Bridgie's Babble - Jan. 28, 2007
Jan. 28, 2007

Ok, where exactly did the 2006 date come from, you ask? Well, it
was a plan and a good one at that! And, in keeping with form, it
always takes 3 times longer to do something than planned, even if
you have already built in the "3 X's " factor to your calculations (so
don't do that!). The following will be a briefing of what we've been
doing and where we're headed. (it is all about the learning curve!)
Let's say we did a lot of thinking and planning. A Lot of
Thinking...thinking takes time...and lots of it. !It's a 34' sailboat and
we have 50' ideas to be crammed into the space. Let's move
on....just wanted you to get the picture.

With the water maker installation out of the way, we went about
installing the new Auto Helm, SSB antenna and tuner,  considered
options for jerry can storage and installed the new electric anchor
windless. As you can see from the photo at the right, there are not
many places to hide on this boat without being found. So John went
back to work!

In early Dec. we were ready to do the re-rigging. The rigging is the
wire that holds the mast up. There are 3 wires on both the port and
starboard sides (shrouds), one in the front (headstay) and one in the
back (backstay). We had a scheduled appointment with the "yard"
to remove the mast and  the old rigging. This is done by way of a
crane that "lifts" the mast out of the boat while the boat is in the
water. Our initial "date" didn't work, as there was a high tide and
the crane wouldn't be able to do the job. (the TIDE???? how were
we suppose to know that????) We had to wait until a lower tide
was evident at the end of the week. Rescheduled for Friday..great!
On Friday there were Santa Anna winds blowing fiercely. We
made the trip to the yard but the procedure  was aborted due to the
winds. A few days later we were successful in having the mast
"un-stepped". We cut 1/2" off the bottom (corrosion), spot sanded  
and painted, inventoried the lighting, changed the mast headlight to
an LED  and an assorted variety of other projects. I won't get into
more detail as John should have some time going forward to add
his more technical explanation in another part of the site. We had
some trouble with the wire for the Harken Roller Furling..suffice it
to say that almost a month later, our re-rigging job, which we had
thought would take a week, was complete.

During the month of December, we also had the boat "hauled out"
of the water. We were on the "hard" for 8 days. During that time,
we carved out any blisters on the bottom,sanded and patched the
holes and repainted the hull. (as you can see, it was a very dirty
job!) We also had the yard grind down the keel, which had
become a victim of electrolysis. (John's can tell that story, too). We
changed out the prop, replaced a seacock and the shaft cutters,
etc, etc....It was very windy while in the yard. We had a perfect
view of the harbor entrance but all I could think of was
"earthquake"! Let's face it..a boat on stilts with severe wind isn't all
that romantic..no matter what the sunset looks like!

Before we knew it, Christmas had passed, followed by New
Years. We still had significant projects to complete but we certainly
were on our way. Of course, we (me???) had all sorts of emotion
going on that ranged from "is there no end to the list?" to "I think it's
not worth it!" to "wow, isn't it going to be great once we're
finished!!!??" It seemed like one thing after another; something
unplanned or unexpected. But, we're ok! And we look forward to
going. Yes, there is a bit of anxiety...will we be able to predict the
weather accurately (god knows the forecasters can't!), will we
avoid hitting the reefs and rocks?, do whales really tip a boat
over?,really, how good is our Spanish?, what do you say to the
port captain again? And what about those electronics? Will the
radar work and will we be able to decipher  what it is telling us?
The Garmin Chart Plotter will be wondrous once we figure it out.
The SSB (single side band radio) is already working well according
to John. Sometimes we don't get great reception but that is due to
bad "propagation" and a crowded marina. HUM....We've tested
the SSB for incoming and outgoing email and were met with
success. We've also had our hand at the weather fax and, although
we rec'd the data, it wasn't aligned properly so we weren't able to
read it.

Oh, and the marina friends gave us a very nice bon voyage party,
as well. Their support and help during the last 3 months has been
wonderful. It is a great community here at Ventura West Marina!

We are now ready to leave. We packed (and repacked and
repacked) the boat. We have an inventory of every item (well,
almost) and it's location both on paper and in an excel spread
sheet. We should have enough food for a few weeks (assuming one
isn't fussy about what they eat). We've think we've taken all the
precautions one could expect. We were going to leave last
Saturday. John became ill with a horrible cold and it was
accompanied by rain, rain, rain. The temps are in the  high 50's
during the day, low 40's at night. The storm should pass, as should
John's cold, and we will depart on Tuesday...unless something else
comes up! But let it be said...we're ready and waiting!

We'll be in touch!
Next Bridgies Babble - Feb. 15, 2007