Winch wench

Six months is too long between posts. Here’s an update. I have been eating all of the tacos and drinking all of the wine. That’s pretty much it. Just kidding (sort of). We’ve actually been working on a pile of things, mostly prepping the boat like crazy, so here’s a recap of the goings on.

Yesterday we went down to the mast (oh, yeah, the boat and the mast are now in two different spots. Fun squared! Also money squared times infinity! Yay!) to disconnect and coil up the old standing rigging (cuz new rigging!), install the new foredeck light and VHF antenna, and other things you do when your mast isn’t attached to your boat.

Side note, it’s very weird to see your mast lying horizontally, three feet off the ground. It looks even longer than it does when you’re staring up at it, which is kind of hard to believe cuz when you’re staring up at it–especially when you’re trying to figure out if you’ll fit under a bridge, even though you’ve checked the charts and tides sixty-eight thousand times, and you know you will, but you’re freaked out anyway until you’re on the other side–it looks REALLY long.

And it’s even weirder to see your boat in the water without a mast or rigging. Naked! Unnatural!

Anyway, in two-ish weeks, we’ll have new rigging, and other new things, like radar, a wind instrument (knowing wind speed is kiiiiiind of important), and auto pilot (with a remote control!), and be back on the sound, sailing, and learning how it all works together through the various electronic outputs. No rest for the weary. Also, I love technology. Sometimes. I’ll keep you posted.

OH! We also installed our new wind vane! In case you don’t know what that is, it’s that red vane hanging off the back of the boat behind Loren, and it’s basically an auto pilot that uses wind instead of power to steer the boat. And.It.Rulz, people. Like so many things about sailing (and science and physics and life), I don’t completely understand exactly how it works, but you set your course, balance your sails, lock the wheel, and then go do whatever you want (like sit on the foredeck and drink a beer, as one example), and the boat STEERS ITSELF. It’s smooth, quiet, and elegant, and it makes sailing even more majestic than it already is. We heart our Hydrovane!


So, along with completing lots of fun, rewarding projects and checklist items, like installing the Hydrovane and securing an awesome captain for our big sail south, we’ve also scaled our fair share of lesser fun mountains, like servicing winches, coiling rigging, and installing new toilets. Funny how the scales always balance.

I’m learning to push through the pain of learning how gears work (read: guess who had the winch assignment not that I’m complaining because Loren is a saint who would never work in the sun on the deck when there is crawling in tiny plumbing spaces to be done), which makes my brain bleed and my soul cry for mercy, cuz Hi, I DON’T THINK in 3D…


But gaining along the way knowledge that turns into power and insight and experience that calms my anxious, jibbity self.

I don’t think I ever really thought life was fair, but I think I used to think that I could (read: had to) muscle my way to the “right” outcome. Physically or intellectually. That if I just reasoned more reasonably, pleaded more earnestly, wrenched tighter, hammered harder, ran faster, justice would prevail. Sailing–and all the things that come with it–have changed that in me.

Pre-sailing Dawn would never have called it a day after five hours of taking a winch apart, cleaning it, greasing it, and “putting it back together,” only to find one lonely, left out part sitting next to the tools. Pre-sailing Dawn would have worked ten more hours to re-take it all apart, replace the missing part, and re-put it all back together. But who needs all that? Well, actually we do, cuz the winch is kind of skipping, but whatever, I’ll fix it later. Not the point.

The point is, working through things–with a tight and sometimes not tight heart and hand–to find where they lead instead of where I thought they belonged with a capital B, is making me happy. Happy in a way I never saw for my force and grit. I’m not saying force and grit don’t serve me well; they do. And I love them both dearly with all my heart and will never give them up. Maybe it’s just that now they’re finding a new place to rest next to ease and delight.

Cuz going for a beer in the sun after five hours of GREASING gears is awfully damned delightful.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s