Being the master of my own domain is about the best thing in the world. The boat is coming along day by day, step by step. I got the propane stove/oven going last week, and was able to bake a butternut squash. Still have some soup on the stovetop now, which includes potatoes from the garden, as well as kale of course. I need to start breaking into the Quinoa stores that I brought on board, but maybe when I am able to sail her away. Got the radio working, procured some anchor chain, lubed up the pulleys that were sticking a bit in the traveler, and many many other things mostly small, some big. I also tuned the standing rigging myself, which most people would shy away from, and leave to the profession of the rigger. But I came here to learn all I can, and I have youtube. If the mast doesn’t come down it will be alright. I also spend lots of time tracing wires and tubing around the boat like a dog chasing his own tail. My surrounding boat mates have been very generous with allowing me to borrow any tools I need: routers, sanders, punches, or whatever fits the job.
*got interrupted while writing to go for a daysail on the bay with a new friend on his 22 ft sloop-that was fun!*
I am bleeding money like a stuck pig. Today I threw down for a marine toilet, one hundred and fifty dollars, and two winch handles, sixty dollars. All things that the boat needs, sail or sell. The more I work on her the less I feel like I need to let her go, and the closer I feel to Belize (oh colorful reef fish and crystal clear water). I do not want to pay a February slip fee here, so I’m trying hard to get things going. Tomorrow I will throw down another hundred dollars on plywood and fiberglass for a lazarette hatch and the forward hatch which are both slightly rotted. I also need to get the fire extinguishers recharged/re-certified, and have a few lighting issues in the bow to deal with to comply with coast guard regulations for motoring. Speaking of the coast guard, I have still not gotten my paperwork as a US documented vessel, so am not even able to sail her legally within twelve miles of land, though once I’m outside of twelve miles I am in international waters(freedom). I do have a 12 gauge shotgun and a 9mm handgun on board to deter pirates, which can be a problem in the haven of the Caribbean. Other things that are on the list are a handheld GPS unit, a small power generator (so I don’t have to take the solar panels off the vanagon), a flare gun, and a manual desalination unit for emergencies. Worked out how to take a sighting with the sextant after my sail. Maybe I don’t need a GPS after all.
I was unofficially adopted by a couple who are living here in Rockport: an ex bull rider,now rancher, and a photographer who owns a shop here. Wayne I met when I helped him free a cast net from the rocks near the boat one evening. “I saw the surf board on the van and thought, this guy must like water” is how he explained his coming to my boat and coaxing me into my swimming trunks. I was happy to help, and have been rewarded ten times over for my slight effort. His girlfriend, Diane, and himself have similar sentiment toward the environment and the state of the world, and so we have grown close in the short time we have been acquainted. Both are just genuinely great people, and are in the early stage of their relationship, so emanate the puppy love that they are experiencing. Wayne’s years trying to make it big on the bull riding circuit has softened his heart to the kind of people that chase their dreams on a shoestring. He keeps bringing food by(delicious slow cooked meat!) to make sure I don’t starve, and even brought by a few batteries today which he has ingeniously finagled from the auto parts stores when novice mechanics bring in the good ones as “cores”.
I have been honing my guitar skills a little in the evenings, doing research on the internet, or watching a movie on youtube. I am such an misanthropic isolationist. I am scheming to put a Paypal button on the site to take donations, and make my free music recordings available as value added. I brought the recording equipment down, but have yet to set it up. Most songs that I’ve written were inspired from heartbreaks in my navy years, and so are a little on the down side. They were my way of passing the pain when there was nobody to look to. There is also the problem of background noise, which I found quite perturbing when recording on the ship: muddy’s breath, his collar, a car passing, a firework(just now), a drip of water into the bilge, a halyard line banging against the mast next door, or a heron’s caw would all be picked up by my sensitive mic. Late, and calm, nights may be the only time to record, since it does seem quiet then.
My favorite Blue Heron still comes to visit me every evening to catch his dinner. I got a shot of him tonight at sunset. If you look closely at the pylon on the pier, you can see him. What a beauty he is. I guess I am in a routine now, and more comfortable. Isn’t that what we look for? I’ve been good at keeping comfort on it’s toes. We will see what the month brings.