Friday, May 9, 2014

San Diego: order; a three bandaid day; time to leave

        Were I given to the obvious, the above colorful collection could be titled, ‘Dinner on deck’, but I’m not and it isn’t.
        What it is is enough packages of freeze dry meals to feed me for 156 nights.  The total was only supposed to be 152, so maybe I miscounted.  I certainly did not check each item against either my original order or the shipping list.
        There is order to the seeming chaos.  As I unpacked the boxes from Campmor I stacked identical meals together.  This was easier to do on THE HAWKE OF TUONELA where I could spread them out on the cabin sole.  In GANNET’s cockpit they tended to meld together.  I then took one from each stack and tossed it into a trash bag, reversing direction when I reached the end of the cockpit, until I reached thirty, changing starting ends with each successive bag.  For whatever reason the last bag ended up with 36 meals.  It is not important that each bag be identical, only that each contains a variety of possibilities to temp my demanding palate.  

        Unfortunately that was not the end.
        As I opened the box of trash bags I discovered that they were perfumed.  No where did it say this on the box.  Perfumed trash bags are perhaps the worst marketing gimmick ever devised by desperate careerists.  Stored for months in GANNET’s small interior they would become deadly.  So the next day I biked out again and bought a different, fortunately unperformed brand of bags, and made the transfer.
        Each month of meals is double bagged.  They don’t need to be kept dry, but have sharp edges that can slice through a single bag.
        After bagging, they continued to live in the cockpit for another day until I installed the gudgeons for the emergency rudder, which was delivered late Tuesday afternoon.
        I did that yesterday.  What should have been a simple task of drilling six holes and tightening six bolts, wasn’t.  On the very first bolt the lock nut seized.  For a long unpleasant time, during which I slithered aft on the pipe berth, then slithered back and sat on the dock, I could neither tighten or loosen.  Ultimately loose won; and I biked out and bought different bolts and conventional nuts, which I secured with Locktite.  

        I also had to drill new holes in one of the supplied backing plates because of obstructions inside GANNET’s stern.
        Drilling through the transom I found it to be as thin as I expected.
        I also installed the two stainless steel plates to protect against the massive Jordan drogue bridle shackles.  That was after the above photo was taken.
        I hope never to use the emergency rudder or the drogue, but I’m ready if necessary.
        My plan was to stow the rudder and tiller  in the evil space inside GANNET’s stern, then stow the monthly food bags on top of them.  So more slithering, now holding awkward, heavy objects.  However everything fit as I had envisioned.  The rudder resting on top of two life jackets.
        Slithering has its dangers.  I have long known of various sharp edges and corners, yet cannot always avoid them.  In the end it was a successful, but three bandaid day, concluding with an unpleasant eviction.
        Several months ago I was asked how one knows when it is time to leave.  This is so subjective that I doubt my response was useful.  Upon my return to GANNET on Tuesday, though, I discovered one certain sign:  when birds build a nest in your mainsail, it is time to sail.  Or sell your boat.
        GANNET needs her mainsail, so with regret this little fellow had to go.

        This morning, following the advice of Prentis, a boat building reader, for which I thank him, I removed all eight bolts along the trailing edge of the forward hatch, spread sealant carefully down ½” of thread, and resecured them.
        Another boat builder friend, now retired, said flatly that I need to remove the hatch completely and reinstall it.  This, however, seems to me fraught with ending up with new leaks, and I prefer my old ones.