be 'out', at most, 24 hours, and that the final cost might be as high as $1200.
What actually happened: we were 'out' for 33 hours, but more importantly, the final cost? $2100!! It adds up for all kinds of reasons: things they said that Michael could take care -- for example, grinding the props -- they made sure they did, instead, and then billed us $70 an hour for 2.5 hours. They claimed that the 'regular' pressure wash (at $160) couldn't get all the seaweed, etc., off the hull, so they had to go over it all again -- total cost, $350. $350 for pressure washing the bottom of a 38' boat???
Their website, when I booked the haul-out, claimed that the actual hauling out would cost $9.50 per foot -- they told me that was outdated and that the new price was $11 per foot. I reminded them that they'd need to honor the listed price, or that would 'false advertising' -- the final bill? $11 per foot, and of course, in the interim, they made sure the website was updated!
Bottom line: they have your boat, up high and dry, and it's not going back in the water until you pay the bill.
So we paid the bill ... and then spent the last several days, while trying to also relax in Tod Inlet, going over the invoice and preparing the letter we'll be writing to them. And trying to recover from yet another haul-out nightmare.
Here's what it looked like, anyway... see that big shed in the background with the big open door? That's where the boat has to go. They 'walk' it up onto a big 'cradle' first:
And then they flip a switch, and the cradle is slowly, slowly, slowly, winched up into the shed:
...until the boat is completely out of the water:
As soon as it's secure, they start to pressure wash...
And then there's that prop-shining --here's the 'before' picture, and as you can see, they are full of barnacles, etc:
And here is the new, improved prop:
Enough about the haul-out. Other than maybe getting a part-time job to pay off the MasterCard when we get home, I won't have to think about THAT again for a few years, thank God!
Tod Inlet is always lovely to visit ... it's a little fjord just in behind the world-famous Butchart Gardens, and it was the perfect place to recover ... and sit out two days of rain!
By our second day in there, the place had started to fill up because Butchart Gardens has their final Saturday night fireworks show on the September long weekend:
Didn't get any decent pics of the fireworks but it was the best I'd ever seen -- and I've seen lots of fireworks!
We had to go by dinghy over to the area where the fireworks could be seen, so an equally fun part of the adventure was plucking our way through the anchorage back to the Wind Walker in the pitch black afterwards -- we managed to miss all manner of anchor ropes, other dinghies, and even large yachts, and made it back to our boat safely!
Yesterday the rain let up long enough to leave Tod and make our way to Cowichan Bay where we needed to get fuel and water before moving on to the next stop, which will be Russell Island, just off Fulford Harbour on Salt Spring.
Oh, and of course, much knitting has been accomplished -- furiously, I might add (I usually prefer to knit peacefully)! More pics next update...