All about my big boat…

We are each, in our day, both consumers and creators. These two phases of our selves live in both flux and harmony; it is a curious interdependence.

In days past, my proudest moments have been as a creator. I have created objects, experiences, adventures, friendships, and follies. I have made music, made friends, made enemies (though not many), made money, and made love.

Still, of all the created things to have passed out of my self and into the world, the most remarkable -to me at least- have been the Monuments and the Relics. Some such creations have, in time, become both.

I was reminded of this on a recent trip back to BC. There, out back, across the field, in early-morning half-light, one of the finest monuments/relics ever devised lay waiting for my visitation. My father’s old housetruck, slowly becoming one with the landscape. It is so familiar to me and my past, and yet being just one step removed from me, allows me to breathe and move around it, observe it, and cherish the conflagration of emotion that bubbles up inside me at the sight, the smell, the sheer presence of it.

Of course, the similarity to my own abandoned housebus resonates mightily. In that, the difference between Monument and Relic is strictly a matter of perspective. My silently passionate father feels the same push and pull of history.

At our best, we each put something intangible and eternal into our creations. Only time and perspective will show them to be Monument, Relic, or anything worth remembering at all. Sometimes it is only some pervasive and phenomenal application of passionate energy that shifts the inevitable Relic towards Monumental status.

My bus is a Relic, for sure, but not so my boat. Yes, we were forced to abandon her mid-Atlantic, but she’s not a Relic for all that. Wherever she now sails or rests, she is undoubtedly a Monument.

Yesterday, a friend and I were discussing some aspect of sailing, and I contributed some anecdote about some feature of my boat something that I had long-labored upon.

He slowly smiled, and said, “You lost a lot…”.

I smiled back. “Yeah, I guess. But I learned a lot too.” It was a fair trade, a Monumental one.

Back at the housetruck, my sailing-companion and friend Cory and I shared a moment. Without much else to say on the matter, it is quickly agreed that friendships are greatest Monuments of all.

And so too, without much else to say on the matter, I agree with myself that many of the Relics of my past were once Monuments I had erected, and can be so once again. They should be.

In the meantime, I shall keep on creating.

I’ve finally gotten around to doing as I’ve often threatened myself to do, and tallied up all my receipts from Centaurea. I always supposed it would be of some use or interest to anyone else considering a boat-rebuild, not the least of which, myself! The breakdown goes like this:

Powertrain (engine rebuild, transmission, shaft/log, prop, fuel system, engine electrical) – $2550.15
Fasteners – $762.78
Paint (incl. sundries, prep, primers, pots, brushes, etc.) – $1759.88
Sanding (sandpaper, discs, grinding wheels, etc.) – $219.56
Electrical (wiring, panels, batteries, windgen) – $803.35
Rigging (running and standing, blocks – $1327.27
Plumbing (Hose, fittings, through-hulls, valves, pumps, head rebuild) – $1461.30
Metalwork (materials and labour on tanks and bowsprit/boomkin) – $1336
Gloops (sealants, bedding) – $262.66
Hardware (hinges, deck fittings – $330.76
Epoxy (resin, fillers, hardeners) – $1006.70
Materials (hardwood, plywood, glass cloth, lexan sheet, etc.) – $242
Sails (incl. repairs and one new/used purchase) – $720
Boat (Raw, tore down, as-is-where-is) – $3500
Total – $16,282.40

The Surprises: Plumbing accounts for about 9% of the total; more than the rigging, the sub-contracted metalwork, the tankage… Twice as much on hose and fittings than on wiring the whole boat!
I have long stated that the cheapest a person could get a boat usefully rebuilt and afloat for is approx. $1000/foot. Here, I far exceeded my own expectations and got myself sailing for $508.23/foot.
I’m still crunching the metatdata and looking at what else can be learned… for the next boat!

The world is starting to flame. The economy is in the tank. “Nothing will ever be the same”. Say it, think it, feel it, express it all or not at all; okay, I get it. But why the negativity?

