Well hello, dear reader.
We left off in November, when we had just launched Rabannah into the Great Salt Lake. I think we launched her on the last truly warm day of the year. Progress was slow on the boat over the long winter months. For obvious reasons...
Rabannah the white.
You can see the pancake ice floating on the water- a phenomenon we learned about while listening to "Endurance," the account of Shackleton's legendary expedition to the Anarctic. Pancake ice occurs when a body of salt water gets cold enough that the snow or other precipitation falling onto it freezes, creating slushy, flat, little icebergs. Anyway. No reason to be out attempting to sand the decks or step the mast in those conditions!
We did go out to the marina, at least once a week, to check on the boat, and to knock ice out of the scuppers. She held up beautifully in these extreme conditions, which was comforting to see.
Once the snow melted, Cody began to head out there more and more frequently, attacking the long list of small, odd jobs that still remained.
He devised a way to mount our outboard engine without marring the beauty of the transom.
You can see it above, removed completely. (Which is how we hope it will be most of the time...)
Here it is, in the "up" position...
..and in the "down" position, ready for action.
Our engine is a 1964 British Seagull- a true classic. The design has been unchanged since the '40s, and they have a reputation for being extremely reliable. I think it's so cute!
Cody also worked on the mast earlier this spring. After finishing construction in JW's backyard, we ended up hiring a semi-truck to drive it out to the marina. It looked slightly ridiculous; this long, skinny stick on the bed of a semi-truck, but it cost just about the same as renting a long trailer to haul it ourselves, and it was certainly easier! The driver helped us load it and secure it, did all the driving, and helped us unload it.
The next steps were to mount the spreaders, sail track, masthead fitting, gooseneck fitting, and so on. Once that was all in place, we sculled the boat over to the dock where the crane is. Then we rolled the mast across the parking lot and down the ramp. The crane was a very simple machine- all hand operated. It was a chain hoist on a long, pivoting arm, with some serious purchase. The install went really smoothly, with the help of our friends Paho and Gary, who happened to be around at the time.
Ready to go!
The mast was held up with temporary stays- thin cables with cable clamped ends, which we could manipulate fairly easily. Once we had it just the way we wanted, we could measure those cables to get precise measurements for our permanent stays.
There aren't many sail riggers in Salt Lake City, but there is one- who happened to be on the crew who rigged the boat that Team Oracle sailed to victory in the America's Cup race.
So I guess he has some experience...
We checked his references and ended up having him install the fittings for the stays- the wires that support the mast.
Now, we've tried on our sails, and are working on installing cleats and winches. We're buying lots of line- for halyards, sheets, the boom vang, etc.etc. We applied a fresh coat of varnish last night, in anticipation for the festivities today- it's the opening day for the Yacht Club racing season. Unfortunately, Cody ate something weird yesterday, and was up most of the night with an upset stomach. He spent most of today sleeping it off, while I worked and I updated the blog. Not exactly what we planned on doing, but productive. Cody needed the rest, and the blog needed attention.
Stay tuned! Hopefully the next time you see us, we'll be SAILING!
This happened the very next day!
(I think Cody's feeling a little better...)
It was perfect.
Stay tuned for more photos, and a post about the maiden voyage!