Thursday, September 11, 2014

gypsy muse ...

The relentless drive of getting the boat ready to go again is in a bit of a pause. We are awaiting parts from various places near (the heat exchanger in a shop nearby), far (traveler parts from the North East), and further (electronic bits being shipped from China – thanks for not bothering to mention that Amazon). We are still working every day.  The projects are less intense but still make life aboard better. Deb is making storage bags so I can get my tools under control, and reorganization of the tool area in progress. After years of working out of a very well organized rolling tool chest about the size of a basement freezer (I had two of them) it just drives me nuts to have to rummage through piles of tools tossed in drawers looking for the only socket that will work or an odd-ball pick. Boat projects take twice as long as land projects anyway,  Searching for tools with slippery fingers, greasy bolts between my lips, moving this out of the way to look in that, dents my otherwise sunny disposition and sours my normally positive view of the world. It also makes long, tiring days longer and more tiring.

While she works on my tools dilemma, which I think she is doing more for her own sake - making me easier to live with in "project mode" - than for mine, I have been replacing some rotting wood trim and sealing leaks in her galley.  Also, we have a whole new set of killer dock lines ginned up from a discarded (but still perfectly sound) anchor rode, and I am continuing on with the Spanish-lessons-that-will-never-lead-to-me-speaking-Spanish. (At least that is the way it feels.) All of which has served to remind me …


… we are living a pretty good life. For all of our struggles during this 2014 Hurricane Season in Florida from Hell, we are still on the boat. There is no time clock to punch, no demented boss to try and keep happy (Deb's old one, not mine).  There is no Board of Director Politics that will decimate a life on a whim (my old one, not Deb's).  Compared to our old economic standing, which was pretty good before the Boss / Board world dumped its radioactive waste into our lives, we are now near the bottom of the income pile. But that's okay. We don't need much, don't want much, and are very happy to be out of the Boss / Board empire.  Indeed, during my moments of sunny disposition and positive view of the world, it seems likely that the empire is flaming out in a spectacular fashion, which cheers me up to no end.  The further away we are, and the sooner it engineers its own demise, the better.



Our friend Guilles left the marina yesterday, escaping the rising flood of dock fees. He has become a good friend, another of the many we now count floating around this part of the world. Along the dock many other new friends are working as hard as we to get going.  Some are thinking of heading to the Islands this winter, several thinking of the Abacos after hearing about our time there last winter. S/V Kintala and her crew, though bruised and battered and economically challenged, may yet find a way across the Stream come winter, and find friends to call on once away.  What we can't get done on the boat before going will simply not get done.  But last year, running on the little generator, without an auto pilot, and living under a tiny bimini, was nothing but grand.  And we do have a nice solid foredeck and a new staysail furler.  The jug board is pretty, the main traveler should be like new, various leaks and rots are gone.  There is no reason next year can't be as grand as last.  And all this coming and going and planning and making do has served to remind me of another thing …

… in spite of it all, I love belonging to this band of gypsies.

5 comments:

Robert Sapp said...

I know this is only marginally related, but I have a question about your "jug board." I've asked this question on several sailing forums and have yet to receive a satisfactory answer. Why does the "jug board," (I'm sure that being a nautical necessity, it probably has a proper name) have to be a board? Boards need maintenance, like constant varnishing. I've seen people use various synthetic materials, but it's just a modern interpretation of a board. Instead of a board, why not just use a length of stainless rail bridging two stanchions? It can even be welded in place if you really want to do it right. It would be maintenance free, and would offer at least as good an anchor point as some chunk of wood. It's what we intend to do with Eagle Too. What am I missing? I can see using a board if it were also capable of being removed and used as a fender board when tied to fixed pilings, but I don't think I've ever seen that done. Just wondering.

Alex Rooker said...

On the fender board topic..
On our Gemini Catamaran "Yacht A Fun" we have a 1" thick 10 feet long boad 7 1/2 inches in width. It's treated lumber which was stained a brown cedar color. It is primarily a fender board. If we need to carry jugs, it will become a jug board.

Today was another "get ready" maintenance day in Oriental NC

TJ said...

Our "jug board" isn't a particularly robust install, and I wanted it that way. Should we take a boarding sea on the port side I hope the board would fail before putting too much of a load on the stanchions and / or deck. There is still the hazard of the stuff sweeping overboard, but you can't avoid all risk.

If I had a steel boat with a big, beefy rail welded hard to the deck, I would hang just about anything off it, fenders, jugs, a spare engine, extra boom, whatever, all bolted on for keeps. But the stanchions / rail on a plastic sailboat are really pretty flimsy units. I wouldn't put anything on it at all except there just isn't anyplace else for them to go. Not on our narrow stern 42 footer anyway. Now if I had a 50 footer with a stern garage ...

Deb said...

@Robert - I think the board provide a bit more stability for the flat-sided jugs. If you used rail I think you would have to have two of them, one toward the top of the jugs and one toward the bottom. No doubt it would be a cleaner install with less maintenance, but when we strap the jugs through their handles onto a 6" wide board, they're not going anywhere.

@Alex - we'd love to have a fender board like that, but to be honest we just don't have any place to store one when we're underway. Our deck is already horribly crowded.

Matt Mc. said...

I'm still giggling at jugs. As I teach the kids - it's all about context. Missing you guys. Glad to see you keeping it on the positive. From someone who knows nothing, the boat looks great!