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S/V Silent Sun | All Rights Reserved

Zen and the art of eating Speed while doing boat maintenance

So this is the face of trouble. When I get this look from Jess I know that I’ve gone too far. She’s pissed and I better figure out why. Thankfully, it’s not too hard to decipher this time. I’ve destroyed the boat.

Why this is all her fault

For the holidays, Jess flew home to see her family, and especially her two awesome little nephews who are growing so fast they might be on steroids. I stayed behind to tackle the huge list of crap we (theoretically) have to do before we leave. So off she went and down the rabbit hole I go.

It started slowly at first. A tool left here. A piece of left over line discarded in the corner. But as the week progressed the animal got a bit bigger and eventually I lost control. Maybe it was my Gonzo diet. I was eating nothing but Ramen, chased down with large cups of coffee and No-Doze. By day four, I was crawling around on the deck in my underwear with a drill in one hand and a tube of Sikaflex in the other, mumbling about “the war” and snarling at other boat owners.

The beginnings and endings of all human undertakings are untidy.
John Galsworthy
Dead guy that wrote stuff and won a Nobel

As my brain boarded a slow boat down the Mekong river, my body took over and mechanically handled what needed to be done. I put our freshly painted boom back on, re-tapped all the hardware, finished servicing all the winches, installed a new Tri-Color nav light on the masthead, finished re-installing the windgen, made up a new anchor snubber and a ton of different sized soft shackles, fixed a broken faucet, blah, blah, blah. I don’t remember any of it. I just know that it’s done and our to-do list is dramatically shrunk.

The downside to all of this was that Jess came home to Fukushima. The boat looked like an episode of Hoarders with the centerpiece being her babbling, dazed husband who had taken on an odd aroma of fungus and cheese. A strange Asian boy was setting off firecrackers around the boat while I wandered back and forth in a towel quoting scripture. I think maybe this is the last time she leaves me unattended on the boat for that long.

I thought you guys bought a boat so you could go sailing

I love San Diego. I’m actually surprised. It seemed like a sprawled out suburban sort of city until we moved here. Now, after getting to know it, I couldn’t imagine a better place to get a boat ready for cruising. Having said that though, I’m sick of living on a dock and am ready to get down to Mexico as soon as possible. So why not just leave? That’s a question I’ve asked myself many times.

First, was my decision to install a new traveler. During our rigging survey, it was expressed that our traveler cars needed to be replaced and that it would cost pretty much the same thing to get a whole new traveler as it would to get just the hardware that we needed. Also, for that little bit of extra money we’d get all sorts of cool, custom, trick stuff and a new arch and yadda yadda. So we said “OK” and got sucked into a swirling toilet bowl of setbacks and “It should be in next week”s. We were originally supposed to have the thing before Christmas, but as of the second week of January: nothing, nada, zilch.

Second, after a lot of debate, was our decision to install a canvas dodger. We were split on this, loving the ability to move around the deck quickly and the open lines of sight that we have without one, versus the comfort of having refuge from the elements while at sail or anchor down the road. In the end, we decided to install the dodger, and do it here in San Diego, but unfortunately without the traveler installed, we haven’t been able to say exactly where our sheets will be led. We have been forced to give ourcanvas guys the same “next weeks”s that our rigger has been giving us.

I nice overall view of how crazy things have got around here.
I nice overall view of how crazy things have got around here.

Thankfully our traveler has finally arrived and it is burly and awesome, our canvas guys are coming on Monday to finish off the dodger and we are starting to move from the to-do list over to the passage prep list. Exciting times.

I see these set-backs as both blessing and curse. Basically, since we got into the marina 2 months ago, and started waiting on the above parts, we have tried to tackle every issue that popped up on our pre-purchase and rigging surveys (probably over a hundred issues combined), and we have almost made it to the end of that tunnel. I’m pretty proud of that. In two months we’ve done the amount of work that some people take a year or more to do, plus we’ve installed a watermaker (probably a bad idea) and a windvane (hopefully a great idea).

By taking the boat apart and putting it back together, we’ve gotten really comfortable with all the systems and architecture. We’ve gotten over the jitters of taking apart some of the more complicated systems and getting them back together. We’ve had time to really get to know our engine, change all its fluids, belt, impeller and I installed a huge fuel filter system. Basically, I am at one with Silent Sun and her Chi is flowing through me.

Anyway, that’s it for now. I’m off to finish cleaning up all my mess, from the bottom of the bilge to the top of the mast, and get our girl ready for her trip back down to the Sea of Cortez. To all the refit-ers out there: keep your head up and your eyes on the prize. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Just be careful. If the light is really beautiful and warm and smells like your dead Grandma, its probably just the No-Doze Gonzo diet talking.


Comments (3)

  1. Kristine


    And, also….totes understand why you fell in love with San Diego. She’s a tempting mistress, she is.

  2. Lucie


    In a déjà vu, other friends too went through their new boat (previously owned by good friends of mine) tooth and nail! As did a whole other set of friends.

    A mere two summers ago, Ben and I sat in the cabin of Silent Sun, feet up on cushions, debating finishing touches in the bilge and admiring La Donna’s way with a brush and varnish. Ben had just finished varnishing the interior on S/V GEORGIA (our home) in matte. By the end of the week, the interior was bright and shiny!

    We’ll be looking for you!


    • S/V Silent Sun

      Hi Lucie! Can’t wait to meet you. Every where we go our boat’s reputation precedes us. We love SS and are trying hard to live up to her expectations of us. Having a ton of fun trying so far. We’ll be based out of La Paz this summer, then we will head down south next year. If we roll into your neighborhood, come and knock on our hull.


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