Closer than ever!

Okay so maybe every day will be “closer than ever,” but it actually feels that way this week. After spending three nights on anchor last week and being able to test out the system upgrades we’ve been working hard on, we’re both very optimistic about our next and “final” steps and our early-April departure estimate.

The biggest upgrade to our anchoring routine was the electric windlass we installed. We practiced setting and weighing the anchor via the anchor using the boat’s diesel’s idle forward and reverse to take up most of the strain. I watched the display for our Victron SmartShunt while the windlass was operating and the NEW alternator was able to keep up nicely with the power draw. All in all the power usage was about equal to our percolator-style coffee machine running through the inverter. Not bad. Two of our nights were spent at Clipper Cove (we were going to leave for the second night but it was just so nice there…) and the last just off the breakwater south of Alameda. I had always wanted to anchor there and it was nice. Glassy water in the morning and great views of San Francisco. I was able to take some neat photos of the USS Hornet nearby, the aircraft carrier responsible for picking up Neil Armstrong and the crew of the Apollo mission putting the first astronauts on the Moon. Way cool.

The day we got back we started making the template for our new dodger. There are only so many times we can go out and sail with bare bows, I feel like it’s sacrilege or something and it’s quite chilly! Using 316 tube couplers I found on Defender, we were able to use our pre-existing dodger frame and add length to both bows, increasing its volume and using up some of the empty space above the old one and under the boom. Our new mainsail is cut in a way that it lifts the boom a couple inches when flying, so I know there won’t be interference with the new dodger’s height. Ash had previously purchased the Sailrite kit for far less than one would spend to have them professionally built. After her experience fabricating the sail pack, weather clothes, and grill cover, she was confident in our ability to put this one together.

We’re spread out in a friend’s house now measuring, designing, measuring again, and cutting the various pieces. Hoping to make it to the assembly stage tonight and installation on the boat in the next several days. Our rigging supplies from Rigging Only arrive TOMORROW and our final haul out is scheduled for March 12. IT’S ALL HAPPENING.

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