May 23, 2010

New dock, new kayaks, new car: Can summer be far behind?

VALOIS, New York, USA - In the past few days, Admiral Fox and I picked up our new-to-us car from car dealer Hal Van Skiver, had the dock guys from Schamel Brothers show up with their barge to start pounding in pilings for our new dock and - in a total surprise move - the Admiral bought us two kayaks so we can get on the water quickly.

Can summer be far off?

The car was three weeks coming, but worth it: a used 2002 silver-blue Lexus SUV that has so many computer and electronic features it's scary. Still, it is probably the most comfortable car I have ever driven, and so far, getting good gas mileage (good being defined as 23 mpg on the highway).

And, perhaps most important, it has a sun roof, a feature the Admiral has wanted since we sold our sun-roofed Jeep Laredo two years ago to an Ithaca woman who specializes in rescuing injured wild animals.

Now if we just could get some of that sun...

Kayak on top of new car
The new car, with new kayaks

Dock extension gets started
The Schamel Brothers pile driver at work

Friday, the pile driver showed up and the air was filled for an hour with clanging and banging as we started the process to get our dock extended out into deeper water. The Schamel Brothers crew will also be putting a large "L" on the end, so we will have a spot to sit and more places to tie up visiting boats (as well as our own).

The posts are driven 6-8 feet down into the lake bed forming a permanent base for the dock. The water should be 6-7 feet off the end, perhaps deeper depending on how quickly the bottom falls away. We need to ensure that it's deep enough to dock the newly-painted sailboat Eric Hazlitt has been working on since last summer.

We have been promised that Monday the crew will be back with the rest of the posts to drive and shortly after that, construction will start on the actual dock.

Memorial Day weekend might be even more memorable this year, particularly if we can sit on the end of the dock.

Sailboat chugs north on Seneca Lake
A sailboat motors north, waiting for the wind

While we wait for the dock to be finished, we have pulled out the gear for our sailboat - The Red Rocket - which we expect to launch this week so it we can use it Memorial Day weekend. The parts were right where I left them, along with a small family of spiders who apparently were studying the instructions on how to rig the boat.

The pontoon boat - the Spirit of Louise - is in storage at Keuka Lake and will splash Friday June 4, the earliest it has been in the water since we bought it.

And the Admiral already figured out that we can carry the two new kayaks on the bow of the boat when we are out and about - even if I have to move the beer cooler a little to accommodate them.

Spirit of Louise at launch ramp
Spirit of Louise at the launch ramp last summer

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