Is it summer yet?

by Chuck June 21, 2010

I took a four-day weekend this week to get caught up on some of the work around the place. With all the rain we’ve been getting we’re behind on the mowing and trimming – all the grass is too long and the stuff around the fences is out-of-control.

Thursday wasn’t too bad; Dana and I did a few small things around the place, and when the kids came home we started them mowing. Friday Dana and I brought out the line trimmers; between the two of us we managed trim all the grass from the front of the property to the alley. We even cut down all the long grass and weeds on the hill behind the house. In the afternoon we went down to Lowe’s and bought supplies for Saturday’s project: a bunch of fence posts and bags of concrete.

Saturday we started working on the fence around the vegetable garden.  I planted the five corner posts and cemented them in. Around 11:30 it started to feel like it was going to rain so we packed all the tools away and headed inside. Of course, we never got a drop.

In the late afternoon I decided that enough was enough and I took the tractor out into the pasture and started mowing. The sheep are eating a lot of grass, but the pasture is still ahead of them. I mowed off the alley and the top of the hill down to the access road. It’s starting to look better, but I need to get out and cut the thistles off soon before they start setting flowers and seeds.

It’s been a long, cold spring. Today is the solstice – the longest day of the year. More than 16 hours of daylight, but not a ray of sunshine to be seen.



Anybody out there?

by Chuck June 11, 2006

I'm not sure anybody reads this site. Heck, I don't pay that much attention to it anymore. Occasionally I'll spend some time looking over my old entries, but for the most part it just goes by the wayside.

I spent a couple of days this week getting Odyssey ready for sailing. Who knows if I'm even going to get her in the water this year. Sailing seems like a low priority for the family, and I'm not strong enough to go without them.

Last year I built a crutch to use when stepping the mast, I used it when Rich and I went sailing in September. This year I tried stepping the mast by myself, and it went up smoothly, the second time. The first time was a bit of a fiasco, but Katie was able to help me get the mast back down before I dropped it.

I also set up the poptop, and made a boom tent out of a tarp. The hatch is getting old and warped, I'd like to make a fancy replacement with a plexiglass window. Maybe sometime this summer.

I'll haul the seat cushions, sails and halyards over on Monday night, and then Odyssey will be ready for a sailing season.

I wonder if I will?



Gang agley

by Chuck January 22, 2006

Today was the day when I was supposed to step the mast and put up the boom tent.

If only.

It was a beautiful day. Calm. Clear. Warm. The kind of winter day made for getting work done outside. Except I was anywhere but outside. One of those mid-winter colds grabbed me and put me in bed for the day.

Rather than get to work on Odyssey I got to lay huddled under my blankets and suck down Advil. I was even too tired to watch the whole football game.

Next weekend.

I hope.



Not another boat show

by Chuck January 6, 2006

Today is the first day of the Seattle boat show. For some reason I'm not interested in attending this year.

It may be because sailboats are under-represented again this year. It may be because I've seen many of the new boats before they've gone in (my new job is right across the railroad tracks from Qwest Field).

Mostly I think it's because I'm getting disillusioned about sailing. Opportunities to sail have been few and far between. Places I want to go, at least in my mind, are closed to me going without my family, and my family doesn't want to go.

I also think I'm feeling sorry for myself and need to snap out of it.



Why do they ask?

by Chuck August 4, 2004

My son's birthday party was yesterday, a grand affair that included cake, ice cream, and presents. And water balloons. And a bouncy house.

Anyway, when one of the parents came to pick up his kids, he saw Odyssey sitting there, and he asked me,

So, when's the last time you went sailing?

Oooooo, I hate that question. It implies that owning a boat is a waste of money, that I'd be better off without it 'cause, you know, I really never get to go sailing.


I've decided the right answer is "Often enough." That way I don't have to tell them I've only sailed once this year (see the whole series of log entries about the rudder mishap), and it implies that if I wanted to sail more, darn it, I would.

Which I would.

If only life didn't keep getting in the way.

And there's that whole pesky rudder thing.



Frustrated? Who, me?

by Chuck July 22, 2004

Ever have one of those days? I had one yesterday.

First, Ron brought my new rudder out. I'd left it at his house so he could put a few more coats of polyurethane on. It looked great, 'til I tried to put the tiller on. The tiller don't fit. The new rudder is about 1/8 thicker than the old one, and the tiller won't slip over it. I need to sand down the end of the rudder so the tiller will fit, and then refinish that end.

No problems, I thought. I'll just do some of the other little projects I have for Odyssey. So I decided to put the bumper hangers I bought back in January on. I originally planned to put them on the deck, but as I stood and looked I realized they would work better on the cabin side. I should note at this point that I thought about through-bolting the hangers, but then decided just deck mounting them would be fine. Except the cabin side in only half an inch thick, and I had three-quarter inch screws. Which I found out after driving the first one through the side into the cabin. Looks like they're going to be through-bolted after all. I'd just run to the hardware store and pick up some bolts, washers and nuts, except the hardware store closed 10 minutes ago.

Well, what about the new cam cleats for the jib sheets? I marked the location, drilled the holes, put the bolts (carefully measured from the original cam cleats) in, then went below to put the bolts on. What bolts? They just barely reached the bottom of the hole. 'Nother thing to add to the list when I go to the hardware store.

So I didn't really get anything done, but I did get a chance to play with the boat. And how bad is that, really?

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The Father's Day Fiasco

by Chuck June 14, 2003

We went sailing on Father's day. Or at least we tried. I'm too depressed to tell you the whole story right now. See the next entry.



Almost ready

by Chuck May 14, 2003

The first weekend in May is the official opening day here on Puget Sound, with a big parade of boats through the Montlake Cut, crew races, and much drinking of the grog. Not that I was waiting for opening day, or anything, but now that the season is on, I want to be sailing.

I've got most of the way through the pre-launch check list. The only things left are to:

  • Start the motor and make sure it'll run.
  • Tie the halyards onto the headboard shackles.
  • Load the cushions and other gear into the boat.

I'm putting some things off for later. The lifelines still need to be replaced, someday I might write down the fiasco trying to replace them turned out to be. And I'll put off building a mast crutch and putting on a jib downhaul 'til later when I may actually get a chance to single-hand.

It's getting to be time to take Odyssey out. By this time next month I should have a couple of trips to share.



Early winter blues

by Chuck November 4, 2002

October on Puget Sound is a funny time of the year. The air is typically cold, but the sun shines most days. If you're in the shade, you'll be cold, but out in the sun you're warm and the gold and reds of the fall leaves glow against the dark greens and greys of the firs.

It's a beautiful time for being out in the open, but it's also the time that I have to get our hobby farm ready for the winter. Instead of sails and sheets I have to worry about hog fuel and drain lines, stacking hay and cleaning gutters.

And all this time Odyssey sits at the end of the driveway, nestled up beside the shop. I know it's just my imagination, just me projecting how I feel onto Odyssey, but she seems a little depressed, a little sad about the fact that we won't be heading out onto Possession Sound until next year.

On the other hand, yesterday afternoon when I got home from work I walked down the driveway after shutting the gate, and I looked at my sailboat sitting on her trailer, and I thought "I own a sailboat. How cool is that?"



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