It’s been said that Christ came not only to comfort the afflicted but to afflict the comfortable as well. If that’s the case then He might be coming to San Diego real soon. No, we Gilberts are far from being the afflicted – even with the record breaking rainfall. What with the warm weather and even warmer people, we’re far more guilty of becoming the comfortable down here. That said, we really have been getting important tasks done this past month or so.
Several people have inquired specifically about the work we’ve been doing, so what follows will be just a rough description. And on the off chance that you were just asking out of politeness, then I apologize. Don’t worry – our typical posts won’t look like this…
*Adding a grab rail. Walking on a pitching boat is kind of like walking on a roller coaster. This grab rail gives people something to hold onto when moving from one side of the boat to another (provided your tall enough!)
*Fish cleaning station. Nobody likes blood and guts, but lots of people do like fresh fish. So to maximize the latter and minimize the former we’ve conveniently stored a drop-down table on our stern railing where it’s easy to clean up, out of our way, and close to our trolling gear.
*Self-steering windvane. For longer, offshore legs we will be using this piece of equipment (which steers the boat on a steady bearing relative to the wind).
Would it have been smarter to install this component while we were hauled out in sunny Richmond? Don’t ask. What matters is that after many efforts and lots of shivering, Toby & I eventually got this “trombone” bolted onto our rudder.
*Engine work. We’ve replace various fuel filters, oil filters, belts, and bought extras for harder to reach locales. Even as I write this one sentence, it makes me chuckle how much more work this has been than it sounds.
*Completing our ditch bag. Yes, it’s a grim item, but it’s important. If things ever get completely out of hand, we’ve stuffed everything you could want (except nice weather) into a floating, waterproof bag.
*Galley pump. For those of us without watermakers, this gear is essential. Besides the freshwater foot pump we already have, we’ve added a seawater pump – both of which effectively save freshwater and power use.
*Awning & sail bags. Kris rented a sewing machine to make some great new gear to store sails and to provide us shade (when we’re somewhere actually warm!). The toughest part of this project may have been deciding how and where to keep this eight foot long fabric & pvc bundle.
But wait. There’s more! We had to secure a stern anchor & rode; mount two, 7’ oars somewhere; compile numerous international documents; affix our table to the floor; repair our anchor windlass (okay, this is a work in progress); replace our engine room blower; re-gasket our refrigerator; make seat cushion; add dockline rubstrakes; replace lazy jack rings; stow a second surfboard for Toby; add a mainsail preventer; swing our compass (make sure it’s accurate); add courtesy flag halyards; and much more beyond this.
All told we’ve been trying to get both our heads and our boat right. I think we’re pretty much there now (depending on your personality type this may be good news or bad). Despite our nerves we are genuinely excited to do what we’ve set out to do for so long, to tell you our dear friends about it all, and to meet even more wonderful people like yourself along the way. Weather permiting, we should get underway within a week. We appreciate your prayers for our faithfulness even more than our safety. Know that we always love hearing from you, too. Talk to you in Mexico 🙂