Monday April 13th, 2015
Today was filled with getting the boat ready to spend the summer in the hurricane hole. Yesterday we got three of the four sails off, bent and bagged. The Genoa is still on the rig as we wait for a lull in these trade winds that have been steady 15 or better for a week. The salt and the sun have to be dealt with as well. All the running rigging gets a trip through a cooler with Woolite then into a rinse to get the soap and the last of the salt out before storage. We have to strip the boat down to the minimum wind profile in case of tropical storms and God forbid, the big H.
You might wonder why a sail is called a Genoa…, if not, skip to the next paragraph; it is named after the place. The first time a Genoa was used in a race was in Coppa di Terreno in Genua. The sail was used by the famous ( I never heard of him?) Sven Salen ( just kidding I did know about him ), I knew of him because he also was the first sailor to use the parachute spinnaker. This all happened around 1927ish.
Where was I?
We took all of the left over food and supplies to the lady who works at the garbage drop off and craft table. There were three big bags and a basket. She was most impressed with getting the bags and the basket. Now I am eating dinner which is a little of this and a little of dat, the left overs from the freezer (which is thawing out) the fridge and some of the other hiding holes. Guess what? A pork tenderloin. I can’t escape pork. This year I even swam with those porcine beach hosts…
Some of the boats have going home parties to clean out all the food and the booze. I will leave the booze with Fracas it will gain some age over the summer (not that there is that much left).
I’ve changed some on this trip. I was one of those guys who had to have a razor with 9 or 13 blades at a cost of about $10 bucks each or $50 for three… and the shaving cream was expensive. I still cut myself and bled and bled. For $7 at of all places the demon Walmart I bought a bag with 20 or 50 disposable razors. They shave great. I also just use a little shower gel to shave with.
Tip three: Buy cheap disposable razors and dispose of them after two or three shaves… don’t rip your face waiting for the rip and gouge strip to turn white… You will save money.
When we were in Sponge Bob town (Tarpon Springs Florida) ML did buy me a tube of this olive oil shaving gel…I do have to say it is mighty fine. Couple this with a high quality disposable razor (on it’s first use) and you will get a nice shave, and I hate shaving. When I ran out of the store bought stuff, I tried just using virgin olive oil and jello but it was a fail. I craved vegetables and pasta… The left side of my face set while I was shaving…Tabernac!
As this voyage (holiday) comes to an end I find myself reflecting on some aspects of the preparations we made. We made the error lots of people make. We worked on the boat making sure that FRACAS was ready and stout to take on the worst the ocean had to give. Dave Daub (who by the way is able to move again using his engine) reminded me that I asked him what one thing did he wish he had brought along that he didn’t…more on that later. The reality, we spend more time watching the weather and waiting for the nice window to make deep ocean or overnight crossings.
Tip four: Spend the money and take the time to overhaul your boat’s systems and rigging. Buy all the life saving equipment recommended by Sailor Bill or Sailor Brian… OR put your money into the best weather equipment you can get. SSB receiver or transceiver, satellite internet for weather and grib files and take a weather course so you know what the hell they are saying about the weather (They keep talking about a ridge out here but I ain’t seen it yet). Invite Chris Parker to sail along with you! . If your budget is not limiting then do all three!
The weather is by far the number one topic of discussion here. It is also what everyone watches. The last thing you want is to anchor at Sand dollar beach and wake up at Nassau! The weather is a factor in everything we do. We position ourselves to take advantage of or to hide from some weather feature. I will still listen to Chris Parker because one of the family (FRACAS) is left behind albeit in one of the best hurricane holes around.
Tip five; Never ‘let’ another sailboat pass you. ( The trash talk just keeps coming from those Mangos ) 🙂