Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Somehow Holidays + Winter Weather = being away from Kintala for way too many days. A friend from the marina posted a social media picture of his boat, up on the hard, covered in snow. It didn' help. (It was a pretty picture though.) Work has been killer slow, which you can read as, "we haven't been doing any flying, I have been in the same zip code area for way to many days in a row, and Deb is getting tired of me being under foot and bored". The only saving grace is all of my kids and grand kids are close by, with a constant parade of different gatherings at different houses generating laughs and stories and a few of those magic moments where the whole cosmos stops while a kid stomps in the snow or helps Grampy T start the fire. Plus, Son in Law via Daughter Eldest and I have had a couple of those really fun discussion / debates that run far into the wee hours, long after all the rest of the family has called it a day. Politics, religion, sailing, art, philosophy, life choices, ex-pat possibilities, a bit of history, between the two of us we have pretty much solved every problem in the world ... except for how to get Kintala out of the lake and into the sea.

As soon as the holidays end and kids disperse back into normal routines we are going to assault that last problem with everything we have. The current outline starts with doing some interior modifications for more storage space, which moves things out of the aft cabin, to allow some more interior modifications to that area, leading to access to the battery box, enabling a serious run at getting that system ready for departure, (meaning battery bank, solar panels and wind generators installed). That should see us into warmer weather and, hopefully, rising lake levels, which will lead to making the decisions needed to pull the boat, ship it north - east - or south, and do the final big task (self steering gear). Or, pull it, finish it, and ship it, north - east - or south. The Chicago boat show is in a couple of weeks. These annual trips to the Pier have become my favorite regular pilgrimage during this part of The Retirement Project. This time around we plan on prying every bit of useful information out of it that we can to help us through this final push of preparation.

Kintala is never going to be perfect. So far as I can tell no boat ever is, even shiny new ones right out of the box. I have resigned myself to nursing a tired old engine and never having much faith in the diesel drive train. Navigation and communications gear will come and go - sometimes we will be afloat in fancy, sometimes we will be making do with what works and what we can afford. (One benefit from a life time spent in aviation, I can navigate with anything from the fanciest dual GPS / FMS / WAAS enhanced / moving map / auto pilot enabled high tech gee-whiz suite ever invented; to a hand held compass and a paper map.  In the end it all tells me the same thing; where I am, which way I am going, where will I be and when I am likely to  get there.)  It will take constant effort to keep the inside of the boat (i.e. our home) dry, and a way to keeping it warm will probably be added after we get going but before we search for cooler climes.

Not a big fan of artificial boarders, divisions, lines, and labels, "New Year" means less to me than the continuous flow of all things into the future, (though it does seem to go faster as I get older).  Days are just starting to get longer as the planet spins toward spring and maybe, as this seasons turns, we can find our way to joining those who have already turned the sea into "home."


LittleCunningPlan.com said...

I had to visit your site hoping I'd see exactly the photo I saw of a boat with snow on it, reminding me of what a real winter looks like. We have what I call 'on the verge of winter' here, meaning it's just warm enough to tempt us to sail, but cold enough to freeze our butts off. We have to learn that lesson yearly.
Here's to wishing you much progress on your Retirement Project this coming year. Yep, days are getting longer! Hurray!

TJ said...

Over the next couple of days it will be cold enough around here to freeze various important bits of one's anatomy just walking down the dock to the boat!

Don Parsons said...

"we haven't been doing any flying, I have been in the same zip code area for way to many days in a row, and Deb is getting tired of me being under foot and bored".

AMen Brother!

SailFarLiveFree said...

Sailboats just don't look right with snow on them. "I gotta go where there ain't any snow..."