We have a sailboat again!

After days of not having any sails on the boat, they are finally all back on, and ready to be hoisted for the big journey (actually, I have had the storm sails and a spinnaker I’m not rigged for yet on the boat but they would have made for a slow trip to San Diego).  The main has been upgraded to full battens, with Tides Marine Strong Track sail track system, and the larger jib that unexpectedly had a huge bolt rope in the luff and wouldn’t fit in the roller furling track (not for lack of trying) has been modified.  Thankfully it had the proper cut for my roller furling, which appears to be a bit higher off the deck than most boats.  It is amazing what Ballard Sails and some money can accomplish!

The new standing rigging is also installed – all new stays, shrouds, turnbuckles and an upgrade to an insulated backstay to act as a SSB antenna. The whole process was amazingly smooth, with the only hiccup being some corroded bolts in the end caps of the spreaders. Someday I may go for a more sophisticated solution, but for now the shrouds are tied in with seizing wire and covered with spreader boots – out of site, out of mind most likely. Cost of the entire re-rig and sail repair came in at about $2000 – just a little money to spend in one day!

Some other projects are starting to wrap up – the solar panels are mounted, connected to charge controller, and hooked to the batteries. However, I haven’t quite cut the shore power cord yet, because I’m still reading the manual for the LinkPro that monitors all my electrical activity (also just connected today).

With just a couple days left, I do have some remaining projects, but I’m transitioning into sort, stow and dispose mode. I have about four crates of gear and parts sitting on the pier next to me, and I’m not sure where I would put one of them right now. There will be some serious decisions coming up, and some crafty packing. It is a struggle, being able to have the tools and parts to affect a repair in the middle of nowhere, but not weighing down the boat and having bits and pieces strewn everywhere. 37 feet is suddenly feeling a lot smaller! And now, with the car sold a couple days ago, I can’t even haul stuff away. There is a boaters swap meet the day before we leave, but I think it is probably fortunate I won’t be able to attend it. The last thing I need to do is find treasures just as the boat is all loaded.

So the final plan is in place, leaving the dock mid-day on Sunday and heading over to Ventured’s home port, Bainbridge Island. We’ll probably try to get a guest spot on the dock, so I don’t have to launch the dinghy I’ll be packing up Friday or Saturday, and catch a last home cooked meal at mom’s. David will be arriving on Monday, and we’ll head north for the trip south. Some anxiety is setting in, every blog or story I’ve heard or read in the last few weeks have involved rough trips down the coast, with several boats interacting with the coast guard. I’m just hoping I’m not hearing about all the boats that are cruising down with no problems.

Sorry for the lack of posts the last few days, and the lack of pictures, I’ve been so busy working it has been hard to keep up, and I’ve been focusing more on finishing projects than taking pictures of them as I go.

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