And so it begins …

This is the post excerpt.


A little over a year ago, Brenda (my wife) and I (John) plunked down some loose change we had just laying around not doing anything (first lie) and bought a 28′ Hunter. She needed a little work, (the boat, not my wife), we thought mostly cosmetic.

After 4 months on the hard (estimated 2) and the rest in a slip, she is still sitting there unable to sail. Oh .. we’ve motored about a bit. Run aground once. Even let out the foresail for about 5 minutes (and almost ran aground again) learning even more lessons about continuous line furlers and reefing and how you can’t do it on our furler.

But .. I’m getting ahead of myself. Today, it’s time to share with the world our many adventures getting a hole in the water into which we throw money, and why I don’t regret any of it.


Working on a boat while working on a boat

I’m a computer programmer by trade. No, that’s not quite right. I’ve been in the computer field all of my adult life, starting out as a hobbyist, then a computer operator, programmer, DBA, Webmaster, Unix admin, fast-response team, and now back to being a programmer.  I guess I’m just a geek really.

I am also lucky enough to work for a great company that allowed me to move from Phoenix to St. Augustine, Florida while continuing to work for them remotely. It’s a great life choice and if anyone can do it, go for it. Especially if you don’t like to commute to work every day, like to be home to accept deliveries, or just want the most comfortable workspace ever that you are totally in charge of.

There are some downsides, but who cares.

Yesterday, as part of my job, I had to attend a yearly Java security training course to go over the same things they went over for the last several years, and ten minutes talking about new stuff.  But the instructor is pretty entertaining so, what the heck. And it’s mandatory.

Since I’m on the east coast and the company is in Phoenix, that means the training started at 11 am my time and was going to run until 7 pm. I had three choices, get up at 7 am and work around the house for a few hours. Get up at 7 am and work at my job, then attend an 8-hour class.

Or .. go work on the boat, and attend the meeting .. on the boat.

We have a winner!!!!

Boats always have a to-do list, they never go away.  Some are little things, like replace the little plastic inserts at the ends of the sail track, that need to be done but don’t create any issues at the time.  I had two particular items that needed my immediate attention because, without them, I can’t sail the boat.  Or more accurately, will continue to have a boat I can’t sail but spend $$$ every month on to sit in the water.

We recently had the forestay and furler replaced, and the sail cut down to be more appropriate for the boat.  I’ve already put on a new furling line and run the sail up the stay, but it’s not attached at the tack and the jib sheets are too big. I mistakenly bought 1/2″ rope instead of 5/16″ when I replaced them months ago.

The other task is to replace the main halyard. During Hurricane Matthew, it picked up some debris at the top of the mast that interferes with the sail being raised.   And it’s not long enough to pull it down and clear it. And it’s old. So replace it is.

I decided that I would replace the jib sheets first, then the halyard. After all, how long would it take???

I only got the jib sheets replaced before it was time for the meeting. Boat projects always take 2-infinity times more than expected. Plus when I got to the boat, it was calm. Of course, as soon as I started to work on the jib, the wind came up and made tying rope onto the clew a major struggle.  And then I couldn’t furl it in because I forgot the forward block was broken, so I had to replace that with one I had already bought. But I got it done.

But then I did something that I’ve never done before. Sat under the bimini, smoked a cigar and drank some sweet tea while attending an online class. Let me tell you, if you are going to the office and attending an online class at your desk, or even staying home to do it, if you have this choice, do it. What a great place to be, sitting on the water with the sun shining brightly around me. Birds flitting about as they look for their lunch. Boats pulling in and out. And just a beautiful sight to behold from every direction. When the instructor asked where the remote students were, I was the envy of everyone there, including the instructor. When I then added that I was smoking a cigar and the tiki bar just opened, well, I was informed that company policy forbids the drinking of hard liquor until after noon. To which I responded that I live on the East Coast … and it was 11:30 am.

I could get used to this …..