Lite winds but still got her up to 6 knots

The weekend started nice with wind and sunshine on Friday morning following brief showers the night before. Marina called and said she wouldn’t be down to the boat until late Friday night as her boyfriend, Josh, had to work and he was bringing his son and brother along. I got busy with boat projects such as working on the stern light, and attempting to cut some bolts on the dinghy with a dremel,... which didn’t work like I had wished. I guess I’ll try a bolt cutter next.

James Bible came down to the boat later Friday morning to get to work assessing my standing rigging. On deck and below decks chain plates and turn buckles were checked and everything looked pretty good. He tuned the rig, took the kink out of the mizzen mast, and replaced a number of cotter pins. The one shroud for the mizzen that we had already identified as problematic will be removed and sent off for replacement this coming Tuesday. That will cancel out any sailing next weekend; however it will make it possible to get more work done. Marina needs to get the paint off of the stern and I need to get to work on the bow pulpit footings, the dodger and installing a bracket for the chart plotter. If time permits, a good boat scrubbing is needed as well.

Just as James was leaving I spotted a diver heading away and stopped him to inquire about his services. He said he wouldn’t charge me to take a look at my shaft zinc so I asked him to do so. He got right back into the water, came up to tell me I no longer had a zinc and only charged me $20 bucks to put a new one on. He said the bottom looked good and that there were no barnacles anywhere.

Saturday we went sailing. The breeze was light, but enough to get us up to 5 and sometimes 6 knots under jib and mizzen sails. I had folded down the bimini so that we could use the main sail but it didn’t seem to be needed so it remained tied to the boom. Neither Josh, his son Jude, nor his brother Leon had ever been sailing before. It was fun having them take the helm and get a feel for steering. No one got sea sick, but Jude got a bit frustrated with his life jacket and the restrictions that keeping a two year old safe required. He just didn’t see the need and let us know about it. Between Marina and Leon, Jude was kept safe and for the most part happy.

Josh seems to enjoy the whole “boating” thing and is motivated to learn as well as lend a hand during docking maneuvers, steering, and galley chores. Besides, I enjoy having him along; he is smart, energetic, interesting to talk with, and Marina seems very happy, which is all I really care about. Leon said, when asked what he liked best about the day, was the steering. We were broad reaching back towards the homeport and he seemed to have a wonderful time getting a feel for steering a straight course with the winds gusting about.

Back at the dock we backed in again, with somewhat less drama than the last time. I still have a way to go getting that maneuver down pat, but I’m still learning the boat so I expect it won’t be much longer until I get it consistently right. We secured the lines, hooked up shore power, covered the sails and secured odds and ends of gear. The kids then headed over to New Bern to explore and get something to eat while I stayed behind to read a bit and take a nap. They returned about seven or so bringing me the leftover food from their trip, and gathering up their stuff, headed back to Goldsboro. I spent a little time assembling up my stuff so I’d be ready in the morning, then it was time for me to crawl into my bunk and drift off to sleep. In the morning I made myself some oatmeal, once I stopped cussing the pot for hiding in plain sight. A hand full of cranberries, a dollop of maple syrup, and a bit of rice milk to cool it down a tad got me started. I washed the dishes and bagged up the trash and by the time I was done my tea had steeped enough and I hoisted my gear up to the cockpit, took one quick look around to ensure all was in order, then took my tea up topside to enjoy the morning on deck.

After pleasant visit with a few of my dock mates as I sat drinking my tea, I grabbed my stuff and trudged up the dock to the car, drove over to West Marine to return a cup holder that didn’t fit the bar on my binnacle, and then plugging in a audio book into the car stereo, headed away towards Goldsboro. Once home I unloaded the car, fed the cats, took a short nap and then got busy mowing the front lawn. I’ll be so glad when I sell the house and can exchange lawn care for boat bottom care.

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