Slip Sliding ….Away!

Time has a way of sliding down the ways. In the working world we dream of the weekends and vacations. On the boat we dream of a day without a project. But our project list is slowly shrinking and although our “To Do’s ” will never be zero we hope our projects will become more manageable and leave us a little free time.

Patches, our New Car with the Hobe Chaps

Patches, our New Car with the Hobe Chaps

As of late we’ve built or should I say rebuilt our dinghy chaps for the new “car”.  I took the old ones from the Achilles and modified, patched, added, tucked and sewed till there just might be more thread than fabric. We call it our Hobo dinghy and have named her Patches. She has a racing stripe and is multicolored. There is almost no new fabric in the cover and in one respect I’m damn glad of that, as today working on our painting project I have already splattered some Polyurethane paint on her.

Yeah, that’s another project; one we didn’t plan on doing as we had a contract with

W/ and Patches changing our looks

W/ and Patches changing our looks

Lyman Morris to paint the Cove stripe when we were land traveling. But Lyman Morris left us hanging; thus I have no respect for the company, zero, nada, zilch, etc, we’ve resigned ourselves to completing the project.

We had been using Poly – Glow on the Cove Stripe but re-coating it every 6 months became problematic. We couldn’t keep up with that arduous schedule. No way, no how. So now we’re using Signature Finish and painting it ourselves. We’ll see how it all comes out. Hell, it’s paint. And the worse case is somewhere down the line we paint it again. At least I’m expecting we’ll get much more then 6 months out of the project. And then….

In between rain and other projects we are working on a dinghy cover for when we haul it up on deck, turn it upside down and carry it above our aft cabin offshore. Those pieces are mostly cut and when we finish the painting project we’ll pull the dinghy out of the water and finish the cover.

Projects are one way cruising eeks it out of people. That and Grandkids.  If you have any interest in cruising for any length of time I have two suggestions for ya. First; become really good at being a “Jack of all Trades”, and second, remember what they taught you in sex education about where children come from.   We know many a cursing folk that are giving up this adventure to be with the Grand Kids!

Why people are so afraid to give their children the freedom of creating their own lives’ painting I’ll never know; and I am thankful of the ignorance. That and I’m happy my mother never tried to live my life for me. Oh; she’s tried at times to run it, or tell me what to do but as she has had  a full and adventurous life of her own she’s left me time to make my own mistakes and muddle my way through to create my own portrait. In that respect she’s been a true jewel. Why the current crop of parents and grandparents feel they can’t trust their children to live without them I don’t know. I’ve often said Sesame Street had something to do with it but I think it may be much more and much deeper; so much so that I have difficulty with the a misty fog engulfing my brain as I think about it.

And the second group of cruisers leaving this adventure are just tired of working on their boats. Boats are work. And anyone reading my ramblings know how much we work on the boat. I’m guessing we average about 20 hours / week but am really afraid to log it and see. Cruising is one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever had for the least amount of money earned. Actually it cost a bundle just to have the excitement of working on a boat with a new vista every so often. But the really, and I mean really the key is I believe that the boat must be as simple as you can stand it. Ours is simpler then most but much more complex then our last boat. We don’t have a fully integrated navigation system, we don’t have Radar; but we do have a generator, refrigeration and freezer; we keep most of the exterior teak varnished, we have a large  battery bank (not grand by todays standards but 4x’s the size of our last boat) and  lots and lots of wiring, it all adds up to constant care. The dinghy we have now is larger then we ever had when we cruised  Principia around the northern Caribbean and we have two outboards for it. One smallish one for putting around the harbor and one for exploring farther and diving more often.  Teak decks take a lot of attention and we conscientiously chose to not have any. I know too Mike and Sue on Infini actually removed theirs prior to leaving and I’ve never heard any regrets from them about the choice.  Steve and Kim on North Star had their Teak decks removed in Cartagena as well as the Teak Handrails. Sure, Teak Decks look great at boat shows or with a paid crew to work on them daily but here in paradise… they generally look like hell.  People try to keep them looking good but the effort is akin to sptitin into the wind.  We have Teak on the bowsprit platform and while it takes less then an hours work every few months it only looks good about once every 18 moths and then for; if we’re lucky,  a month or so. Then too we have a simple rig,  a cutter with a simple Famet Roller Furling.  You can’t get much more basic then them apples. But we see boats with Mizzins and they have all this extra stufff (4 to 6 more chainplates, shrouds, turnbuckles, rigging) all for a pretty sail that really, really doesn’t do much, all adding extra cost and extra time to the adventure.

So we travel on; always taking baby steps but reaching towards our goal of floating west. We’ve no children to suck us back to the US, we have a boat W/ and I can mostly care for and more adventures in our future to look forward to.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

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