Monday, September 23, 2013

This way ...

As is normal with boat projects the leak repair has morphed into a tangled nest of overlapping jobs. Fixing the hull leak led to pulling the rudder. Pulling the rudder meant disconnecting the steering; which lead to replacing the steering cables, inspecting the sheaves (pulleys to an aircraft mechanic), and replacing the helm shaft bearings. The rudder being out led to fixing the rudder itself; it also led to finding the failing hardware in "the shoe." The boat being out of the water exposed a couple of places where the bottom paint didn't stick very well which, of course, will require a little sanding and painting before the boat goes back in the water. Such paint to be applied when the rudder and repair are painted, sanding to be done in the morrow.

But the boat needs to go back in the water because the rigging work is coming along and pretty soon there will be a mast laying up on the hard without a boat to land in. (They step masts with the boat in the water around here.) So today was spent bouncing back and forth; fiberglass, steering parts, building rigging, getting the mast ready for the rigging, a little more fiberglass. If someone claimed to have seen me cross the boatyard 50 times today there would be no reason to argue. Around 1630 all the jobs stumbled to a halt, some for lack of parts, some for slow setting fiberglass, and some for shear lack of energy.

On a bit of a whim a touch of Captain Morgan and Coke, a bag of pistachios, and yours truly took a front row seat close enough to the edge of a pier for the shells to be tossed into the water with minimum effort. Squadrons of geese flew by; all headed north for some reason. The weather was literally picture perfect with cloud images clearly reflected in the blue water. The temperature hovered on the edge of too cool for just a work shirt but the sun's radiant heat made up the difference. The view was a marina full of sailboats, water that leads to an ocean, and nice houses up on the shore.
"This is a Monday", I thought to myself. "This is my life now."

"And this is why we came this way."

I still have no plan for when we get to the next part. If forced I might admit that things appear to be slowly coming together. Here, in a marina surrounded by nice boats being prepped to head south in the next few weeks, Kintala draws constant praise as a good boat being well kept. Tartan 42s are not that common and ours is showing the outward signs of years of effort. (Though it is still a truism that beauty is only skin deep while ugly goes clear to the bone!) When we go (assuming we go) it will be in a boat I have no reason to distrust. When we splash the next time steering, rudder, rigging and hull will be as sound as I know how to make them.

Mostly due to Deb's constant effort the interior is "home" with more amenities than one should expect for being "off the grid." Also, due to her constant diligence, we have the funds available to get going and keep going, at least for a while. All this is, of and by itself, a good piece of work not to be dismissed. We have been very lucky, but we have also worked very hard and, even not knowing how far we will get, we have come further than many.

That being said, honesty compels me to share a truth. When we first got here there was a tiny little boat floating at a pier; somewhat disheveled, well worn, prone to leaks, with second hand sails, questionable running rigging, and crewed by a couple short on experience and squeaking by on minimum funds. Betrayed by the "American Dream" they are looking to live their lives as best they can with the hand they were dealt. The quiet word around the marina was that they wouldn't get very far even if they managed to get going at all. Their boat was unworthy, they were unprepared.

They headed out a couple of days later, spent a good part of a week anchored just a few miles away waiting on favorable winds, and are reported to have passed by the Solomons two days ago on their way to the ICW. Kintala sits on the hard and we haven't gone anywhere. I am cheering these folks on with all of my heart. Even if they get no further than the south end of the bay, I can't match either their courage or their determination.

People like that ... all the more reason to come this way.

1 comment:

Pat and Joan said...

I have not read your blog since just before you leaving STL. You have a come a long way, congratulations! While things may seem a tad bleak you are certainly closer than we are, by the creek that runs into the bay that runs into the ocean. We are still here on the plains. You will soon be following in the wake of the couple who left not quite prepared and way ahead of those who will never be off the dock. Good luck and we luck forward to reading the day the two of you shove off and hope we can anchor together some day.
Pat and Joan