Sunday, November 24, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Marion, Massachusetts

K, me, and Spirit in October at the dock

Spirit arrived at the house on Front Street today and tonight she sleeps in the driveway, her mast unstepped and in the grass of the front yard. It's been an eventful and difficult few months. We discovered shortly after my last post—or maybe before—that the wooden mast probably needed to be replaced. There are a couple of prospects for aluminum replacement masts, and another option is the repair of the existing wooden mast. My preferred option, cutting a spruce tree in Aroostook and allowing it to cure, was not chosen. My second preferred option, wrapping the thing in duct tape and sailing to the Azores anyway: also shot down.

Autumnal sea grass at Old Landing in Marion
We also didn't live aboard as much as I would have liked. I stocked the boat with groceries and toiletries and dishes, but the comforts of a family dwelling—laundry and electricity and hot water and plumbing—are often too hard to turn down, as they also were seven years ago, with Secret. Can it really have been that long? Yes.

The last row of the season
Exactly three nights were spent at anchor, two nights in harbors we'd already visited, once off the Elizabethan Islands alone, open to the current. We didn't make it to Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard. And still I focus on the things that were not done, rather than those that were. Spirit, herself, is exquisite. Beamy, roomy, comfortable, warm, thoroughly equipped. She's the perfect boat, already a personality, a boat I cannot bring myself to call an “it” whatever you landlubbers may do.

Mast coming down at sunset, as the boatyard dudes pounded down the boom gallows with a rubber hammer, far more viciously than I would have
But she is not yet a home. I remain perennially homeless. The most stressful thing about these in-between periods, the stretch between adventures, is a feeling of constantly imposing on the kindness of strangers, or at least friends and family. So we're in a holding pattern, and in the meantime, as we mast-hunt and paint and powerwash and decommission, draining water from the holding tank and the engine and the water bladders, we prepare also for another winter ashore.