Friday, June 21, 2013

Re-masting, part two!

Alas...despite Nick's help initially, and my possessed work pace for the next 8 days, I simply ran out of time before I needed to return to Orcas and prepare for a two-day Longboat Surfing class through Body Boat Blade.  It was literally as close as this:  I had 2 hours before the crane was scheduled to arrive, and four hours of work to complete...I had to call it off.

So I motored the newly christened "Lung-Ta" back to Orcas--a beautiful little trip with the sun beaming on my face as I felt the relief and wisdom of knowing when to let go of a deadline.  My poor boat looked as though she might have felt naked in a new land.  Sailboats just don't look right without a mast.

Mastless...for a while.
The class was a true success;  we had near perfect conditions, a GREAT group of students who truly wanted to develop their surfing skills, and I had the privilege of co-coaching with BBB's newest coach, Don Chayette.  Don and I stayed an extra night so we could fit in one more solid surf session and our friend and a student on the class, David Kau, stayed as well.

Don catching a nice one.

Back to Orcas, back to the boat, and discouragement set in....What the hell was I thinking?  What was I doing with my life?  Where was the ingenuity and excitement I had felt at the onset of the project?  The whole plan was all about living on the water again, and creating more space and time in my life, not less.  Here I was floating on a mastless boat in the cold drizzle of early spring, and I was pretty bummed.

Hhhmmm....Well, when we encounter such feelings we can give up, or finish what we have set out to do.  So, I packed all the tools up again, motored the boat back to Anacortes, then hopped back to move my truck there as well.  This "second round" was really a gift;  I had worked so hard before, but had been very attached to the outcome I wanted, and that had tainted the whole experience with a bitter flavor.  I had been hustling, brows furrowed, going to bed exhausted.  My unfinished tasks from each day got tacked onto the ext day's list, making it feel like I was getting further behind rather than the truth:  I was making progress, just not as fast as I had hoped.  Now, engaging with it after a break, my enthusiasm returned, and I vowed to try to have more fun with the rest of the project.

Lists to help sequence the events

It worked!  Even with some changes in my plan, and a lot of extra $ spent to get the job done, I had  a good time.  All of the guys at Northwest Rigging are knowledgable, and dedicated sailors.  My day always started at their shop and their smiles and humor were contagious--they seem to love what they do.  I could tell they wanted to see my project succeed as much as I did.

The day of stepping was nigh -- I was excited and a bit nervous.  One error made in the process could end in someone getting hurt, or the new mast and my boat being damaged.  After so much hard work and money that would be a shame.  I knew it would be asses and elbows for a brief spell, but that it would end with my mast up and secure, and that's exactly how it went.

Kent, Dean, and Mareck doing what they do.

I had a few more days tied to the dock in Anacortes to finish some facets of the project with the mast up, install the StrongTrack mainsail track, install the boom, and fasten and bed 8 chainplates.  One evening I finished my day at midnight and was asleep as my head hit my "pillow".

Looks just right

My friend Kimaya offered to come over and share the boat ride back with me, and we had a great time feeling the warm sun, and I basked in the feeling of a project done.

Mast up, boom on, new rigging

"Lung-Ta" still isn't quite sailable yet, but with a newer mainsail getting modified at San Juan Canvas, and a bunch of necessary deck hardware ordered it won't be too long before feeling the magic of sailing  again will be a reality.

Note spreader width


  1. Glad to see it coming together, Matt. Keep having fun.

  2. I'm kind of afraid of water and not a big fan of boat rides, but your most just made me try them out. I loved how you explained your journey in such a wonderful way.