Sailing Mango

36 Cup O Noodles - Locked and Loaded!

It has been a hell of a week. Here are the highlights.

We hauled out in Edmonds on the way home from the Gulf Islands to inspect the keel after our barnacle scrap job. Just a quick hang in the sling, about an hour of air time. The grounding seemed to have stripped off a bit of gel coat, and in one section there is a gouge about 3mm deep into the fiberglass. Against the odds, there was another Wauquiez Amphitrite in the marina. We met them a little over a year ago when looking to buy Mango. When the man of the couple took a look at our keel, he said "Oh I ran aground and tore out a chunk of fiberglass as big as my knuckle! You're fine, mate!" So for now we will call it yet another beauty mark, albeit underwater. The next time we haul out for other reasons we will repair it properly.

One of our neighbors, a truely awesome person who has always been so very helpful, has been working with us on the interior of the boat, mostly around stowage. She and her family have been to MX and back, including a stint over to Hawaii on the return trip, so she knows what works in a boat, and what doesn't. Our boat is mostly on the "what doesn't" side. Her history includes being an educator and a large animal handler. Sometimes I think she is handling me like a large animal, say a cow or a horse, patiently telling me what to do, multiple times. Sometimes it sinks in. I suppose that sometimes it doesn't.

At one point she was telling me where to drill holes, and put in screws, and I swear without realizing it I was thinking "Yes mam, no mam", not too dissimilar to how one speaks to a customs agent when crossing a boarder.

Our leaky fuel pump is at the shop, awaiting a rebuild. I am happy to say I got it 95% off the engine myself. That other 5% flummoxed me, and I got help.

Today we went to the store to do an initial provisioning run. We plan on seven people for seven days. So if we each have an apple a day, that's nearly fifty apples! I would have had a hard time stowing that many apples in our house, let alone a boat. But I did get to buy half a bag of instant potatoes, another check off the bucket list.

The biggest issue this week was when our delivery captain cancelled. Something came up, and he had to bail. It happens I suppose, but with little more than a week before departure, it was a tough message. So we cast our net, and in the last two days found two people willing to be our captain, and today we pulled the trigger on one of them. Whew, what a relief. Our targeted departure date is Friday the 27th.

Then there is the little stuff. Clearing the deck, ordering last minute bits and pieces, shaving and washing the dogs, scrubbing the cockpit cushions, cleaning the dinghy, etc., etc.

The kids have been great, and very helpful with mundane tasks such as dishes and cleaning, to E going up the mast to install our replacement whirrly bird. She was incredible, and I am absolutely certain that I was much more terrified than she was. The upside is we now know how fast the wind is blowing! Imagine that!

Tomorrow Kristen and E will go over to her parents to cook the day away for our trip. The story I hear is the first three days at sea can be rough, so bland, easy to make food is the order of the day.

There is still a lot to do. The radar should be connected, solar panels stowed, rope put away, and decisions on what shoes to wear need to be made. Lots of work, but we are all getting pretty excited. It's getting real, real fast.

Hanging around.

Two lines for safety. The green line was attached to the bosons chair, and was the primary lifting line. The white line was just a secondary line attached to her life jacket, independent of the chair and attached to a different section of the mast. Redundancy is good!

This is the top of the mast, with a white line tied to the anemometer, aka the whirrly bird. That line was used to tie the anemometer to E's harness, just in case it fell out of her pocket. As I was just lowering her after the install, she says:

E: "Hang on, uh, I'm sliding to the side in the harness. Raise me up a bit."
Me: Give the winch a few cranks.
E: "OK. Lower me down. Stop! I'm still sliding. Back up a foot or so. Oh, right! Hang on! OK, lower me down."

When she got to the deck, she looks me in the eye and says: "That anemometer is attached really well to the mast."

This is the kind of picture you have to earn.

Pulling the fuel pump. It is nice sometimes to have three hands, plus one to take pictures.

Our keel is really pretty bad ass.

Good bye, paint and gel coat. We barely knew ya!

This is the major gouge, about eight inches long? Something like that.

Here you can see how deep it goes with my calibrated finger nail as a guage, through gel coat and into the fiberglass. I estimate 2-3mm of fiberglass was gouged.

This is the front of the keel, showing missing gel coat, but the fiberglass was fine.

Just one more week!