I’m getting so tired of the same old piss and moan. It flirts around the edges of every coffee-shop conversation these days, or boldly proclaims, and in every form still feels to me like the worst self-fulfilling prophesy of recent memory.
Lately I’ve been given to reminding people that it’s not as if “they” took all the money out of the vaults by the wheelbarrow and burnt it in the streets, or dumped the global gold supply into the sea… Okay, okay, they DID dump most of the above into China somehow, but it’s not like all the money/energy in the world is actually gone.
As far as I understand it, economies are not built upon having money/energy, but are built upon moving it. But get this: far far far too much of the global economy has so far been built not upon the movement of money, but upon the movement of debt. Money may be a portable, transferable medium for human energy, but debt, if anything, is the inverse.
Now, finally, there seems to be more debt than energy in the system, and it should be completely unsurprising that the economy is going to shit. Hell, it went to shit a long time ago, on that long-past day when somebody started to equate credit with cash.

But the piss and moan! The fucking piss and moan! We all get it! Now stop whining, get out there, and produce some energy! Then move it! And in the meantime, try to remember:
When the rent money is tight, that you’re still alive, that air, water, and sunshine are free.
When you’re actually brewing your own coffee, that you’re not a kid in Starbucks-less African warzone.
When you’re walking down the street not actually being maimed/raped/shot at, that at very, very least you’re not floating in the middle of the ocean on a crippled boat wondering what the fuck just happened.

Oh, does that last one bias me a little? Maybe, but please forgive me. It’s been a rough year. This spring I’ve already lost everything I own, lost all my savings, lost the product of 4 years of labour, and, oh yeah, watched my last great impossible-yet-just-barely-within-my-grasp dream bobbing off and away, broken and behind me, into the sea.
Don’t coyly cough and smirk into your coffee, pretend at cynicism, and try to hide your fears for this unrecognizable economic future behind a stuttered parody of hope. C’mon folks; it’s every bit as bad as “they” say -probably worse-, and yet simultaneously not that bad. I call out fear as the flipside of hope; let us now take a lovely deep breath of free air and cast out both.
I know you’re afraid, but there’s fear and then there’s The Fear. How can you tell the difference? I wouldn’t have known the difference myself before this year.
All I can tell you now is that fear is what you feel when you’re afraid; The Fear is what crawls up your spine when you try to remember how you felt before, that time you should have been afraid, but weren’t.

And now? Economic implosion? Fear? The Fear? Nuh-uh; I’m still breathing free air and movin’ my energy…

Log notes

I’ve been slowly transcribing the Ship’s Log from Centaurea and publishing it to this site. The posts are in chronological order, and back-published to the days they were written on. To view them all, try this category link.

By request, a few notes for those of you not used to the format and abbreviations: The positions are given in degrees/decimal minutes rather than the older degrees/minutes/seconds. SoG stands for “Speed over Ground”, and is an instantaneous reading from the Maretron GPS. CoG is “Course over Ground”, also an instantaneous GPS reading, given in degrees true. Occasional reference is given to degrees “C”, which is a reading from the steering compass. This compass was never properly/accurately swung aboard this vessel, but seemed to conform to the usual 11-15 degrees of west deviation found in that part of the world.
Speeds are given as “kts”; knots, while distances are given in “nm” (nautical miles).

Our initial course was pretty basic: due north from St. Croix, passing through the Virgin Islands, then on a generally NNW rhumbline direct to the mouth of the Chesapeake. Of course, as you read through, you’ll see that we are diverted from that line towards Bermuda… A “rhumbline” is simply the shortest straight-line distance between a starting and ending point (actually, it’s a little more complicated, but this explanation serves for the purposes of this log).

The bits in [brackets] are added as i type this out, for some clarity. Passages marked [CJ] were Cory’s entries into the log. As I finish up transcribing the log, I’ll add in some further anecdotal information, as well as the transcripts from MSC Malaysia and RCC Bermuda.

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