Showing posts from 2011

So this is Christmas. . .

It's Christmas Day as I write this. Outside snow hides in little nooks and shaded corners, but the grass is still green. I haven't worked on the boat this month, but it was a warm fall. Boatwork was possible deep into November. I finally covered her up the weekend after Thanksgiving.

I'm looking forward to a good Winter refilling the boat fund.  There are some design and outfitting choices to make; perhaps some stainless steel parts to order.  As soon as the snow melts in the Spring, I'll be back doing some interior work and waiting for the Sun.

The big projects for Spring/Summer are finishing off the space where I removed the pilot berth, replacing the chainplates, re-installing the seacocks, and replacing the two large aft ports on each side of the cabin.

Hanging Locker, Part Deaux

[Editor's Note: Check out the hair!] The picture to the left is from two Aprils ago, when I was right in the same spot as below. Back then I was removing deck hardware; including the above-the-deck part of the chainplates and having a Bad Boat Karma Day. This last time I was working on the part of the chainplates that was inside the hull.

Clutching the valence at the top of the hanging locker [that's closet to you landlubbers], I gingerly placed one foot onto the small floor that curves with the starboard side of the hull. Lifting my self a bit, I swung the other foot up and into the small opening. With both feet inside I shimmied one hip in, then the other and sat down. After one shoulder at a time, I wriggled my arm in from behind me. The multifunction oscillating cutter and the safety light were already inside the locker waiting for me. Some surgery was needed.  First up, I had to cut a larger hole in the cabin liner to access the area against the hull.

I am replacing the …

Grunting at the Rock.

There is always something else to work on.  The boat project continues; lately more Sisyphean than Herculean.  On unseasonably sunny days, I've finished the fiberglass work at the gunwale.  When its been cooler and wetter, I moved to the interior.  The pilot berth on the port side of the main cabin has been removed.

A pilot berth is a bunk in which a pilot sleeps [duh].  A pilot, in nautical terms, is a person with the local knowledge to lead ships into foreign harbors or through unfamiliar rivers or canals.  On long passages, the pilot would need to sleep, but the Captain of the piloted vessel wanted the local expertise close at
hand.  Moreover, the pilot was not a guest who needed to be catered to or impressed.  Hence, the pilot berth was usually tucked in an unused space somewhere near the bridge of a ship.  Somehow, this tradition spilled over into pleasure craft.

My Cape Dory 28, hull #53, is an early version that included a pilot berth.  In theory, the main cabin could sle…

Glassing the gunwale.

There is a confidence, a sort of comfort, in doing something you've worked hard to be able to do.  I've just completed my third week at the hospital.  I am so thankful to have found such a great place to be.  My new coworkers in the pharmacy are great.  The job is interesting and ever changing.  Working for a nonprofit community hospital is surprisingly enriching. Without being on the front lines of directly caring for patients, it is an honor to be a part of helping people.  The work feels more like an extension of me than just something I do.  There is a natural ease as if everything is coming together.

This new togetherness extends as well to the hull and deck of my boat. Last fall, I ground a one inch radius at the gunwale; where the hull and deck meet.  Cape Dory had screwed the deck to the hull at about 8" on center, but I wanted a stiffer joint.   This weekend, and last, I've finally been glassing over my radius.  2" fiberglass tape followed by 3", 4…

Next please . . .

I can still feel the undulating rhythm; the random thud into the trough of a wave.  Standing at the forestay, tiller tied amidship, Sarasota Bay a slate grey color in the waning sunshine of early evening.  As I leaned against the stay, the water split below me at the cutwater, dolphins raced at the bow wave and I was in my element.  There was nothing else but the rush of my breath and the hiss of water against the hull.  And there was peace.  I've been waiting for that peace again.

Yet another part of that long wait is over.  The dearth of boatwork, caused by my Pharmacy Technician Course, is nearly over.  The coursework is done and I'd be certified now if it weren't for a slightly overwelmed Workplace Training Office at GRCC.  There are days I've considered that another factory job might have gotten me farther along. . . in the short term.  Can you get farther along in the short term? I don't know, but 6 months just above minimum wage was way longer than I origin…

Fancy Catch Up

Not the Heinz 57 variety, but a good old fashioned bring you up to speed "catch up."  Rather than continue the slog to provide content for two blogs and two websites, I have decided to consolidate. I was paying for more cyber real estate than I was really using anyway.

So welcome to!  This is where you will find my boat related blog posts. My non-boat writing blog is found here.  In case you have just arrived, this will catch you up.

In April 2007, I quit a nine year office job and bought an old sailboat. Not a romantic OLD wooden ship, but a fiberglass sloop just old enough, and just neglected enough, to be in my price range. She is a 28 foot Cape Dory; a wonderful little ship that I found in Bay City, Mi.

There was, however, a lot of work to be done; more than I thought. When I cashed in and checked out in Indiana, I felt like I was loaded. Comparatively so, I was more loaded than I had ever been, but that really wasn't saying much. I was quick…

Off Route!

The road undulates over the hills. Pastures, farms and patches of forest alternately flys by just over the ditch on either side of the highway. A hawk soars in lazy arcs over the right-of-way fence. And on the dash, the GPS flickers every quarter mile or so to update the perspective of its little map. The sad fact is that many drivers are paying more attention to the 4" LCD screen on their dash than they are to the hawk, the trees and the landscape.

As a salacious billboard crests the hill, the driver is suddenly hungry and takes the next exit. The drive-thru window is a half mile down the side road. Halfway there, the GPS starts to blink "OFF ROUTE . . . OFF ROUTE . . . " Off Route is how this last week went for me.

I resigned my Commercial Driver job, the whole career actually, to get off the road, out of the snow and ice, and to devote more of my time to writing. It was a solid plan supplemented by a training program, that would lead, most likely, to a ne…

Don't wait for the Lottery

Back in 2006, I was working with a Life Coach on my career options. She was very good and we dug deep. Despite working on a career transition, I ended up realizing that what I really wanted to do was some long term voyaging on a sailboat. Early in 2007, I started doing just that. I bought a boat that I could afford because it needed some work and set out on my path toward sailing off. One of the coaching tools we used was the question: What would you do if you won the lottery?

What would you do, after you paid your bills, after you gave money to friends and family, after you partied your ass off? Consider this a serious philosophical question. What would you do if money was no object? What would you do if any of your dreams could come true? Hands down, no question, my answer was: Voyaging by Sail. I would take off on a boat and chase the horizon, visiting remote and unspoiled places.

So the next even more serious question is: why aren't you working toward that goal now? If you…