It's the time of year when the wind around here subsides from 40 knots to 35. We've been busy, very busy. With the help of a contraption called a Boom Truck, we unstepped the mast on Jim's boat a month ago and completely replaced all standing and running rigging. We also converted Sockdolager from a sloop to a cutter, adding a new forestay and running backstays for the staysail, and we installed a track on the mast for a storm trysail. Then, just for fun (and at the urging of rigger Brion Toss, who promised it would be easy), we pulled the bowsprit and its platform off to inspect and refinish. (Note to selves: when Mr Toss says something will be that
easy, be very, very afraid.) Jim has been spending the hours in which he normally sleeps making all kinds of improvements, such as bronze chafe plates for the anchor, and having bronze fittings custom-cast at the PT Foundry, which is, amazingly, cheaper than assembling parts off-the-shelf. Not to mention twice as gorgeous. The glare from the bow platform's Xtreme Varnish Job atop the newly reinstalled bowsprit is causing dock denizens to think the sun is out. Nothing like nine coats of velvety-smooth Captain's varnish to point out what else needs it. And the rig! We did all the work ourselves, but with the expert advice of Brion and Gordon, we have achieved a near-nirvanic state of Xtreme rigness.
And did I mention my boat? Minstrel, we learned a few weeks ago, is going to be the subject of a feature article in Good Old Boat magazine, sometime in the next two or three weeks. Editors Karen Larson and Jerry Powlas are enroute by car from Minnesota as I write this, to visit three of their Northwest writers. I have been spending the hours in which I normally sleep getting her ready for a photo shoot. A somewhat comic boat feature I wrote in this month's Good Old Boat magazine elicited lots of laughs, so maybe this is a form of comically-cosmic payback.
Oh, and did I mention painting the house? I got three coats on the front & its trim in February, then painted the rest of the living room and the entire bedroom, plus varnished a bunch of crown moulding and installed it in the bedroom. Yes, Virginia, there is a glutton for punishment, and it's me. Jim, well, he's just a Super-Heumann. But these photos from last year's cruise, in which we were anchored with our friends Carl and Patti from Tonic, yet another Dana 24 (da place is lousy wid dem) in Wallace Cove State Park in Canada and then alone in Wolf Bay, are why we are doing all this work now. Happy Spring!
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