If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.
Henry David Thoreau
Because for so many years the summer traditionally came to an end with Labor Day, the end of a teacher’s summer freedom, pressure is internally mounting to get on the river and sea, and out of town. Unfortunately for our plans to leave by September 1, we still are not away from our moorage. The holdups are brackets, brackets, wires and cables. Dreaming of our journey keeps us going through all the stutters in the outfitting progress. Last week saw a lot of forward progress. The surveyor came and gave the boat a thorough inspection needed for us to get insurance. The re-machined propeller came back from Seattle and the boat was hauled out to install the propeller, then it ran so smoothly we could hardly hear it. A dinghy was purchased to go with the eBay motor, and Jan purchased a beauty of a little accordion to entertain us and keep my musical mind busy. I’ve played piano since I was about 5, but the accordion’s key size is much smaller, and I’m busy memorizing the locations of all the different major, minor, D7 and Dim stops for the left hand. Then there’s the bellows….already I’ve found that it’s too easy to run out of air just when you think you’re coming to a rousing close to a song and it piddles out with a tiny whimper of sound.
Craig Shaw up the mast attaching the LED anchor and running lights
Nikk has been doing many small and large projects, including installing a row of 6V golf cart batteries under the floor in the cabin where our sodas, beer and wine used to reside.
These batteries will store energy from the two solar panels that have yet to be installed, and that energy will do important things like power the refrigeration and electronics. Of course, power needs cables and wires, which are being installed with a lot of contortions in very small spaces.
Then there are the missing brackets, the ones that were sent to attach the radar pole are the wrong size, and would result in the pole listing to about a 30-degree angle, not so good for reception (and appearance). So we’re waiting and waiting for a man to machine and send a different bracket. If all goes well we will do the final provisioning this week and be on our way next Saturday the 8th.
I have done sewing projects, calling up some very rusty sewing skills. Back when I was 12, my friend’s mother, Mrs. Robinson (yes that really was her name and she was not the type to seduce young men), started a 4-H group to teach us sewing and knitting. With infinite patience and a lot of skill she gave me the start to many years of sewing and knitting garments, with help from my mother too. I still knit on a regular basis, but haven’t sewed for about 20 years! Luckily my daughter loves to sew, has a beautiful Pfaff, and was willing to help me wind a bobbin, thread the needle, and get to sewing. The first project was sewing fitted sheets for the v-berth, the bed in the bow, which starts out at 74 inches wide at the head and torso, then tapers to a measly 18 inches at the feet. Taking two sheets, one a queen, one a king, I somehow managed to measure, pin and sew them into the desired shape. Another related strange project was going to Ikea to get a 3 7/8 inch thick foam mattress, then cutting it to fit the v-berth with a hacksaw. After wrestling the mattress into the v-berth, I put on the fitted mattress protector, and it fit like spandex on Darcelle!
Then came ripping out the two zippers on the wheel cover, getting new zippers, and sewing them back on with very heavy thread. I think that’s the end of sewing projects.
The last few weeks have been filled with good times with friends and family. Dinners, lunches, concerts, a pool party, walks, talks, and lots of playing with the grandchildren, with the realization that I am making memories that I’ll be able to return to when far away. Leaving all the people that I love and am connected to in so many ways is the difficult counterpoint to the excitement of adventure. I’ve been riding my bike around Portland, taking pictures of places, too. Here are a few that I’ll enjoy looking at when I’m baking in Baja. If you’re reading this and there are no pictures, come back, because I have to leave the iPad and go to Nikk’s computer to be able to add pictures to the blog. Portland is such a beautiful city, with so many ways to ride the bike. Tomahawk Island Drive, next to the marina, has a tree-lined median strip like Ainsworth, and after that my rides almost always take me alongside I-5 across the channel, then sometimes into North Portland, down Willamette, and back past Kelly Point Park and along Marine Drive. I call it the River to River and Back Again route.
Portland from Willamette Boulevard bluff
Peninsula Park Rose Garden fountain
We have survived all these projects with minimal damage to our persons, only some scraped knucles and shins, and are looking forward to the sailing adventure to come. The next blog I’ll write about a topic that comes up all the time when people ask me about our journey, FEAR.