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In appreciation to the readers of the ship

The long, strange trip continues.

It's not nearly a lonely life at sea as it once was; in fact, I have heard some mutterings from old salts that the ability to receive a cellphone call or text in the middle of the ocean is not so much a glittering advancement as it is an unsolicited horror. Nonetheless, the same cannot be said of the self-taught boat restorer/mechanic/carpenter/welder/bottle drainer and washer. That would be me.

I spend most of my time alone. I work alone from a home office in monkish solitude and I work (thanks to an employed Mrs. Alchemy) alone the vast majority of the time aboard Alchemy, winter and summer, as we crawl at reduced speed toward our goal of Sailing Away. I'm not saying I mutter to myself in the bowels of the boat on dark, windswept winter days, but I do have a keen sense of the acoustics of the vessel.

Writing this blog (also done alone) is a way to organize my thoughts as much as it is a chronicle of what I'm doing and what occurs to me while I'm doing it. It's not radically different in tone, I've found, to the writings, in blog or book or forum post form, to the musings of the mostly men who bother to write about this pursuit, hobby, life goal or lifestyle. A certain taciturnity takes hold, limned with superstition; the willingness to discuss what one is up to declines, just as the eagerness to forecast even a provisional date of departure is avoided, lest Neptune notice and throw a trident in the works. My stock line is "drop by for a rum when the boat's lit up like a Plymouth whorehouse: that'll be one week's notice".

But this post, marking as it does another numerical milestone, or, I suppose, cardinal buoy, in our voyage toward functionality, is made in appreciation of the advice, help, constructive criticism and useful tips I've received from readers of this blog since (gasp) 2007. A great deal has happened in those years, or at least has been mentioned in just over 300 posts. Quite a bit more, and of some interest, I hope, is to come. If my readers have liked what I've chronicled to date, there's plenty to anticipate, given that Alchemy is now mobile by prop and sail.

A preview of the next tranche of posts would be precipitous, but would probably be hard to view, thanks to the blaze of welding ahead. More, however, is very much to come, and thank you for what is past. Launch 2016 is in 14 days. Tomorrow and Monday are shorts weather: there's a ladder in my future.

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