The weather here in the coastal plains of Texas is growing exceedingly better. The long sultry days of summer, with their close intense heat, are waning. The wind blows gently from the North, bringing with it the smell of autumn. And thus, my work on Lorilee continues.
I still suffer the three hour drive to Rockport, every weekend. But, as I have mentioned before, the work is enjoyable, and I’m not toiling away in that infernal dusty shipyard. I have set my sights on deck projects for the remainder of the year, rebedding fittings and hardware and will begin the refinishing of teak very soon.
One of the more important leaks to be fixed were the deck scuppers. The Westsail 32 has two scupper “pockets” athwartships just aft of center. The drains themselves are bronze through-hulls, the first challenging task to rebedding these was removal. There is a tool that can be purchased to remove them, but it costs $75 plus shipping. True to the Minimalist Sailor mantra, I decided to get creative instead. A five dollar socket and half an hour with a grinder yielded this:
It worked like a charm. I pulled out the through-hulls, cleaned them up, and rebedded them. Two leaks down, and only four hundred to go! (Hyperbolic, I know, but you get the point)
Another job I’ve been putting off is the removal and restoration of my Plath No. 1 manual windlass, aka “Frankenwinch”. This thing is nothing short of a beast. It weighs about 100lbs, and could probably hoist a whale on deck. Through the years, though, it has become somewhat slow and difficult to crank, and the clutch holding fast the chain gypsy has long since siezed. Getting that thing off was an all day affair. Weighing in at over 100lbs, so I had to get creative in the removal. I just love solving a good challenge. So using the spinnaker pole and a few halyards, the windlass swung neatly over to the dock.
In other news, I took Lorilee out for my first solo sail the other day. It’s crazy to think that a year ago, I had never even set foot on a sailboat, much less did I know the difference between a sheet and a halyard. The weather was perfect, and so I jumped on it.
Once again, I’m loving being on the water, close to nature and vulnerable to the elements. Watching the fish and comb jellies school around the boat, and the local osprey perched on the masthead, I simply cannot wait to live aboard full time.
There’s a good chance I may be crewing with Alex on the final push to bring Eleanor home to Panama. We shall see if my work and life abide, but I’d love the opportunity to do it. In the meantime, I’ll continue to work on Lorilee, and sailing when I grow weary of sanding and painting.