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I woke up in a cold sweat, immediately sprung up in my bunk hitting my head on the under deck locker with a thud and fell back into my pillow laughing. A ships horn in the harbor had me half a sleep being run down by a tanker in the inky black of night.  I know the time is near because these dreams are happening more frequently.

DSC_8657Self steering for sailing craft

Miracles happen every day, for the man with eyes wide open they just seem to happen more often.  If it weren’t for a chance meeting with a half homeless ragamuffin drifter I wouldn’t be having these nightmares and like everything in my life I am thankful for her.

Our short list of blue water necessities is long but shorter than its ever been.  We need a new boom, sails, lifelines, boom gallows to hold them and some form of self steering.  Pintles and gudgeons top the list followed by a good light wind sail and a bit more ground tackle. A stove and water tank would be nice but not a necessity.   We bounce from project to project as time and budget permit but it isn’t the gear so much as the crew.  Every day new lessons are taught and learned and Emily has jumped in feet first.  I could throw her in and see if she can swim but I have learned the errors of that method the hard way.  Its baby steps that keep her coming back for more.  Every day a is new opportunity to set the sails and take her just a bit further into the deep end.

It seemed like winter would never end, but now spring is on our doorstep.  So much to do with so little time.  The last few months have been spent sorting through every piece of gear on Sookie from old dock lines and fenders to our foul weather wardrobe.  A massive cleansing of the old and useless has taken place making room for the bits of this and that that make life on a 22′ boat comfy and delightful.  We have been dropping piles and piles of stuff in the free bin and just like that a miracle fell into our hands.  An old moldy and damp copy of self steering for sailing craft has made its way into our lives.

For the budget voyager, if your not a MacGyver you won’t make it far.  We have found an old self steering wind vane. While we patiently try and convince the owner that we need it on our boat as much as he needs a bit more space in his garage we have turned our sights on a backup plan.  Maybe we will have to make one or live with sheet to tiller steering, who knows.  Each day one more piece of the puzzle is fitting into place.  We can see the big picture but all these scraggly little pieces have to be carefully put into place before we can frame it.

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
~Winston S. Churchill

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