Around ten months have gone by whilst I have slaved away rebuilding my hovel in the woods of Upstate New York. I’d doubted that I would return to Mexico but the thing nags at me; I figure that if I don’t give it another bash I’ll regret it forever, and I’d better do it soon or I’ll be too old and feeble. Hence, the plan is now to return in the spring of 2010 to resume the struggle.
Nothing can happen unless I get the boat seaworthy, but I am far from sure that this can be done. Even the relatively calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico are far lumpier than the seas in which I see other small proas sailing on Youtube. Everyone goes for estuaries I guess, and I can’t say I blame them. I never told a soul before now, but I guess I’ll ‘fess up: on my last trip out, with all my rigging and sail stuck under the boat, a mile from shore heaving up and down being relentlessly slapped by 4-foot peak-to-trough lumps, I really wasn’t so comfortable. Ok, ok, I was scared. Maybe one gets used to it. I thought “To hell with this!” and it was the final nail in in the coffin. I was really exhausted and bummed by that time anyway.
If she is to sail, she needs much improvement. New sails, new lighter yards, lighter and stiffer crossbeams, decent trouble-free steering, a light trampoline instead of a deck, better ama (float) connections. I get tired just thinking about the work, but at least I may be able to do some of it at home here where I have better tools and access to things like seasoned hickory and white oak cut from my own land. I need to be able to right her from a capsize singlehanded. Everything that weighs anything but doesn’t have to be there must go. If I make any kind of journey, it’ll be without luxuries. I’ll be driving down with a trailer so if I can’t make a journey I can just take her back to the States and become a lake sailing pussy which to be honest is probably what I am.
Watch this space.