Adjusting to the Rhythms of Life Aboard

Deale, MD – The clink-clank of halyards rattling against masts and the occasional blare of a marine horn compete with the world music station playing softly over the speakers in our cockpit.

The winch, pre-servicing…

I’ve been reassembling a Harken 56.2 winch, one of today’s boat projects. It’s my second go at it. The first time it took me seven hours to take it apart, clean and grease or oil the gears and other bits and pieces, and reassemble…after which the drum the lines wrap around around spun smoothly, but when the winch handle was inserted and cranked it failed to rotate as smoothly and easily as it should.

“Make sure the needle bearings inside the post spin freely,” suggested our coach Jamie Gifford of Sailing Totem. “…probably something simple.”

Jamie was right: I hadn’t centered the spindle properly. Next week, I’ll move on to servicing its twin on the port side.

This year is all about “catching up” on maintenance — and striving to find a balance between time spent on BPs (aka boat projects) and hours spent sailing.

Satisfaction: replace a defective Mercury Control Valve, and the oven works again!

A victory on Allan’s scoreboard today was repairing the oven, which had stopped working during our ocean passage from Ft. Lauderdale last year. Allan intends to celebrate by making his tried-and-true pizza.

Getting ready to “raft up” with friends to watch fireworks in July.

Our warm weather weekends oscillate between boat chores, socializing onboard or on the dock, and going out on the bay – where we seem to inevitably discover new items that need to be added to the BP list.

Whether tied up or underway, time seems different on a sailboat. Getting from point A to point B is slow, and so is the rhythm of conversations on the dock, and of the projects we take on.

This morning I finally made it to the free Saturday morning yoga class our marina offers overlooking the water. Moving through familiar poses while making adjustments to accomodate a lingering back sprain was an excellent way to start the day.

Now, it’s time to press “publish” and move on to the next task: stowing things below so we can hopefully get out on the bay and back before the sun sets.

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