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.
Joel