Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Evanston: crack; Irma; surprise
When GANNET was hauled from the water last week, the above cracks were revealed. They are at the point where the lead keel joins with the fiberglass hull. The joint was faired perfectly and invisible until South Africa, where I noticed a hairline when I hauled there. Most of the 8,000 miles from Durban to Marathon were easy downwind light air sailing, but we did have to lie ahull twice off South Africa and took a masthead in the water knockdown in a gale off Namibia.
Despite the cracks, no water leaked in from below the waterline. GANNET’s bilge was dry when I returned to her after leaving her in a slip for more than two months and none came in during the five weeks I just spent on board.
I emailed the photos to Ron Moore who kindly telephoned me. He recommended that the keel bolts be removed, inspected and, if undamaged, retightened one by one and, naturally, that the joint be refaired.
I had intended to call the boat yard this week to ask them to do this, but Irma will cause me to wait until things return to normal, however ‘normal’ may post-Irma be defined.
I have received several emails from readers aware that GANNET is right in Irma’s path. I thank them all for their concern and good wishes. Irma is indeed following me up the Old Bahama Channel.
Initially I had planned to haul GANNET from the water this week. Fortuitiously Marathon’s heat caused me to haul last week and leave early.
GANNET is in a good position in the yard, well back from the water and slotted between a building and a larger sailboat. If neither falls on her, I think she will survive.
I have been in hurricane winds eight times and do not fear the lower ranges, but this storm is said to be the strongest ever in the Atlantic Ocean with winds of more than 150 knots and far beyond my and anyone else’s experience. While the storm is huge, the truly destructive winds extend less than fifty miles from the center. Everything will depend on what path it takes, which can not be predicted far in advance.
I wondered what Karen and Flip on REVERIE, my neighbors when GANNET was in the water, are going to do. REVERIE is being hauled on Thursday and they are evacuating. Karen provided me with a link to her blog, which I will be following to learn of their experiences.
I have also wondered what I will do if GANNET is destroyed.
She is insured, but only for $9300, which is all the coverage Boat US would give me this year. Before I left California she was insured for $13,000. I paid only $9,000 for her, but have spent many multiples of that on her.
I am watching the Weather Channel, reading the National Hurricane Center Advisories, and viewing Levi Cowen’s updates each evening. I will be glad when this weekend is over, but I am not particularly anxious. As some of you know, I have twice lost everything I owned, and I have long thought the greatest truth is Ecclesistes 9:11
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all.
We will see what time and chance brings.
I resumed my workouts Monday with enthusiasm and apprehension. Enthusiasm because I like the way I feel and look when I do them regularly. Apprehension because when I have not done them for a while, they hurt, and I had not done them for two months because of skin cancer removal stitches followed by Marathon’s heat. I was surprised, and slightly appalled, to find that with sailing for three months, I had only done them fifteen times so far this entire year.
I went down for that first push-up with some doubt, but it all was easy. I can still do my age in push-ups, though I’m aware that in two months I’ll have to do 76 and I’m not sure how long this can keep going on. And there wasn’t even much soreness yesterday.
I hope this afternoon’s workout goes as well.