|The Perfect Squirrel?|
The same attributes that make October pleasant for sailing can also provoke concern. The former hurricane known as "Sandy", which as a father is a name I absurdly associate with an aquatic squirrel from a cartoon, is sending gales our way, and has delayed my scheduled haulout.
|Not relevant to my haulout plans.|
Last week...in fact precisely seven days ago, my wife, a friend, and myself bobbed in near dead calms off the shore. It was warm, well...warmish, quite sunny and windy like the tomb.
|Note the gravity-driven sail|
|Should I break out the spinnaker or just try to find the rum?|
For those of you in warmer climes, this may mean little, but Lake Ontario is where murk goes to die, usually after wrapping itself in swamp-coloured muslin.
The yearly boat retirement commenced after this pleasant if nautically underwhelming couple of hours adrift with the hauling of Valiente's mast. This was an exciting exercise conducted with the wrong crane on the wrong day, and ended up with me buying a group of resourceful fellows a round of pints.
I must have been moved near to tears.
With the mast thrillingly untangled from the crane and resembling somewhat less a robot's death spear, I was free to stow it beside Project Number 1.
|This game is rigged: Note the arising Temple of R-Boat Repair to starboard.|
|Ground Zero for "The World Encompassed" could use some tidying up,|
Besides, it's good practice for the steel boat.
Speaking of which, the aforementioned Hurricane Sandy is producing sandy gales outside, making me happy I put on a third layer of tarp on the "lid" of Alchemy today and added some racheting tie-downs.
|I'm more "function" than "form", as can be seen here.|
|Dirty, but serviceable: When the wind blows 50 knots, you can't have too many|
|Doubled bow lines and improvised chafe gear. My bike-riding habit produces a good supply of rags.|
|Spring time in the fall! This better work.|
UPDATE, October 30: Despite some harrowing winds approaching...but not quite reaching...the forecast 50 knots last night, the boat appeared undamaged today. Tomorrow, Hallowe'en, I'm skedded to have a scary haulout in rain and light wind at Pier 35.
|If mere 50 knot gusts do this, no wonder the U.S. Northeast is half-wrecked.|
The wind was enough to tear down trees in the park behind my house. I feel both like I prepared and got lucky with the wind direction.
UPDATE, October 31: Got hauled without (much) incident. After the defunct hurricane's wind wrath, the waters were still and the wind wouldn't heel an Opti driven by an infant.
|Old, stripped and dirty, jus the way I like 'em|
|One does not just walk into the Bank of Mordor|
|Where I haul is lacking in charm, but also in high fees|
|Not bad for turning 40, is she? Not her best side, however.|
|I will never get used to this sight, frankly. Seems...unnatural|
|Like cleaning the hull and coiling down the dozen or so Sandy-inspired spring lines.|
And so to bed. Time for a new tarp, maybe? Maybe.
|Upside: Plenty of fresh air.|
Last and not least, I finally got all the shrouds and stays off the mast and they are going to be replaced over the winter. Took some chunks off my hands, but at least the tangs and pins look good and probably OK to keep. Bless you, fresh water! You save me money!
|Stays: Just a little bit longer.|
The old 'uns look good enough to be spares, or perhaps bits of anchor bridle for future use.
Now it's back to Alchemy until spring. First off, the rudder!