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“look at those girly chain plates” I poke as I’m helping a friend measure for new cruising sails.  His boat weighs over 40,000 lbs and his chain plates are the same thickness as Sookies.  None of this matters but it’s fun to tease. Back on Sookie I’m hitting it hard. Tomorrow is opening day, a day I usually spend paying my last coat of varnish for the season.  This year has been so horrible I’m just getting started today.

I bent Sookies main back on today, I’m still working in her boom but I couldn’t stand one more day with bare spars.  I need to add a third reef point and also a third stitch to all of her sails which I’m slowly coming to the realization will be with me for quite some time.  Her total sail inventory is main, Yankee, staysail, storm jib and cruising chute.  All my sails need a bit of love but they are all in great condition for a person on a small budget.

I took measurements for my new sun awning and jib bags.  Pulled tool bags, rigging bags, line bags, all my fastener bins and stared to prepare this boat to sail.  I’m not shooting for day sailing but I will.  I’m not shooting for gunkholing but I will.  I’m getting Sookie ready to fly to the moon.

Yes 1/4 backing plates through a section of deck that is over an inch thick is overkill but my life depends on these baby’s keeping me on board.  Every single addition to Sookie and there have been many have this same and completely insane level of finish.  Upsizing to 1/4 inch rigging only added 11lbs to the entire system but now each fitting is strong enough to lift the entire boat out of the water as is each of the cleats I’ve added.  New chainplates will be stronger yet and prettier although I’m still torn between bronze and titanium.

Now that’s a flat sail, I’ve wished for a third reef on more than one occasion.  My staysail will get two sets and then I can sell my storm jib, when you live on a 22′ sailboat every inch of storage counts.  The days are long, the nights quiet and new sailors are starting to swing through on their way north, I truly hope to follow in their wake but right now all my attention is on how to navigate solo with my shit eyes, I’ve actually contemplated a 5″ chart plotter but that’s just crazy talk.

I love the quiet of night, time to pull the logbook and remind myself not only how far I’ve gone but how far I’ve come.  Today was one of those days that make the bitter winter nights worth it all.  I never feel alone or lonely but when I start to get Sookie all dressed up and ready to go I can’t help but to wonder if all of this is better shared.

This lovely pocket cruiser is owned by a young sailorette on her way north.  I met both her and her husband earlier this year, both good people, sailors and touring cyclists, they have 60 days off and a fine boat to chase the wild of the north.  I’m not the only one out here with multiple loves but on days like today I’m equally pulled between my bike and Sookie.

From the log of Sookie, I write  a bunch of private numbers in my log, lat and long if you must know but this journal entry is very private and my next personal goal…

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