We had hoped to sail to Bermuda this summer but it was just not in the cards. We had too many balls in the air especially with the kids graduating from home high school and the seminar I teach at Camp Lejeune graduating at the end of May. So, we decided to enjoy a more simple to execute, week long cruise out to the Cape Lookout National Seashore. This trip was just for Gayle and me. Because the kids are usually with us, it was the first time Gayle and I have been alone on the Far Reach for more than a night. So we left the newly graduated high school seniors at home with a credit card and the car keys.
There is simply nothing like running downwind in the trades.
With our off-shore adventure on pause it was time to put the Far Reach on the hard. I have several small boat projects to complete, a summer of family camping planned, and prep work to complete for the kids 11th grade home-school year. Since I can’t spend time on her, better to have the Far Reach as safe as possible with hurricane season upon us.
11 May 2016, The Far Reach, Anchored, Sint Maarten, West Indies
Last night I found myself thinking back about our passage from Cape Lookout to the BVI. I feel fortunate that Tricia and I made the trip together. She and I have sailed together since before we were teenagers and let me tell you that is a long time! I couldn’t have asked for a better shipmate. A retired San Diego Fire Captain, she is smart, athletic, tireless, fearless, and harder than woodpecker lips.
25 April 2016–The Far Reach, Anchored in the Lagoon, Sint Maarten.
My number one priority is to get the chafing halyard under control. To do that I needed to get back up the mast and confirm exactly where the chafing is taking place. The anchorage in Simpson Bay was very rolly. So, last Monday morning, I weighed anchor about 0900 and got in a line of boats to make the 0930 opening of the Simpson Bay draw bridge. We made it through easily and without fuss and anchored in the still lagoon, on the Dutch side, in about 7-8 of water. I climbed the mast the next evening when the wind had completely died. Flat as a mill pond. A fellow cruiser hauled up my working jib with the chaffed halyard and of course it was clear to see the problem. Right where I thought. I know what I need to do.
Next day, I sent the photo off to Robert so he can fabricate the right kind of hardware to solve the problem.
I was restless. Not too much you can work on when you have a boat with almost no systems. Time to take a drive around the island. I rented a car. A red Ferrari. $30 for the day. Hard to beat a price like that.
The Far Reach, Elephant Bay, St Thomas, USVI–11 Feb 2016
As I move about the Far Reach, taking care of small projects, and enjoying the simple pleasure of “messing about on boats,” I am struck by the wonderous beauty of bronze. It is, in my opinion, the most noble, selfless, and beautiful of metals.