Launch number six. Yeeeeh-HAH!

For such a Catholic country Mexico has surprisingly little problem with shemales and transvestites. They love to come out at carnival time. This in Alvarado last week. I'll bet he changed into his costume about six hours ago and his feet are killing him.

For such a Catholic country Mexico has surprisingly little problem with shemales and transvestites. They love to come out at carnival time. This in Alvarado last week. I'll bet he changed into his costume about six hours ago and his feet are killing him.

Launch number six occured on a beautiful day last week, gloriously sunny with a 10-15mph cool breeze from the east.  I had the new polytarp Gibbons-Dierking sail and steering gear as mentioned last post.

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 I also wrapped two more layer of glass around the spar. It is heavy but you could tight-rope an elephant across it now.

         Rocky jumped aboard with no encouragement from me. The only thing he hates more than sailing is being left behind on the beach.

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He doesn't like going to the vet much either.

        

     Much better. I was soon hurtling along parallel with the beach.  Steering was easy but only once I was in water deep enough to fully drop the rudders – in the surf this would have broken them, so I was out of control where I need control most. The rudders do have a halfwaydown position but did not perform well like this. More thinking required here.

       Up and down the beach like a rocket. The batteries in the gps died early but I’d say I went over 20kmph frequently. I landed in front of Gringo Jack’s house and picked up his security guy Sobi, who seemed a bit bewildered on board (I learned later he was terrified, though an ex-marine). Muy rapido! he kept exclaiming as we charged along, sometimes with the deck a little submerged but showing no signs of digging the bow under and pitchpoling (somersaulting forwards).  It was a great deal of fun, zipping along almost noiselessly, the boat rising on the swell then plunging down the other side. Very little spray.  Big ocean swells are going to be truly thrilling. At one point the mast fell down due to a bad knot and I had to swim the boat to the beach to re-rig, later the sail fell off due to chafe. Towards the end of the day there was a horrible noise as one of the rudders snapped in half – something of a surprise because I’d really thought they were tough. I broke out one of the oars and lashed it on to the rudder support bracket with my trusty strips of inner tube; this enabled me to land to drop off Sobi, thence to relaunch and return to my part of the beach.

            The inner tube strips are handy but do not last long in sun and seawater.

            One of the images that has most sustained this dream is that of surfing through the waves Fantasy Island style to land on a sun-kissed beach. The surf is small here but it is still everything I imagined. Approaching the beach I may be doing ten or fifteen kmph and then the waves catch the stern and lift her up, so the boat surges forward with a thrilling burst of speed and I charge up to the sand like a runaway train. I am usually loudly singing the Hawaii-Five-O tune at this point. People on the beach gape then come over with their cameras and help pull me out of the water.

       Oh, yeah!

 

           All in all, very encouraging. I feel a bit more positive about the boat, though it is still a loony and impractical craft and will never really be comfortable or safe. The true test will come in more severe waves…will the outrigger stay on or be torn away, will the rigging hold up or thrash itself to pieces?

          This launch occured on my birthday and its success was the best present I could have had at this time.

           For the past six days I’ve been piddling about doing little but waiting for inspiration as to how to build a steering system that works properly in shallow water as well as deep, retracts when I want it to but not when I don’t, can take a severe knock without damage, and can be fitted to the boat without compromising the hull. I find these design jobs tiring.

 

This is a genuine silver 8-real piece, late 1700s, found on the beach by fisheman Martin. Minted in Mexico City by the Spaniards from plundered silver, It is about the size of a silver dollar. For smaller denominations they used to cut them up. Hence, ''pieces of eight''. A genuine pirate coin! Martin asked me to find out what it is worth; with the low price of silver and poor condition, about $40 only, sadly.

This is a genuine silver 8-real piece, found on the beach by fisherman Martin. Minted in Mexico City by the Spaniards from plundered silver, it is about the size of a silver dollar. For smaller denominations they used to cut them up. Hence, ''pieces of eight''. A genuine pirate coin! Martin asked me to find out what it is worth; given the low price of silver and poor condition, about $40 only, sadly. It probably came from a shipwreck, Veracruz was a major shipping port for plunder bound for Spain, and wrecks abound.

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6 thoughts on “Launch number six. Yeeeeh-HAH!

  1. Wonderful! Wish I could have taken Sobi’s place — though I would probably been equally terrified. The boat looks wonderfully unique, but Rocky looks miserable. I’d like to see a shot of him at sea.

    My only thought for adding control when coming in through the surf might be to use a small sea anchor from the stern to slow you down slightly and keep your stern to the waves. I used one on Corsair when it got rough and I just had to sleep. Worked well, except for chafe.

    Another thought; have you considered using something like a vaulting pole as a spar? I know they are long, and are made of carbon fiber and epoxy, so are extremely strong and flexible.

    🙂

  2. How wonderful Chris. Well done mate – it’s all coming together – and glad you had such a rewarding birthday! Your previous post reduced me to so many giggles I couldn’t type.. (The futon making – ahh I remember it well!) You have a curious, affecting and splendiferous turn of phrase there lad – I (among many it seems) are so glad that you’re keeping the dreaded lurghi at bay and are enriching our lives in your inimitable way, you old blogger you. (I do wonder whether protecting oneself in glass & resin is a good long-term solution tho’) Love the ‘pieces of 8′ story – looked in pretty fair condition seeing as tho’ it’s survived from 1798/2/? IMHO! Poor old Rocky – glad he’s getting his sea legs at last, torn as he must be between defending his biscuits and avoiding the G-D shunts. Thanks for all the photos btw – glorious although the babes are a dim and distant memory (lol) I am however sure that the Hawaii 5-O chorus will soon have them flocking back. Glad that God seems have accepted you back into his albeit oil and glass-fiber-based world – but s/he’s a fickle one – so keep on with your plans of personal transport to rival Phlegyas’ – esp. one made of styx (Groan here). Very pleased with your subjugation of the ‘Motorcycle of a Thousand Defects’; the beach drag sounded horrendous – and lovin’ the wheels man! Hoping that you lose the problems associated with chafe (sounds painful) and happen across another competition where you can truly ‘whoop their bottoms’ and receive the accolades, plaudits and respect you so richly deserve. Here… well vicarious living by proxy has never felt so shallow… Big hugs cap’n.

  3. Chris I have read the whole narration and I am very pleased
    with the warm style. As I know much of what is said, by several
    minutes talking each other, It is as We were inside and part of it.
    The feeling that is coming out after reading is as our dreams come
    true or falling from heaven. Thanks God You are among us.

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