I’m not quite sure what is about sitting in an airport that make me want to write. Maybe it’s boredom? Maybe it’s the people watching? Or maybe the impending prospect of travel? Right now I’m sitting in Indianapolis airport waiting for my connecting flight to Chicago en route back to Houston. I had to fly up here at a moment’s notice for work. Despite the cold, it’s been a good trip. All work-related tasks were completed smoothly, and I had a lot of great food. For a Texas boy, seeing snow once in a while is a real treat too.
And next week I’ll be flying again. I’ve stumbled into a great opportunity to crew with Captain Paul Exner (Modern Geographic) on a brand new Hanse 455. We’ll be delivering the boat from Annapolis to Miami, for the Miami Boat Show. I know Captain Exner only by his reputation as a first-lass delivery skipper and owner of his sailing expedition company, Modern Geographic. This will be a huge opportunity to gain some real offshore experience, and will be my longest passage to date. At nearly a thousand miles down the East Coast, the trip will take us 7-10 days offshore, weather permitting. It’ll be cold, especially in the Chesapeake, but I’m giddy with excitement nonetheless.
My time aboard Lorilee has been sparse lately, but work continues. After refinishing the rudder cheeks, boom crutch, and main sliding hatch, humpty dumpty is back together again :). I’ve been using Le Tonkinois natural varnish, and I’ve been really pleased with it so far. I sand the wood up to 220 grit, then wet sand with 400 grit. After the wood is dry, I apply a few coats of raw linseed oil to saturate the dried out teak. It darkens the wood a bit, but replenishes some of its original strength. After the wood isn’t drinking any more oil, I apply five coats of Le Tonkinois. It goes on like melted butter, and looks great after curing. The only downside is that it takes 24 hours or more for it to fully cure. From what I’m told, this stuff never cracks or peels like other varnish, because it hasn’t any spirits or urethane to give it a hard skin. We’ll see how it holds up in the tropics. For now it looks pretty damned good if you ask me. :)
I’ll be writing throughout the delivery trip next week, but I don’t think I’ll be able to post from offshore. Wish us luck!