Thursday, June 8, 2017

To Poncet

Long-time readers (my favorite people!) will remember the idyllic Christmas that Galactic enjoyed at our friend Leiv Poncet's family island-farm in the Falklands two and a half years ago.

Left to right: Galactic, Leiv's Peregrine, and the family boat, Damien II
Beaver Island is a very beautiful place (above). And it is an even more practical place (below).
Inside the Beaver Island shed
Leiv's family have been keeping Southern Ocean working boats going for decades, and they are the kind of people who can turn their hands to anything. During our visit we gained a tremendous respect for Leiv's practical skills, and it didn't hurt my estimation of him when he expressed his very laissez-faire attitude towards marine engineering ("Regular engine maintenance is a waste of time.").

What a breath of fresh air from the de rigueur anal-retentiveness about maintenance that American yachties so often take as a given. Leiv has a great let's-get-this-boat-ready-for-the-charter-season attitude that has seen him across a lot of oceans. As is ever the case with a sailor, the proof is in the miles he has sailed.

So recently, Alisa and I hit upon the perfect way to distill our appreciation of that wonderful combination of vast ability and relaxed approach.

To whit, we coined a commemorative, eponymous verb: "to Poncet".

Alisa, in the act of Ponceting the main
To Poncet a job is very akin to the "get 'er done" of the American male vernacular, but, well..."get 'er done" somehow doesn't translate to solo Southern Ocean circumnavigations.

With the inaugural, one-boat version of the Kona to Kodiak rally just about to commence, we've had a few jobs to knock off. And...well...the bloom is well off the frantic pre-passage preparation routine. For once we just want to get the damn barky ready and go to sea without any bashed knuckles and late nights.

So, "Poncet it!" has been our rallying cry.

When we got the main down on the deck to attend to its rotten luff, I was at first dour about our chances. I figured the best we could do would be to patch it, nurse it up to Kodiak, and then ship it off to a sailmaker in Seattle over the winter.

But then we got into the job, and got into the spirit of Ponceting it - get it fixed, don't sweat the details, and move on with life.'s a very liberating attitude. After a couple days of working together on the project, we realized that we were doing a fine job. We don't need no stinkin' sailmaker. Give us a floor large enough to lay out the sail this next winter, instead of our cramped foredeck, and we'll be able to finish the job proper.

So here we are...ten years into the life, and just reaching the point where we're really ready to go off and sail the world in our own boat.



  1. A little late reading this're already a couple of days into your fabulous Kona-Kodiak rally....but I loved the spirit behind it, and the great shot of Alisa doing R& R.
    Cheers to Poncet and those who poncet!

  2. I like that "relaxed approach". No pressure on maintaining or fixing the boat. Just get the job done and off you go sailing. Well, keep safe and have lots of fun on your adventure!