Grandma and Granddad were teachers, and in retirement they spent their winters at an RV resort in Nokomis, FL. When they arrived, Grandma would pin a dollar bill to her bulletin board to send the first grandkid who wrote them at their Florida address that year! We kids seemed to forget the surreptitious reward over the summer for the first several years, but it later became a competition. I might have had bragging rights one year or two.
I’ve had a dollar pinned to my imaginary bulletin board on Emma, but time’s up - the contest is over. And, dear reader, I really shouldn’t be telling you this anyway because no one called me on it.
Last week, I posted a picture on Instagram and Facebook bragging on my engineering skills in cutting a
new dropboard for Emma’s companionway and a funky shaped shelf for the engine room. Using a couple three foot lengths of aluminum angle, a trio of spring clamps, and a couple c-clamps, I had set-up a straight-edge for my saw. I even used a metal yard stic…
I like to think that I don’t care what anyone else thinks. I might have even said that out loud to a trusted friend. In the last ten years, I’ve certainly been living my life like I don’t care. Still sometimes it feels like I’m stuck in some perpetual transition without much to show for it. When I get into a funk, I feel like I’ve been talking shit all this time. Ten years later and I’m still just that guy who quit his office job to sail off on an old sailboat but ended up driving a truck just to fix the damn thing.
A trucking schedule hasn’t helped my unease. My neighbors in the boatyard were a little baffled each time I showed up for only a couple days a month. Today, all of them have launched their boats and are gone. Very few friends from home or family have seen Emma. I get uptight about visitors. In fact, on a couple occasions, I’ve responded in a bafflingly shrill way to a friend’s simple inquiry about stopping by.
The long awaited boat report: [Click on Pictures for bigger image] It’s sod season in Florida and I’ve been really busy at work. Of course, that means I haven’t had as much time to work on Emma as I’d like. This morning, I’m nursing a sore shoulder and decided to write the “Long Awaited Boat Report” rather than go to Miami for the day and wrestle four 60 pound batteries onto the boat and down below. I bought Emma, sight unseen, from Michigan. The Westsail 32 was exactly the boat that I wanted. I’d been looking at all types of heavy displacement, full keel boats, but what I really wanted was a Westsail. I found Emma on the Miami Craigslist, through the Westsail group on Facebook. That story is here. For $6000, I was really just buying the hull. Having worked on Eleanor, a Westsail 42, I knew the quality of construction and the seakindliness of the Westsails. Anything else that was in good working order, beyond the ‘bulletproof’ hull, was gravy. I admit to having the rose-colored glasses…