Monday, August 27, 2012

Phone a friend? No thank you, but I do need a lifeline

Another summer weekend come and gone. I guess there's really only one left -- good old Labor Day weekend.

Why does time seem to move so much faster as you get older? If I was still doing advertising we'd be churning out holiday collateral by now, and that just really skews your sense of time.

It was supposed to rain all weekend in Houston, so I took a step back from the boat. I'm trying to avoid becoming the completely one-dimensional person who does nothing but sail. I wanted to make some time for non-boat friends. That turned into pretty much just walking around a mall all day, which is a rather excruciating task for me. However, we did have lunch at Cheesecake Factory, which brings me to the point of this boring tangent. I ordered Buffalo Blasts as an appetizer.

Let me just say, I think Buffalo Blasts should be their own food group. I want to shout it from the rooftop that I LOVE BUFFALO BLASTS. These culinary geniuses at Cheesecake Factory were like, hey, what if we made a crab puff but instead of using crab, we used chicken and buffalo sauce?

I'm just saying, they're delicious. You should try them.

They're probably an aphrodisiac.

Just saying.

Anyway, I was up at the crack of dawn Sunday and headed to the marina. I was going to attempt to actually teach someone else to sail. I was nervous. I felt like it might be the blind leading the blind.

As I was giving her a preliminary orientation of the boat, I realized there are some things I should really fix. For one, my shifter is reversed -- back is forward and forward is back. It would probably take about 15 minutes to flip the shifter and switch the linkage on the side of the transmission, but it has never been a priority. However, with other people now driving the boat from time to time, a reversed shifter is just an accident waiting to happen. I think shifter linkage reversal is definitely on my Labor Day weekend repair list.

For the most part the lesson went well. I think I actually looked like I knew what I was doing and all but one of our tacks went off without a hitch. However, we had one that ended up with the boat hove-to. That was an entirely different lesson than I was attempting to teach, but hey, grab the opportunities when they happen, right?

We tacked  back and forth to Redfish Island where I dropped anchor. The water was actually looking green instead of the usual brown, and you could see almost two feet down, which is great visibility in upper Galveston Bay. We went swimming without a single jellyfish attack. Aside from a motor boater attempting to set his anchor right in front of us while backing upwind to set it and having to yell him off while attempting to explain that he was going to swing right around into my boat, it was a nice afternoon.

I still couldn't get good sail shape with my new jib when attempting to run downwind on the way home. Last time I thought the main sail was blocking the wind, so I only put up the jib this time, but still no luck. I guess I need to use the whisker pole, but I didn't have it with me. It was a slow trip home at about 2.5 - 3 knots.

When I finally went forward to drop the jib and motor through the channel, the boat was heaving a bit. I grabbed the port lifeline to keep myself from falling over the bow, and to my surprise, the port lifeline went slack in my hand. It was no longer connected to anything!

I caught my balance, finished pulling down the jib and then took a look. The pin that held the lifeline to the bow pulpit had disappeared. The ring that held the pin in place must have rusted and sheared off. Then the pin worked free. Then my lifeline was left hanging in my hand. Not good.

hanging lifeline

Lifelines were my next big repair item, but I was planning to wait until November or December. I at least need to get this one put back together -- probably before we start getting high winds and storms from Isaac because right now that line is just slapping around on my hull.

In other news, I did put the ridiculously expensive v-berth sheets in the v-berth. They do fit. They're some kind of stretchy material that feels a bit like an Under Armour athletic shirt. I threw them on the bed right before I left just to make sure they would work, and I didn't need to send them back. I have yet to actually sleep on them, but I do think they will be comfortable. They definitely make the v-berth look much nicer although someday I hope to have actual covers for those cushions.

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