“If you wait until you are ready, you’ll never go.”
We’ve been hearing this sentiment over and over for the last several months, as seasoned sailors and fellow adventurers try to reassure us that our decision isn’t actually crazy, and that our occasional reservations are, in fact, totally normal.
On September 30, Philippe and I plan to depart the Bay Area and sail to Mexico. We’ll be leaving behind a city that changed both of our lives. A city where we both weathered heartbreak, ate as much sour dough bread and hipster ice cream as possible, made new friends, and had countless silly adventures. A city where we met and fell madly in love. My heart aches at the thought of leaving this place, but I’m so excited for our next chapter.
As our departure date quickly approaches, Philippe and I are working diligently and unremittingly to get everything in order. We often feel overwhelmed at the enormity of tasks that still lie ahead of us (hence the “If you wait until you are ready…” speeches). From wedding planning to cruising prep, we certainly have our hands full.
The two busiest weeks of July included haul out and a full rigging refit. I came and went for various personal trips (namely, a backpacking adventure with my Girl Scouts and my best friend’s 30th birthday bash), but Philippe lived on the hard, carried Yuki up and down our precarious ladder in a crate far too small for his 25-pounds, and worked his butt off. Our friends Keith and Kevin joined for some of the fun, and Kevin took a great time lapse video of our mast being re-stepped.
The highlight of July was the weekend of the 29th, when we wrapped up our two hectic haul out weeks. We spent the whole weekend on the water, enjoying how quickly Untangled moves with her new bottom paint. We had a group of friends out for a sail on Sunday, and caught some good glimpses of whales under the Golden Gate Bridge.
From a skills standpoint, the most valuable thing we did this month was get Captain Jim Hancock on our boat. Jim lives near us and we’ve sailed dinghies with him in the past. We had heard good things about his cruising consulting services and his sail coaching from others in our marina.
The first benefit of having Jim on our boat really had nothing to do with him, specifically. We’d had to bail on Jim this past winter after Philippe injured his knee and needed surgery, but our only opportunity for haul out was right before our newly scheduled day with Jim. I was adamant that we not cancel on him a second time, especially not at the last minute. This meant that Philippe really had to work his butt off to prioritize projects, manage work schedules for the yard and our rigger, and get projects done as quickly as possible. This method had it’s downsides, and on a couple of occasions Philippe had to bite the bullet and pay extra to get a part here quickly, rather than shopping around for the best deal. In the end, though, he pulled it off and completed all of the critical projects to get us back in the water and ready to sail by our scheduled lesson with Jim.
The second benefit of having Jim on Untangled was that he’s an awesome teacher. We spent most of the day with me at the helm while I attempted to dock Untangled. Picture me, trembling and sick to my stomach with fear, trying to back 34,000 pounds of boat to within a few feet of two other, more expensive boats. Bear in mind that our boat only backs in one direction (to port) and the owners of the two aforementioned boats both stood in their cockpits, watching the show.
Jim was calm and trusting, and helped to significantly build my confidence throughout the day. I still have a lot of work to do, but am now at a point where I feel like I can practice.
July Projects & Progress
- Haul out at Svendsen’s Boat Works!
- 2 fresh coats of antifouling bottom paint
- Rudder inspection – PASS 🙂
- Replaced the engine raw water thru-hull that wept a bit when closed (more every year)
- Replaced cutlass bearings & prop servicing
- Weld repairs on smaller prop-shaft strut
- Replaced our PSS shaft seal
- Ground the edge of the shaft log for better clearance
- Replaced our old keel cooler (the old one was never bonded and salt water ended up in the cooling lines)
- Replaced navigation lights with LEDs
- Rigging refit with Gilles of GC Rigging and Composites
- Identified and labelled mystery wires leading to mast
- Pulled the mast out of the boat for inspection
- Replaced spreader lights with LEDs
- Removed obsolete radar mount (using pole mount on transom)
- Cut and soldered new RG-213 coax cable
- Replaced VHF antenna
- Ran a new coax cable and a new wind instrument cable up the mast
- Secured loose PVC cable conduits inside mast
- Cut, swaged and installed all new wire and hardware, with the exception of one backstay insulator
- Added toggles to lower shroud tangs to alleviate marine eye crowding & allow straight runs
- Had our jib repaired at Pineapple Sails
- Ordered a new-to-us Quantum Mainsail from Bacon Sails. The folks at Pineapple Sails will do a bit of custom work to the sail before it’s ready for Untangled, but it looks to be in great shape.
- Pickled our Spectra Watermaker so that we don’t have to use it regularly, but it will be ready to go when we cast off.
- Received our vanity call signs (KC6SVU for Carolyn and KF6SVU for Philippe)
- Spent some time with a doctor at the San Francisco AITC Immunization and Travel Clinic, where Carolyn picked up a couple vaccines, 2 epipens (just in case), and a couple prescriptions for common ailments.
- Took advantage of the West Marine Fourth of July sale and purchased a full set of new dock lines (3/4″ 3 strand Nylon)