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Helios Re-Launch

We are back aboard Helios and at sea again!! We re-launched her on June 1, 2023. After a 10-month hiatus with Helios "on the hard" in a Sardinian (Italy) shipyard and us back home living a land-lubber life in Chicago, it's great to be back at sea.


When we pulled Helios out of the water last August, 2022 we really didn't know what to expect. We flip-flopped on whether to: a) sell the boat and close out the sailing chapter in our lives, or b) keep the boat for another round of adventure and exploration. So we compromised by listing Helios at an above-market price figuring if she sold we'd be happy financially, and if she didn't, we'd be happy spiritually.


Fate decided our plans for us. Despite some nibbly purchase offers that we rejected, she didn't sell. Looks like we'll be happy spiritually - if not financially.


By March of this year we finally succumbed to the call of the sea and started the planning process for round 2 of boat life. Megan quickly signed up to spend her Colorado College summer break with us. Lindsey just as quickly declined and filled her summer plans with a job and two internships at the University of Rochester. Dale completed his EMT certification and passed the EMT National Registry exam the afternoon before our departure for Italy, and Christine went about shutting things down for us on the home front.


Re-launching was a tiny fraction of the effort that our original launch 2 years ago required, but it was still a lot of work!!


Packing:

The hardest part was trying to remember what we had left on the boat last year. In hindsight, creating an inventory would have been helpful. Fitting everything into our luggage wasn't easy either given we were packing for many months. The micro-car we rented at the Sardinia airport was also a challenge.


Provisioning:

Our first grocery run entailed 3 grocery carts, a 5-foot long receipt, and $900. And that's just the beginning of getting the boat restocked for the season.


Rigging:

We stowed much of the rigging last summer to avoid UV damage during the boat's 10 months of storage. Re-rigging was (mostly) easy and included Megan's maiden mast-climb.

There were lots of miscellaneous pre- and post-arrival preparations as well, such as:

  • renewing our marine insurance policy

  • renewing various boat-related documents (e.g. boat registration, EPIRB registration)

  • renewing various subscriptions (e.g. Iridium satellite phone, offshore weather app)

  • obtaining cruising permits

  • planning a master itinerary in coordination with many planned guests

  • managing maintenance and repair work

  • cleaning what was a very dirty boat....

Despite all the work, we managed to get ourselves out of the shipyard and underway to our first destination in 5 days. Oh, and we even made time to re-visit the winning Gelateria (Gelateria Villi) from our Italian gelato-tasting competition from last year (see related post from 2022).



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