The tribe was scattered. Fawkes is in Chisman Creek. Fortuna is still working; not launched yet. Amazing Grace is in the process of being sold. Liquid Therapy posted status from the Solomons; they'll be away for two weeks. Monday Morning is on the hard, being fixed. Joie de Vivre was a near-miss; they're off north somewhere.
Things that Work
So much of sailing is based on hoping for the best while planning for the worst: making sure the sails and anchor are ready when the engine quits; making sure the engine is ready when the wind quits; making sure we have enough spare fuel filters when the fuel quits; sigh. When things work, however, the joy is unending.
Moreover, a great deal of sailing is learning. Learning to handle the boat; learning to maintain the diesel engine; wood work; plumbing; electrical; fiberglass; rigging. It doesn't end, and that's a great thing. Life is growth is learning. Learning something new is a joyous accomplishment.
One of the things that appealed to us about ketches in general, and Red Ranger in particular, was the idea of a mizzen stays'l. How salty is that? Sails forward of the main mast (generically, "heads'l's") include jibs, genoas. yankees (or "yankee-cut jibs") and stays'ls. A sail forward of the mizzen mast is a mizzen stays'l: two non-English words: totally salty.
In the spring, the crew of Fawkes stopped by to gaze at our mizzen stays'l ("Coat Hooks and Staysails"). We pondered (and drank some beer.) I scanned pages from a book on rigging, and searched the internet (and drank some beer.) It's a great learning experience because ketches aren't the subject of popular learn-to-sail books and videos; the mizzen stays'l is even less well documented.
Saturday, winds were light (under 10kn) so we busted out the mysterious mizzen stays'l. For the first time, we actually flew every scrap of canvas we owned. Previous to this, we'd only flown four of the five sails. When the wind pipes up, the mizzen stays'l is hard to dowse—we need to work on that. But when the wind is light, it really helps us chug along. As well as it worked, I think I had most of the fittings in the wrong places; there's still more to learn.
After all the fuel system issues ("Fuel System FAQ") we're thrilled senseless when Mr. Lehman is able to work flawlessly. Also, after having the shaft, cutless bearing and seal replaced ("Shafted"), the drive train is working flawlessly. Delightful! Thrilling! Amazing!
The confidence created by a rebuilt fuel system is worth every penny of the boatyard bills.
Let's go somewhere!