Friday, November 1, 2013

Remembering an Old Man and thinking of the sea

The weather has pretty much outfoxed all of the experts. It has been cloudy all day with a few gusts of wind but, for the most part, it has been a pretty nice day. Rain and wind may show tonight but Kintala is set secure at her pier and we have decided to be here for a week or more.

Pretty much everything in Oriental depends on it being a water town; there are several marinas and an active commercial fishing fleet. Part of today was spent watching the fishing boats squeeze into their berths after picking their way past the anchored cruising boats. Part of the day was spent at the local shop, first for coffee this morning, then later for ice cream in the afternoon. Friends David and Nancy are in a marina a few blocks from here. A brief scuffle with a bit of wind a few days ago left them with a head sail a little worse for wear. They dropped it this morning and hauled it over to Kintala where Deb had fired up the Sailright and turned the cabin into a miniature sail loft. She and Nancy set to sail repair while David and I retired to the cockpit for refreshments. (There are times when the help skilled women need from the men is for them to stay out of the way … this was one of those times.) We talked of boats and experiences, of future travels and this lifestyle choice.

Somehow our conversation wound its way to my Grandfather on my Mother's side. Gramps was a true rogue (unlike the fake political “rogues” clogging up our system at the moment). As I grew older I began to realize that he had few redeeming characteristics. Gramps was working at a new place every time we went to visit. Companies would hire him because he was so good at what he did, only to fire him in a year or less because he was impossible to tolerate and utterly indifferent to “authority”. He was profane, drank a lot, and had an eye for the fairer sex. His idea of valuable life skills a grandson (me) should learn included shoplifting, swearing, fighting, and ducking out of work. I eventually grew out of all of those. (Except the language part – I take a bit of pride in being able to out swear a sailor). Deep in my moral DNA still lies this bit from Gramps; that a fool and his money will soon be parted, should be parted, and if you can get some of it more the better. He worked hard, played harder, played by his own rules, and saw no need to apologize for any of it.

I loved that old man and miss him still.

Family lore has it that he ran away from home when he was 9 to join the circus. And though he lived in one town for most of my growing up years, I don't think he ever “settled down”. He would have approved of our cruising life, been happy to sit in the cockpit and share a beer, loved the idea of enjoying the place one is in but knowing a new place was in the near future, nodded with approval at traveling without bothering with a destination, and faced the ocean without a trace of fear. (He was also an expert mechanic and would have been more than a match for Kintala.)

He would have fit perfectly into the tribe of cruisers.

Coffee Meter: 10
What's on the menu:Fish & chips at M&M's Cafe


Robert Salnick said...

Deb -

A couple of questions from a fellow Sailrite owner:

What thread (weight,type) did you use on the sail?

How in the world do you get all that sail into the space between the needle and the body of the machine?

s/v Eolian

Deb said...

@Bob - for sails it depends on the weight. This foresail used V92 UV resist thread available from Sailrite. For spinnakers I would use V69. Repairing sails is definitely a challenge. You have to plan each seam so that you have the least material to get in the space. This repair was fairly straightforward, just the outside edge of some sacrificial and a few of the horizontal seams in the sacrificial. In order to do the horizontal seams we had to roll the material up at an angle and squeeze it in. This is a two-person job. One has to hold the roll while the other one does the foot pedal and guides the fabric.