The death rolls are the most annoying part of sailing to me. Take steep breaking short period swells and a low aspect keel with a 21′ water line and your in for the ride of your life. Looking back through the years I wonder how I ever sailed this boat without lifelines. The only thing to hold onto is her tiller and with no combing I always wonder if I’m literally going to be hurled into the sea when we find these conditions. My $10,000.00 piece of string is coming along well.
For all the days that I feel like I’ll never get this boat the way I want her I have my ships log to remind me of all the shenanigans I’ve put Sookie through. When I was engineless it was more out of poverty than tradition. Spending my first winter with no heat sucked ass. Try and reef a boat without a topping lift or winches, sail without proper charts or anchor in a hundred feet without a windlass. Boat love is a twisted and sickening affair but hey, I’m single, don’t do drugs, Hookers or gambling so my money has to go somewhere.
Ive had installing a boom gallows on my list for six damn years but now I’m almost ready to start drilling holes in Sookies deck, yum! To complete this project, I need the new longer boom and a higher cut main with a longer foot, this is going to be a bank breaker for sure but in my log book worth every penny. Not only will it make the boom clear my head but it will also clean up the angle of my main sheet making starting the outboard easier. The Lee clothes will give a bit of privacy for showers and a chill spot to lean into while sailing.
Sookie has the tall rig mast and the extra squares on the new sail will be much appreciated, for those light winded days we find between the summer gales. Sure there are lots of benefits to this but feeling all cozy and safety tucked into the cockpit is my number one goal. Over the last 30 years I’ve sailed all over the world and this place is by far the most challenging. I’m constantly sunprised when world class sailors lose their boats up here but getting back out into the thick of it every spring I’m reminded of the old saying ” if you haven’t been aground you haven’t been around”. We’ve had many close calls but so far Sookies bottom hasn’t so much as kissed anything other than an errant deadhead.
By design, I have been rebuilding her slowly are surely to be the best of the best. Her lack of instruments can be frightening at times but it forces me to be a safer sailor and raises the bar for satisfaction on every trip. I fully enjoy the labor of sailing, the sound the chain makes as it rattles out the pipe. Canvas fluttering in the wind. The eerie moan in the rigging. Corse calloused hands pulling thick sheets and the rush of water as it races past my bunk while I’m rocked to sleep in my comfy quarter berth.
My hands on approach to doing things right as opposed to doing them. This long tedious process has had the hands of many fine sailors involved, each project that is over my head adds the experience of one more set of hands and a bit of sailors karma to my trusty little ship. In a world where everything has to be now I take great pride in the slowness of my life. A good bottle of scotch and Sookies lantern have been my soul mate for over 2000 nights while I slowly sketch each new addition to this wonderful little ship. The next project on the list is pulling the cabin sole and adding a water tank which will also add a few hundred pounds of extra ballast when it’s full. Bare teak floor boards will top it all off. Most people will never get why I do all this but I’m not most people. If your reading these words I’m guessing your brain is aligned pretty closely to mine and that’s where these words come and go, in a tiny water tribe of people who still actually care about the wind…