Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Fortunate One

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

In the last post, I talked about gratitude. I am in a really privileged position. My life has changed very little with all the lockdowns and other pandemic precautions happening. North Carolina is under a stay-at-home order like most other states, but boat repair facilities are considered essential and are exempt. I am therefore riding on the coattails of the shop here at Cape Fear Boat Works. I can still get the supplies I need; though I’m paying to have most stuff shipped in so I can maintain my isolation. Trips to town are much rarer and I’m relying on my reasonably well-stocked pantry to get by.

My gratitude is leavened by the unknowns of the situation our world is in. I haven’t slept well the last couple nights. It may be all the pondering possibilities, but it might be the coffee too. I started my day today with green tea. The day started a little slow and I settled down. To reduce my own anxieties, I’ve decided that I can keep doing what I’m doing if our status quo goes all the way into August. If the country is still locked down past August and I can't sail anywhere, I might find some work and pause to save some money rather than just burning through my cash while waiting. If I am on the water, on the boat, toward the new year I’ll have to pause somewhere anyway to make a little money. Pausing to work occasionally while living on the boat was always the plan.

I’ve had some good productive days lately, but today I didn’t really want to do anything. After a slow start, and leaning heavily on my gratitude attitude, I did get to work and sanded for a few hours. Sanding over my head is hard work and a few hours is nearly as much as I would have accomplished on a good day.

The divots where I ground out the blisters on the port side of the hull are about 95% patched and filled. An order of peel ply got hung up in the postal system, and I couldn’t finish. So, I started sanding the patches and have a solid third of them sanded smooth. There are lots of projects, so with the delay on hull work, I expanded my focus. I re-bedded a couple blocks on the cabin top that were weeping a little in heavy rains.

The mainsail has full battens and was just rolled up and stowed below. I removed the battens and stretched it out on the lawn to check it out. I had not used the main at all on the trip up from Little River, SC, so I haven’t had a good look. It was purchased relatively recently and is in good condition; still stiff and crispy. I was happy to find that the hull number and a proper Bayfield logo were on the sail. Afterward, I folded the sail and rolled it up tight so it will stow better.

The Canadian company that supplied hatches and ports to the Bayfield Boat Yard is still in business. I ordered new gasket material for the portlights and now had time to work on the “windows.” The frames were removed, cleaned up, regasketed, and rebedded. While cleaning the portlight frames, I brushed my hand pretty well with a brass brush spinning in a drill motor, so I got to practice some first aid too. It’s doing fine and was really only like road rash from spilling off a bike or something.

One of the biggest projects was the head (that’s the bathroom to you landlubbers). I am a proponent of composting toilets and purchased a C-Head just like the one I had on the Westsail in Florida. With a composting toilet, there is no need for a holding tank and the odors associated with them. Ruth Ann’s old tank had to go. I could use the storage space it was taking up.

The downside was that the holding tank was not empty. I disconnected a hose that would have emptied the tank into the sea and filled a half dozen tall kitchen garbage bags with about a gallon of sawdust in each as an absorbent. The full bags were gently placed in the dumpster. Then I removed a bunch of hoses and the old toilet.

The holding tank, however, would not come out. The inner liner of the boat’s cabin was put it place after the tank – trapping it. I ended up cutting a tank-shaped hole and sliding it out of it’s hiding place (think of the Wiley Coyote-shaped hole he left after crashing through a wall).

The peel ply and some epoxy filler has arrived. I can get back to work on the hull. The port side is nearly done, but I have the starboard side to do next. I also ordered a colossal supply of 5” hook and loop-backed, 80-grit sanding discs. Two of the portlights are regasketed and rebedded, but Ruth Ann has four more.

The Tank is out!!
The work continues.

My Patreon page did go live on April 1. It was important to me to accomplish that when I had said I would. Nevertheless, in our current situation, I am not going to promote it. We’ll get to that when things are back to normal; or whatever is close to normal again. The page is operational and linked on the upper right of this page. I’m just not emphasizing it for now. Patreon is a way for people to support the creative projects that they enjoy. You are very welcome to support my adventures and the Bubba the Pirate Blog. And my content will greatly improve when I’m bragging about sailing rather than droning on about boat projects. For now, please consider supporting your favorite musicians and artists. They are really hurting and their livelihoods are nearly completely interrupted by pandemic precautions.


  1. It sounds like you are doing great!

    Could you let me in on the port light manufacturer? Mine leak a bit and I'd like to replace the gaskets as well.

    1. Thanks. It's Atkins & Hoyle in Ontario, Canada. I was lucky that a couple of my portlights still had an A&H sticker on them.

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