Monday, July 11, 2011

Slugging away

Like the pictures say we did some good sailing this past weekend! With no storms in the forecast a chance to get away from the dock just couldn't be missed. By any standard Coles Creek is a modest little cove, tucked away in a small, land-locked lake, with water that (on a good day) boasts visibility measured in scant inches. Yet it remains our favorite place to hole up for a night. The winds helped us off the dock, (once again making me look a lot better than I am) and provided a nice romp under full main and jib. That was a pleasant surprise since there wasn't supposed to be any wind. One had to leave early though. Friends who joined us later in the evening endured a slow drift, but by midnight we had 4 boats at the party.

Come morning the un-forecast winds returned. Deb was at the helm as the sails filled with push, turning south out of the cove and heading for the dam. It seemed a reasonable thing to do given the great sailing. Less than 2 hours later we had gone from the cove to the dam and back up the lake to the marina...less than 2 hours! So we turned around and did it again, though by the second approach to the marina Kintala's big sails seemed to have soaked up all the breeze. Come late afternoon the marina looked like a mirage shimmering in the heat, everything and every one moving in slow motion.

Each time we sail Kintala she seems about 1/2 inch shorter. It no longer feels like the deck stretches into the next area code and I only hold my breath for the last few feet onto the dock. But I'm still struggling with this boat. The "to-do" list does seem to stretch into the next area code. My maintenance log (remember I'm an aircraft mechanic and, by definition, anal when it comes to logs) shows 59 items completed. On the other side of the ledger are 36 repairs, 9 projects, and 13 upgrade or system enhancements yet to be addressed. Each weekend there are still more items added to the list than there are items removed. The A/C controller earned a toe-tag in the middle of last night and the belt squeal is now so bad that the engine can't be run above idle. (Really, the belt started to smoke on the way in - repairs to belt / alternator / pulley / water pump - whatever - will have to be completed before Kintala takes to the lake again. Given my history with this boat, which ever of the above is the most expensive thing will be the thing required.)

My goal is to have Kintala function as a home equal her ability under way. To have her systems stone cold reliable and her interior dry and welcoming (read that as no leaks and not stinking like head). Sometimes I wonder if that isn't a mirage as well. Just keep slugging away, that's the only way forward.


Bill K said...

I have never been able to get everything done on the boat.

You do the important one's and then go out. :))

Bill Kelleher

TJ said...

I've heard that Bill. I don't want a perfect boat. (Well, actually, I do.) But I'll be happy with one that floats, where the engine works when I need it, the head flushes, (and stays flushed) rain doesn't drip on my table or my bed, water flows out of the faucets and down the drains, lights light, the galley works; the same kind of stuff I expect in my house. I am, after all, planning on living in this thing.