Bridgie's Babble - 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
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, 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!