Monday, September 10, 2012

A long overdue post: 2012 Summer on the Run

Okay, so, neither Joel nor I will ever win the award for "most attentive blogger"... oh well.  I used to try to keep diaries when I was younger; I think my record for consecutive entries was 3 days.  Back then, my excuse was, "My life is too boring to write about; nobody wants to know what I eat for breakfast or do during school".  Now, I find myself teetering on the edge of the same excuse that causes most of us sailors to embark on our journeys in the first place: I'm busy.  But busy doing what exactly?
 Well, for once in my life, I may have a decent excuse.  Joel and I spend most of our free time simply talking.  We're planning a wedding, and though it took us (okay, me) a while to get the guts to plan the wedding that we truly want (a Grayton Beach wedding including only our closest relatives... instead of the initially-planned Carlyle Lake wedding, which would've had a guest list of about 200 because we felt like we had to invite that many), we're so much happier and more excited.  This February 16, 2013, Joel and I will be celebrating 5 years of dating and begin the rest of our years as a married couple.  Pretty cool, huh? The rest of our thoughts dwell on our life goals.  Obviously, we want to go cruising before we get anchored by some of the great, but heavy, things in life (kids, etc).  However, we need some funds to do that, and we also want to get accustomed to married life before we confine ourselves to a sailboat for extended periods of time.  We're dealing with some big questions/challenges, and there are no simple answers.
Believe it or not, we have accomplished some work on the boat since our last entry in May.  Joel installed a storage compartment in the galley where the old broken cooler used to be.  I refinished the salon floor.  I got a lot more sailing/coving out experience... most recently this weekend, when we were sleeping through winds sustained at 10 and gusting at 16 knots or more).  We found out what it's like to have to re-anchor at 5am because you've dragged 200 feet.  We installed our new Dieball headsail and are giddily pleased with the ability to unfurl/furl it as we wish.
In short: we're figuring things out, slowly but surely. About ourselves, about our boat, and about our future.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

First Cove Out of the Year! :D

Now, for those of you who are actually able to do some blue water voyaging, this post may be a little dull.  But if you are landlocked and limited to the largest lake in Illinois, you'll understand the happiness that comes from being able to sail out of your marina under on a cool night under a blanket of stars to an empty cove.  The Pascagoula Run and our friend Kacey's boat, Wind Gypsy, made the trip last Saturday night and anchored together in Cole's Creek.  Though the lack of wind that night caused us to motor, we had a good time "sailing" side by side and listening to music across the black glassy water.  The next morning, I made a full breakfast: eggs, sausage, bacon, and even fluffy biscuits (provided by Kacey), on our functioning stove/oven.  We ate and took in the view... and were surprised to see a bald eagle on the shore. Though these birds come down in the winter to Alton (a town about 2 hours away), we rarely ever see them around here.  After cleaning up, we took advantage of the 10 knot winds and enjoyed a great sail.  Overall, a great first cove-out of the year. Oh, and on a side-note: Joel finished hooking up the sink in our head, so we now have running water to 1 of our 2 sinks! It's the simple things in life you treasure :)

Monday, April 30, 2012

April Hailstorms Bring: An Upright Mast, Graduation, and New Beginnings

This weekend marked a number of changes.  Firstly, I finished student teaching at Cahokia High School; while my student teaching experience was not easy due to the condition of this long-struggling school district, I learned a lot and will never forget the students who taught me just as much as I taught them. I graduate this Saturday, and look forward to having my own classroom one day.
Secondly, I became a first time storm-chaser... or storm-chasee?  I was on my way from work to the marina (an hour-long drive) when the second of three massive thunder/hailstorms in the metro area caught up with me.  The sky from behind me turned a deep slate-gray and within the first 15 minutes of my trip I was engulfed in a torrent of rain and hail.  Forced to pull off of rural route 50 due to NO visibility, I sought shelter next to the barn of the first house I could find.  I couldn't see or hear anything for 15 minutes except the streaks of golf ball and fist-sized hail pounding against my care from every direction and bouncing up after hitting the ground.  I'm not normally afraid of storms, and it's intimidating to know that you have no option other than to take what nature hits you with.  Anyway, long story short, the hail eventually stopped and though I had to pull over one other time because of the heavy rain and fog, I made the trip to the marina in just under 2 hours slightly hopped up on adrenaline but otherwise no worse for the wear.
Finally, we got the mast up this weekend and are very pleased to be the owners of a sailboat again.  The only downside is that the drum on the new roller-furler is slightly too big to fit in the same area as the bow-pulpit, but that pulpit can be cut and modified.  We can't wait to try out the furler!
towards the end of the hailstorm... you can actually see beyond the car
On my second stop in Trenton, all of the streets/curbs were lined with drifts of hail
In summary, a bunch of aspects of our lives are starting to come together.  Joel and I are finally starting to have time to make wedding plans, and more life plans.  I've been reading a bunch of sailing books (thank you Tim and Deb Akey!) since I have the time to read for fun again.  While it's true that I'm facing a rough state economy that makes the job market incredibly difficult for securing a teaching position, I'm not worried.  I'm going to take this time to grow and work more with Joel and the boat, and I am also looking into pursing my master's degree right away in a TESL program at SIUE.  Teaching English as a second language gives me the opportunity to take something I love and possibly put it to use down in the tropics, where poverty-stricken children really need good teachers.  I've never made it to a huge turning point in my life and been this at ease... it's a great feeling, and I think a lot of that positivity comes from my satisfaction with the way my life is looking.  I really feel like I'm doing something with my life, and I'm excited about what's yet to come.
Joel drilling holes for the new backing plates in the mast.
it speaks for itself :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Soaking up the sun

Here we are laying on the beach siesta key  Florida and other than making"wedding plans" I keep thinking of what we are going to accomplish next on the boat.  We received our order from rigging only.  I Highly recommend your services!  A few modifications are required for the new t ball backing plates.  Both the lowers were snapped in half.  The mast had a recall years ago. Apparently no one fixed it.... bits when we are finished the rigging should be in good shape.  We got a few new ideas from my uncle for the interior.  I really look forward to trying it out!  Well I am going to ho back to relaxing with the sound of the surf in the background. Maybe the next post will ne about raising the mast.  Until next time, fair winds.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Summer To-Do List

Here's our list of projects that we intend to tackle this sailing season:

Replace standing rigging (shipping in as we speak :)
Order new head sail *check :)
Refurbish galley area
Build an ice box where the old/super in-efficient/broken drop-in fridge was
Urethane the salon floorboards
Line the aft cabin with insulation & new carpeting
Have new aft cabin cushions made
Fix cracks in headliner

Since I won't have any summer classes for the first time in 3 years, this list actually looks do-able :)  

From No Name to New Name

As of this weekend, the boat will finally bear its name on something other than the US Coast Guard documents... lol. We are having a re-naming ceremony on Saturday along with some other couples at Boulder Marina.  I can't wait to actually see the name on the boat.  This is just the transom cover, which Joel and I worked on this weekend.  We are planning on putting the name on the starboard side of the boat as well when we pull our boat our for cleaning in the next few weeks.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mast Down!

While I am sad to report that our mast is down again (the last time being when it was laying in the weeds on the wooded edge of the marina when we bought the boat), this time it is down for a good reason.  We purchased a Harken roller-furler this winter, and with that purchase, we decided it is also the right time to replace pretty much all of our standing rigging.  Some of the stays are slightly corroded from saltwater exposure.  We have also ordered a new head sail. :D So, in short, we are decently low on funds right now, but during the next couple of months, the Run is going to see some pretty awesome changes.  Pictures of our winter escapades will follow shortly.