REFIT UPDATE #7: Starting Line in Sight

Nope. Not expired. Neither the sailor nor the project.

Rather, a long absence from this site indicates that both have been, as can be imagined, busy. The former is readying self and boat for an extended voyage while the latter, said voyage, keeps creating previously unimagined urgencies that translate into yet more items on the task list, a list that refuses to shrink no matter how much gets done.  Which is to say, things are progressing about as they have for pretty much every expedition, ever.

Being a recovering procrastinator with plenty of experience at foregoing until the morrow the anchor-weighing scheduled for today, I have given myself a wide sail-away window, simply stated as “the first part of October.”  But even by this measure, I am well within 60 days of quitting the shore for a very long cruise. Necessarily, blogging has had to be deprioritized for a time, to be picked up again prior to departure as/if things ease off but more likely after the adventure commences.

I have been posting daily progress reports to FaceBook here, so, not all is silence.

While I’ve got your attention, let me say how grateful I am for your contributions to my Virtual Stowaway Go Fund Me campaign. I’d like to send video updates from sea while on the Figure 8, an expensive proposition, and I’ve been humbled by your interest in my project and your generosity. Most importantly, we’re getting close to the final number. Last month, media tech company, WideOrbit, offered to match contributions toward the goal, which has really accelerated our progress. So, thank you to WideOrbit and to you.

Well, since you’ve made it this far, here are a few project updates…

Moli was hauled in June by the good folks at KKMI, the rudder was removed and the propeller shaft, propeller, and stern-tube bearings were all replaced. This began as an inspection job only, but one should not go looking for problems without some expectation of finding them. In this case, the bearings were worn beyond salvage, and the 30-year old feathering propeller had several broken teeth. So, better to start fresh with high-tech Vesconite bearings and a new, four-blade propeller from Variprop. While at it, I rebuilt the Aquadrive thrust bearing.

Mo is back in the water and I’ve just returned from a couple days of put-putting around the bay at high revs and into stiff breezes and chop (an imitation of the Northwest Passage to come). Thus far the new propeller is delivering a much-needed boost in power and the rest of the drive train appears to be operating as should.

Provisioning is now mostly complete, though food-stuffs are still clogging up the living room. This week, I’ll build out storage lockers in the forepeak and begin migrating boxes and bags to the boat, much to the relief of my wife, who wants her house back.

I’m now living aboard several days a week, am sleeping in the bunk I’ll use when on the Figure 8, cooking on the new stove, re-organizing the galley, testing-out the new electronics, tweaking the rig. Mo is in a berth that allows us to come and go at will for tests of various gear. It’s time to start imagining the boat on the move. We’re getting close to the starting line…


5 Comments on “REFIT UPDATE #7: Starting Line in Sight

  1. Wow time is short and sitting here hiding from hurricanes hoping you get away in a timely manner. Looking forward to the updates on the go. You’ve stressed me out enough on the preparations so let’s relax in my armchair and watch the real voyage begin. Good luck…

  2. I have trouble planning meals for a week — much less a YEAR! Just make sure the labels don’t come off your canned goods — then it would be “mystery meal” every day.
    If you launch in early to mid-October, I’ll be sailing in French Polynesia (as a guest aboard Windstar). Not so adventurous as my first voyage in the South Pacific years ago aboard the Brigantine Robert Seamans, but I wanted to take my wife back there to see it all. Anyway, we’ll be following your voyage, no matter where we are.
    Wishing you fair winds, as always.

  3. Good progress reported here. Not sure which photo I like better, the shiny new machined prop, or the stacks of chocolate. Years ago you told me that expeditions are never entirely prepared to depart; at some point they just launch. Not unlike the famous quote: “You go to war with the army you have–not the army you might want or wish to have.” Makes a lot of sense to me. Best to ya as you make those final preps.

    • The prop wins. Admire it while eating the chocolate. Years ago I said that? I’ve been listening to Amundsen’s recount of his expedition to the South Pole while working on the boat and must revise that thought. He, at least, seemed to be utterly prepared.

  4. Very excited for your send off party! Thx for invite. As a police officer of over 34 years, people often say we do heroric things-sometimes, yes, but wow! what your doing is a true hero’s voyage! I admire your attention to detail & commitment to practice. And, of course, I love the stacks of chocolate. 😀👍

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