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I always read about cruisers doing a “shakedown” before they embark on some long journey.  Typically they go on shorter sailing trips, like many days or weeks, to somewhere familiar or a known easy route .  These shakedowns are sort of a safe way to see what on your boat is going to break, and what you will want to rig different while cruising.  I always thought it was a great idea before jumping across the Pacific or some other large body of water.

Today however I realized that you don’t even have to leave the dock to perform a shakedown.  Early this afternoon we made our way to the boat to clean up any fun that was hanging over from yesterday’s trip out on the lake. The weather was great, and winds were favorable…I was hoping Tate would be up for another sail.

As nice as that sounded guilt got the better of him and plans were made to “kill two birds with one stone”, or blind a flock, and me with hanging CD’s like our neighboring sailboat.  We needed to break in our new outboard some more in preparations for our Florida trip in June, so into our porta bote dinghy it was. What fun!

Except the fun part came later, first there was lots of aggravation trying to unfold the porta bote on the deck.  Yes it would have been easier to unfold it on the dock, but we tell ourselves it’s good to do it the hard way, that way we’ll be prepared later…It’s worth it right??

We tried different arrangements on deck to set the dingy up and eventually found a way that works for us. Hopefully next time there will be less cursing. That was shakedown #1.

Once we gently threw it in the water it was time to fetch the outboard.  Tate jumped to the task only to get caught on the extension cord in the lifelines, whilst hanging onto the motor for dear life.  A few muscles were pulled and a new method of outboard transport was born.  That was shakedown #2.

It takes a while to figure out the best way to do things on your boat.  Everything takes longer, can be more aggravating, more convoluted, less convenient with less space and many other adjective’s I’ll save you from.

On the bright side, things seems to get easier, the rewards are great, and the accomplishment fulfills. LOL, the things we do.   We had had enough shakedowns for one day and relished in our accomplishments with our first ride out in the lake. We even got to return the favor and get someone an under sail photo. It was a good day.

Porta bote
Tate driving the porta bote out on the water
Porta bote near the shore on a nice day
Sail NOLA class out sailing