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Over the years I’ve experienced many scary situations from having a boat fire to  being on a sinking vessel and everything in-between.  While these situations were scary they weren’t inherently dangerous.  If you asked me what the most dangerous situation I have ever experienced at sea was It would be hands down having a tired crew.

Sheet to tiller steering

Self steering tops our list for safety items to add to Sookie.  There are only two known wind vanes that will fit with our boomkin and not completely destroy Lyle Hess’s lovely lines.  One has been out of business for about 20 years and the other costs nearly 10K.  If I had a modern boat I would just slap a Moniter on the back and even add a huge roll bar with solar and wind generator but not on this boat.

I’ve been experimenting with sheet to tiller for years but the cluster fuck of lines all over the cockpit is not only a death trap for Chloe but also for us.  Emily is clumsy and I am not only clumsy but also have some brain malfunction where I regularly lose balance and simply fall over, not exactly a good combination for safety at sea.  If we fail miserably at all other options we will suck it up, go back to work and have a custom vane made but thats will be our last resort, even if it seems the smartest.

We both love the challenges of sailing on a budget, we are fine with crappy coffee, shit wine and eating potatoes and onions for every meal but its times like these when we really start pulling our hair out.  The most difficult task I have ever set about is to simplify my life.

A young woman began preparing a roast of while the man was preparing the vegetables. As they worked, the man noticed that the wife sliced off both ends of the roast. Curious, he asked, “Why did you do that?” “Do what?” “Slice the ends off the roast,” he responded, “Does that make it juicier or something?”
“Well, I don’t really know. Mom always does that when she cooks a roast.” So they called her mother and were amused to hear that she also didn’t know why the ends should be cut off the roast. It turns out it was because “your Grandmother always did that and so I do too.” Of course they called Grandmother and heard a hearty laugh when they asked her “why do we always cut the ends off the roast of beef before cooking it?” After Grandmother got control of her laughter, she exclaimed, “I can’t believe you guys are doing that! The only reason I did that because your Grandfather and I had only one roasting pan and it was too short for a roast big enough to feed us all.” ~Unknown

I’m not exactly a creative person and my shipboard skills could fit in a fortune cookie but we make due.  I have been playing with a new idea that will keep the cockpit mostly clear and might actually work.  When I built the mainsheet set up on Sookie I could have put a Harken traveler with a top of the line mainsheet control system that would have not only made sheet control easier and more precise but it also would have saved a fortune compared to our bronze and teak blocks, so is the joy of traditional sailing craft.  The beauty I am finding much after the fact is that having a double ended mainsheet I can use the windward end to control the tiller.  At least thats what I’m working on.

When I find myself trapped in a box and falling into that old idea that there is only one way to do things I try and remember that there is no point in reinventing the wheel “tiller” she just need fresh set of eyes and a little refining.

Anyway, like I was sayin’, shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich…  Bubba ~Forrest Gump