Sailing Mango

A Mini Shake Down

For the past few months we have been hunkered down, hiding from the wettest Winter on record. Clever we are to pick this year to move aboard a boat. Naturally we bought a boat designed to move large distances, and thus it has very little open space so that you really can't bounce around too much in a rough sea. Also naturally, we haven't taken advantage of that in the slightest, sitting around at the dock tripping over each other and mostly trying not to step on the little dog. Until now.

Now, we are sailing vast distances over tumultous waters. Why, just today we sailed nearly six miles. Well we moved about six miles, and sailed about five of those. Nice, right? The winds were blowing hard enough to scare the bajeezous out of me when the jib was snapping hard in the breeze. Waves were smashing agains the hull like a hoard of angry jellyfish, sending several droplets of spray to land on our new dodger. We don't quite know the wind speed, but it was in the 20-30 knot range we guess, based on the winds the ferries we're seeing during the time we were out.

Our whirrlybird that measures windspeed has never worked, even though we bought it new. So months ago we pulled it down, sent it off for repair, and now we have a nice new one, still in the box. Knowing us, it will remain there, next to the brand new bosuns chair, for quite some time. Real sailers, we are.

Getting off the dock was a bit of a challenge. We tried to get out yesterday, but after changing bulbs and then buying new bulbs for our navigation lights, we discovered the wiring on the port side light was chafed through and seemed to have an open. That, combined with the prep involved for a two week trip, and we decided to chillax and leave today.

This morning I fixed the wiring, twice, but still the light was intermittent. It was the actual socket that was broken, doubly so when I sheared off the set screw that secures the wire. After thirty three years of probably good service, it is time to retire these lights. Off to the store I went, and out I walked with much more than lights. It is very dangerous to go to the chandleries. It's crack on a shelf for a boaty.

No I didn't leave it like that. Well, I did but I will heat shrink it and tidy it all up when installing the new lights. Yes, I will replace the wire in the near future, unless I forget.

But back to our six miles. This is Spring break for the kiddos, so we are off for two weeks exploring south Puget Sound. We are solo this week, but will be meeting up with two other boats next week.

Tonight we are in Eagle Harbor, and tomorrow we will sail another six miles to Blake Island. The following day will be a real killer, with a twenty mile sail to Tacoma. We will be burning it up, yo!

The kids are excited, we are happy to be getting away and testing our mettle, and maybe, just maybe, the dogs will be alive at the end of this little cruise.