We are barreling towards departure day sometime in August. Sometimes it feels impossible we should leave in two months, other times it’s just damn difficult to believe we can get away then. The boat is going together, true. Two days ago Jon put the second rub rail back on the boat and yesterday he installed the plugs that hide the bolts that hold it on and epoxied them knowing today would be rainy. I finished the last of the cockpit cushions over the weekend and did my penultimate day at work training folks yesterday. Now it’s rainy for a couple of days so we have to find rainy day jobs that can be done in wet weather.
Varnishing for Inclement Weather
Varnish is one of those things since I have set up an indoor varnish station on my sewing table. On Monday Jon sent the newly constructed boom gallows off to be powder coated while I revarnish the cross piece that holds the boom. When we designed the new fully-battened main a couple of years ago we raised the boom for safety and shortened the sail. That meant we had to lower the boom from sailing position every time we wanted to stow it in the boom gallows. Now we are going to tie the new hard dodger top into the boom gallows so we’re taking this opportunity to raise the boom gallows. We’re also going to use the boom gallows legs to mount our new fiberglass propane tanks, so those new legs will serve multiple purposes. We’re reusing the cross piece – a hunk of teak with three boom positions – but just rebuilt the aluminum feet/legs of the thing. Seen here in the picture is my sailing table converted to varnish table, with the boom gallows and another teak piece that is used with the wind vane. I figure 8 coats of varnish will hold it for awhile, which ties up my sewing table all week. I’ll have to take the pieces outside to sand, but otherwise the work can be done in our basement abode.
Designs to Draw Up
I also have a laundry bag and a shoe rack to design. During out last offshore trip we just tossed our shoes into the bottom of the hanging closet. We also tossed our dirty clothes there. That combination was not a great idea – it was hard to find that second shoe when you needed it! And this time we will have an extra pair of shoes or two since we are going for years rather than months this time – we may hit cool weather in New Zealand and have to be prepared for everything. Since our hanging locker is VERY narrow (17″) but absurdly deep (32″ on the aft side) I’m designing a hanging phifertex shoe rack that hangs against the back wall of the closet. We’ll have to stick our hands through the foulies to reach the shoes, but it should keep them organized. Then most of the bottom of the hanging closet can be turned into a laundry bag, with room on the edge to toss the sea boots.
Idea: This year I’m going to put some hot pink duct tape around the top of my boots so I can tell them apart from Jon’s. Although his are hugely bigger it’s still easy to grab the wrong one.
Do you have a Measurements book? Mine goes everywhere with me. About the fourth time I measured the cockpit for yet another project I realized that once I measure something I should keep those measurements handy. So now I have The Book. It’s especially handy when you are not living on the boat, like those of us perpetually rebuilding. When your boat is 2 to 30 miles away and up a tall ladder and strewn with all your husband’s tools, it’s not much fun to drop what you’re doing and go verify a dimension. (“This container is on sale and would be perfect for pasta noodles – surely it’s not too tall for that bin near the sink?”)
The Book also saves my sewing project notes – for instance at left is the page with my notes on making winch covers. If one of them disappears overboard or suffers some other calamity I can readily make a new one without a lot of redesign and rethinking.
So if you’re having a rainy day and having trouble getting motivated, buy a nice moleskine notebook and start measuring things for your Measurement Book. If you have a bit of designer / engineer in you it will be enjoyable work and set you up for those next rainy day jobs.
Rainy Day Jobs – Just part of the Flow
One of things I love about voyaging is the nature of the time. There is always lots to do but no busy work and no made up deadlines. If the weather is stormy you shift to indoor activities and make comforting meals. If the weather is bright and clear it suddenly seems a great day to tackle something new. Now that my paid work is winding down my time structure is reverting to boat time. We are on a strict deadline as the North Pacific fall storms will set in September or October and we have to be gone before then. But on a rainy day like this there is time enough.
So now that I’ve listed about 50 hours of things I could do today, I think I’ll get back to work. Let’s hope you’re reading this in your cockpit, floating in a lovely place.