i_id: (Here's Matt!)
Today came with an unexpected amount of progress on Gandalf! Dad, apparently, woke up with a bug in his ear about it, and so he provided the motivation I was missing to just Get To Work. Together, we pulled out the entire port bunk and the shelf behind it, cut, pried, and unscrewed the v-berth locker from the main cabin bulkhead, and worked the entire port side of the main bulkhead loose. In the process, we found many dead wasps's nests, both of the mud and paper varieties, wet and dry, and a few strange surprises in Gandalf's anatomy. We now think, but aren't sure, that it was once ducted to use the engine's heat to warm the for'ard cabin. Neat, though not something I'll be recreating. Albin Vegas are built in Sweden, so maybe it makes sense that they plan for sub-zero cruising.

With the current fervor between the two of us, Dad and I hope to have the main bulkheads out by May. There are a few steps between us and that point, but not so many as it seemed. Unfortunately, the next one is the grossest: the head and all of its plumbing have to come out. This is a 39 year-old toilet, with a tank of unknown age... and fluid. Not even speculating as to the composition of that. But out it must come and so it shall be.

Also, I found what might be the first difficult-to-repair structural damage: Under one of my life-line stanchions, someone has jury-rigged a repair with some aluminum plates to shore up two serious-looking cracks in the fiberglass, near the hull-deck joint. I need to be able to trust every one of my life-line stanchions, so I have to figure out a solid, lasting repair for this.

Right now, below-decks looks a bit like chaos as things come apart. There are loose bolts and nuts and bits of trim scattered everywhere. But this is major progress. Things are finally moving again.
i_id: (Default)
The day the hummingbird attacked us on the island, I had been whistling. I was thirteen, with long skinny legs and cut-off shorts, harper-blue leather hiking boots, and a tie-dye t-shirt, and I was hiking along a narrow sandstone bluff whistling the finale from the Firebird Suite. My dad, puffing behind me, kept laughing, and every time I turned back to ask why, he waved me onwards.

"Only my daughter," I heard him mutter. He was proud, and I had faith in his pride and myself. And the day is sealed jewel-bright in my memory, as detailed and perfect as the tiny lichen-and-spiderwebs nest we found by the trail, the two tiny breathing bodies within defended by their jeweled dart of a father.

I'm not that daughter anymore.

I pay lip service to it, of course. I still whistle classical music. I own a sailboat of my own. And I have plans, big plans. The world is at my feet.

But I don't go sailing with Dad when he asks. He rarely asks anymore. I bought a new mattress, instead of a mainsail. I'm saving for a laptop first, not the new rigging my boat will need. The world, literally, is at my feet, open to me and my little boat, and I'm not taking those steps.

It's winter, I tell myself. Next weekend, I tell myself. I need this time to rest, I tell myself.

I don't tell myself to maintain my self. To put in the effort, strap on my boots, and go back to that island by myself, and climb that bluff again and again until I have shaken years of sloth out of my lungs and my long skinny legs.

I don't tell myself to maintain my boat, to finish the projects I start. Two weeks ago, I spent two hours with Dad trying to free the old fuel tank from the bilge, wrestling with block and tackle and ten gallons of ancient diesel in the narrow, grimy confines of the bilge. I didn't feel like his daughter when I was the one to call it quits for the day, knowing it would be for the week at least. The tank is still in the bilge, and it was chastening to feel how weak my legs were from just a few trips up and down the ladder.

And I don't tell myself to have faith. Faith that I can do the work if only I make the choices. If only I can get out of bed, step up, and step to it.

Have faith.

This entry was written for <lj user="therealljidol", a Survivor-style LJ write-out. If you want to enter too, do so today! Voting starts tomorrow and will be a weekly thing until there is Only One. Wish me luck.
i_id: (Dad)
This list is by no means complete, and will continue to evolve.

In no particular order: )


May. 14th, 2011 03:34 am
i_id: (Voyager)
So, April 30th, I happened to be checking my bank account and browsing craigslist at the same time. "Huh," I said to myself, seeing the price of the most recent listing in one window, and my balance in the other. "These numbers just about match." And then I saw what that price was attached to.

A 1974 Albin Vega 27.

A sturdy little blue-water boat already famous for being a handy circumnavigator the perfect size for a single sailor. In sailable condition. For less than $3500. The listing was barely an hour old, and I leapt on it. Called the man and left a message. He called me back, and after some scheduling mishaps, I arranged to come out and see the boat the next day. It was in Deming, a little town some miles Northeast of Bellingham.

I may be ambitious, but I'm still pretty much a boat novice, so I took Dad up with me to see this too-good-to-be-true boat, trying to rein in my hopes. I needn't have bothered. Despite having been up on sticks for somewhere between three and seven years, and lived aboard by a nonsailing family of three before that, the boat was in better shape than I could have hoped. Save one strange through-hole on the transom, I could stick her in the water today and sail her around, if the rigging is as sound as it all appears to be. She even comes with three usable sails, and an engine that turns over, which means it's repairable. The original 1974 engine, I think. The owner, an older man with a jack-of-all-trades sort of demeanor (thoroughly supported by the massive workshop on his property, the barn, the co-op school, and the 40' wooden sloop being used as a playhouse) even had all of her original paperwork, including manuals for both ship and engine. Honestly, my biggest complaint about the Vega is that wasps have moved in and eaten a great deal of the interior woodwork, which I would have been likely to replace anyway.

So I bought the boat. Not quite on the spot; he gave me a night to think it over (a night in which he received three other offers. I'm so very glad I put down my earnest money first), and I brought him a check the next day. He's been kind enough to let me keep the boat on her sticks at his place while I track down a place to keep her while I work on her, which I hope to do in the next few days. I like him. He's a little crazy, but he loves boats and keeps goats.

Her name is Gandalf. I'm not sure I'll change it. The dinghy will probably have to be named after a hobbit.

Pictures beneath the cut.  )


i_id: (Default)

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