Thursday, October 3, 2013


It's hard to believe that you're really leaving on a long sailing adventure when your boat as been up in the air in the yard in Napa with the engine out of it for a year.  We've been planning to leave this October to sail from here to Sweden, but I didn't want to write about it and jinx the whole thing.  Now that the boat is scheduled to be launched tomorrow, I feel that I can start to talk about it.

The first leg of our trip will be the delivery from San Francisco Bay to San Diego.  That's about four days of sailing, but we'll have time to stop and relax in LA or Catalina if we get out of here on 10/19 as planned.  If not, we have 2 or 3 days of extra prep time.  We are hoping for a crew of six and have five firm commitments and a maybe, so far.  The boat is Fool's Castle, a Nauticat 43' (a motorsailer ketch, not a catamaran), which belongs to my partner, Scott.  Our skipper will be Ingemar, a retired Swedish Marines vessel commander and licensed captain.  Additional crew are Ingemar's friend, Joel, another licensed captain, although not a sailor, and my friend, Michelle, a new sailor investigating the lifestyle before buying a boat and moving aboard.

We will leave San Diego with the Baja Ha-Ha, a cruisers rally to Cabo San Lucas.  The Ha-Ha is sort of like Burning Man for sailors.  It is reputed to be the most fun you can have with a boat.  The Ha-Ha stops in Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria (two tiny towns in the middle of nowhere in Baja California), before terminating in Cabo San Lucas.  I have been over the route before back in 2001, although we were headed the other direction.  This should be much more pleasant, since we will be going with the wind and current.

Just because we are launching the boat tomorrow, doesn't mean we are ready, however.  The boat is still a disaster!  We have a "To Do" list a mile long.  I am in the process of replacing all the curtains (I washed them and they disintegrated.) and stripping and varnishing a large portion of the interior.  Stove and refrigerator are both apart and EVERYTHING needs cleaning and servicing.  We haven't used the boat at all for several years and Scott moved in with me back in 2007 and had never really cleaned his things out of the boat.  Making room for six people to live comfortably is challenging, especially when there is a gaping hole in the middle of the main salon where the engine goes.  I'm just aiming for all the vital systems to be working and all the junk to be stowed before we leave.  Additional projects can be completed along the way.

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