Hey! What’s that over there?

plonk & meh

Last Saturday morning, I rounded up some helpers, and put the engine in the boat. I was running the crane, unable to really see what was going on, but everything came together well enough, with only minor cockpit damage.

Saturday afternoon, I hitched a ride over to Norman Island to spend the rest of the weekend with friends on their boat. It was a nice time, with much-needed socializing, and a great hike along the ridge of the island. All the while, however, I was consumed with guilt over not being back at the yard, either working on my boat, or working for money. Besides the deep and dreadful amount of cynicism I’m exuding lately, now on top of it comes this wacky belated guilty work-ethic.

So… there I am, surrounded by some of the best friends I’ve met here, and loathing it, loathing myself, completely unable to really relax. I’m poor company when I’m this pensive, I know…

At any rate, Monday morning saw me headed back into the harbour, and by that evening I’d scored a victory in Round One of The Battle with my Engine Mounts.
Anyways, the engine is in, and bit by bit (read: stolen moment by stolen moment in between “real” work) I’m getting the engine coarsely aligned. Of course, along with any sense of progress must come an equal and opposite disaster; this IS the islands, after all: my engine heat exchanger has been discovered to be blown out, necessitating an expensive replacement (50% of what I paid for the whole engine in the first place)…

Overall, I feel like I’m making real significant daily forward progress… but at what cost to my soul?


These last couple weeks since my return from California have been marked by the departures of several dear new friends. Conundrum left for St. Martin last night (or more precisely, very very early this morning) with Van and my dear Eddie, Twig & Bonnie’s Heron is gone to Antigua, Paul & Sonya’s Event Horizon is somewhere south (I think, and sometime soon to be north), and Eilean Donan is already hauled out, her owners gone to new jobs in the States. Small Scott is leaving New Moon this afternoon, after a brief yet timely trip down.

This is the time of year I most dislike. It’s getting hotter by the day, people are leaving, and even worse, I’m forcing myself to turn down offer after offer to sail in Antigua Classics and/or deliver boats north. The timing of the California trip was poor, but I so desperately needed to get off this rock for awhile! Unfortunately, It really shot me in the foot, so to speak; as it’s now too late to seriously consider launching Centaurea for a northward escape of my own before summer shuts me in. Also, work has backed up since I left, and it’s almost impossible to justify another “vacation” so soon.

Still, I’m full of renewed vigor, and every week sees me making signifigant forward progress on Centaurea. I’m feeling less process-oriented and increasingly goal-oriented. In short, I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, not brightly, but at least clearly enough to be able to see that it’s not another train coming at me. If, as planned, the boat is passably ready for action by mid-summer, I see a trip to… Michigan. Michigan? Yup, Michigan. Eddie has a summer gig up there, and I’ll be dying to see her again.

doo-dah man

The first week of my vacation was a real whirlwind. Still, I love a good road-trip, so when I had the opportunity to go truckin’, I couldn’t pass it up.

Orland Drive-By

I flew into Sacramento in the evening. Cindy picked me up and drove me the hour or so north to where they live near Orland. Even that first bit of freeway was a blast, after a couple years on the island where you seldom get any car above 40mph. Tracy showed the following night in the Kenworth with a load of orange juice from SoCal, and early the next morning I saddled up with him.


The trip, roughly: Orland CA, up the I-5 through Oregon to Puyallup WA, where we dropped off the orange juice and caught a few hours sleep. The next day had us in Tacoma and east over Snoqualmie Pass on the 90 to Ellensburg. East across the Columbia River, then north on 28 to Wenatchee, where we loaded up nearly 38,000lbs of apples, then caught a few Z’s. The next day, back across the Columbia and northwest on to Dryden, then looping south again on 9 to Ellensburg again. South on the 82 to Yakima, then onto 97 all the way south to Biggs, crossing the Columbia again, and into Oregon.


Then the tour of Oregon, on the 9; Redmond, Bend, Shaniko, and on to Klamath falls, before crossing into California once again, and rejoining the I-5 at Weed, just north of Mt. Shasta. Back to Orland late that night to sleep in the house, then out early the next morning to South San Francisco.

Oregon Snow

Our two stops in SF were re-scheduled, so we found ourselves with plenty of time to spare. We found a back street near the terminal and dropped the trailer. We took the tractor right into downtown SF, down to the waterfront, parked it, and strolled along the piers and tourists for an afternoon.


After returning to the trailer and catching some sleep, we finally made our two SF drops and made tracks for Sacramento, then Stockton for the final two. Then a last light-trailer blast up the 5 to Yuba city to drop off the truck, pick up the car, and home to Orland.


I really want to write some great posts, but just can’t quite summon the energy. Been some writing-worthy events, yes, but still a little too drained.
Stuck here parked in the Kenworth in South San Francisco. Some vacation so far, with tales and pictures a-plenty… and then the racing on the schooner yacht Heron, winning both days of the regatta in West End… and tales of the lounge, with Bakes, Sonia, Paul, Van, and Eddie… and painting the boat, okay, whoof, just suddenly so tired…

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