Congratulations- I hope it is a great feeling when she rocks as you step aboard.
LOL! You must have read my last piece in Mainsheet!
Or else you've been there yourself?
Yeah, she moves right, finally...
Here is that piece:
Life on the Hard
The papers are all signed, the contracts filed,
we closed on the new house and I'm in debt
for the rest of my life. It's a nice
comfortable place, but so firmly run aground
that it will never float. The realtors and
agents are all happy. They congratulate me
and shake my hand – but they really don't
have a clue. They think it's all about having
They don't know from boats… I walk
through my new castle and occasionally, for
no apparent reason, break out laughing.
Yes, it's good to have a place for self and
But where is my boat?
There is a lot of work still to do. Thursday
we hooked up the washer and dryer that
we've been hauling around with us for the
last eight years. It took an hour and a half. It
should have gone quicker but that we had to
change out the power cord from 4 wire to 3
wire – again – to match the socket in the
house. I change that cord every time we
move into a new place. I have three of them
– a three wire, a four wire, and the one that
actually came with the dryer, but which has
never been installed. That one has an odd
plug that we've never run into. It could
have gone quicker, but the opportunity to
teach a bit of basic electricity and
troubleshooting skills was just too good to
pass up. Dorothy learns best by doing. So
she did it all herself. I don't know how well
the lessons sank in, but she got it done. And
it worked! One more job done is a
seemingly infinite list before I can turn my
attention back to the boat.
Temptress, my Capri 26, is about 60 miles
from here (by highway), on her new trailer,
on the hard at Roy's Boatyard all the way
across town. I like Roy a lot. He builds
fiberglass bodies for golf carts. The latest
looks like the little red racecar from the
movie "Cars". It's too adorable for words.
But he builds and restores boats as well, so
he kindly agreed to let me work on
Temptress in his yard. She is not the only
sail in the yard. There are a couple of old
abandoned hulks there. They have been
there for ages. Windows gone, hatches
opened to the rain. No one cares for them.
They are lost souls – and they know it.
This is my first experience pulling a boat out
for the winter. Not because of the weather.
Far from it! We had two winters in a row
with real ice and snow, but the solar cycles
are swinging back the other way again and
the winter was barely cool. No, it's not ice
and snow that cause this. It's the move. She
comes along with the rest of the family now.
I went aboard her last week for an hour or so
after the rainstorms passed to vacuum the
bilges and wipe down the interior and
generally clean things up a bit. She moves
strangely on the trailer. Not the slow
graceful roll and heave that I know and love
so well, but quick jerky wiggles of tires and
springs. She wants to be free of the land, to
return to her native habitat and be free again.
I feel the same way. The land has long quit
wobbling. I can walk a straight line without
staggering at all. No police officer would
have call to be the least bit suspicious.
I wear shoes now. It's expected.
While she is on the trailer with the mast
down I'm looking over things, fixing,
repairing and replacing as needed. Like the
miniscule rain leak that would occasionally
drip through the shroud fittings – right on
my belly button! Inspect the mast head and
the lights. I've been up there once before.
When I was younger (30 years ago?!) I
could free climb that high easily. But now
it's not only not so easy, it's actually hard to
do! So it makes sense to do everything I can
while the mast is in reach. So I stand on a
step ladder and examine the mast head
carefully. I've never had the chance to do
It seems strange – out of place.
The bottom is partially sanded smooth. I
started on it, but quit until I can get a
vacuum hooked up to the sander to keep the
blue fug down. It would take about an hour
to finish but she's an hour's drive from here.
And the little shop-vac is packed away in a
box somewhere. It has to be done. But how
and when remain a mystery.
Every time I go aboard, climb up the ladder,
over the ropes securing the mast and into the
cockpit – MY cockpit – I'm at a lost as to
where and what is so different. The horrible
quick wiggle on the trailer is so alien to her
usual slow restless sway I hardly know her.
It all looks so familiar. All the parts are
there. But the living thing itself is absent.
The sails are all blocked and bagged and
stowed in the rented storage. The motor
stands on the motor stand. The cushions are
stacked here and there. Bags of rope,
anchors, life vests, logs, coolers, sun block.
All the paraphernalia are boxed and stashed.
Inside she is bare.
It's not that she is dead, although I'd be hard
pressed to prove it. She is certainly not
asleep. She waits, I think, in a slow state of
suspended animation, until the mundane
chores of the shore are done at last. But
"Come", she calls, "step the mast – hoist the
sails - let me swim".
Lake Texoma was amazing. 90,000 acres of
water, 30 miles across, most of it navigable
under sail. Set a course. Trim her out to
steer herself on a reach. Or convince Otto
pilot to accept his duty close hauled. Kick
back, maybe go below and fix a snack, and
enjoy the ride. The night sails were the best
of all. So little light pollution that the
imagination can easily get carried away.
Our new home will be Lake Ray Hubbard,
east of Dallas. It is much smaller, just over
22,000 acres, and is surrounded by
civilization. But this is where the action is -
Boats and people. Beer can races
Wednesday night, Sundays are for blood.
Rush Creek Yacht Club and the Rockwall
Rotary Club are two of the hosts for Dallas
Race Week. Boats come from all over the
world for the summer solstice weekend of
But first – we must swim…
And before we get to that, there are all these
other shore based things to do.
I think it would be easier if it were the