Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Oldest Lesson

Within my climbing circle in Alaska, it was an accepted thing that you could only get in shape for mountain climbing by going mountain climbing.  No amount of training in town could get you ready for the physical ordeal of a mountain climb - you just had to go out and do a small climb in the winter if you wanted to be ready for something ambitious in the spring.

Long-distance sailing is the same way.  No matter how much time you put into "maintenance" and "upgrades" in town, a still boat will never be ready to sail.  You have to go sailing, you have to let the boat become just that little bit animate, to bring all the disparate parts into order.

So now, although Galactic is clearly not ready to go anywhere (I refer you to the scene in the engine room above), we are nonetheless leaving.  You'll never be ready, you just have to go - that's the oldest lesson we know about the life afloat.

We take the preparations for this big trip in front of us very seriously, so we set ourselves a long list of goals for improving the boat this season.  But our efficiency is limited both by the demands of child rearing and by my lack of native engineering skill.  So, inevitably, it's been a frantic five weeks since we launched from the boatyard.

Our plan is to motor down to the mouth of the river and sit at anchor there for as long as it takes to get this boat organized and ready to sail.  Away from the distractions of town, that should only take three or four days.  Then we'll be ready for a little coastal sailing and then, before we know it, we'll be ready to put to sea.

I'm so ready for the release of motion.  That moment of freedom that comes when we pick the hook and go is one of the things that keeps Alisa and me coming back for more, year after year.

Olives.  We won't run out for a while.  But we will run out.

Sixteen kilos of coffee.

A year's worth of filters.

After the kids go to bed - that's when we get things done.  I'm drilling a half-inch hole, all the way up through the steel deck.
Pasta sauce.  In cans.  There is no more traditional food for sailboats on long passages.

Ex-tropical cyclone Ita crossed New Zealand the other day.  The cyclone season is just ending...

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