“What are the chances you won’t be ready?” asked my wife one evening.
It’s not crunch time yet, but it’s getting close. My first-of-October departure is now less than four months out, and though many, many items have been crossed off the expansive (to be kind) list, the items undone still trail to the floor. I’ll admit I’m getting nervous. At this point in the project, I’d like to be packing lockers, studying charts, testing gear; instead, I’m still tearing stuff apart.
“Zero,” I said. “The question is how much won’t get done before I go. I’ve got to ensure none of it is critical.”
This is what plays out in every adventure book I’ve ever read. Said adventurer, whether he be Shakelton or Tilman and regardless of experience, resource or expedition size, finds himself in a rush at the end. On that morning that his mooring lines slip from the bollard and his bow turns toward the horizon, he can only hope he’s not forgotten his sea boots.
For a week I was able to work on deck, a real privilege after messing about with fuel tanks and wire runs.
Where the mast passes through the deck, I installed a gasket of Spartite. The rubber shims that had held the stick in her partners for 30 years didn’t survive my mangling of them when stepping the mast in Homer, and from below I watched as she pumped and whined all the way across the Pacific. This would not do in the more serious winds of the deep south.
The rebuilt furlers, now slick as snot, were installed into their headsail foils, new halyards and sheets were whipped and run, and the sails were bent on. I tuned and then retuned the rig.
Moli looked like a rocket ship again and even went for a couple quick sails in the estuary, one with Robin Sodaro of HOOD Sails in Sausalito, whom I’m excited to announce as the Figure 8’s newest sponsor (more on which soon).
That fun past, it was time to dive back into Mo’s interior. While in Hawaii last summer, I’d spotted some hull corrosion below the insulation in the galley, and had vowed then to inspect the other below-the-waterline areas of the boat when I got home. “Inspect” here entails ripping out insulation, polishing the hull, inserting a plastic spacer (to allow air circulation between insulation and hull) and new insulation, a not insignificant commitment of time.
Another vow from Hawaii was to inspect the water tanks and measure their contents. Mo carries all her water in two large tanks in the keel, the forward of which had a habit of putting brownish sediment into my drinking glass on rougher days. Once open I found that brown sludge cowering in the bottom (easily vacuumed out), but the tanks were otherwise clean. Great.
Filling the tanks with a flow meter showed one to contain 95 gallons and the other, 101.
With luck, that will be it for interior jobs for a while. Next up? Mo was hauled at KKMI last Friday so we can drop the rudder and have a look at the post and prop shaft…