Ready or Not?

“Ready to go yet?” I heard the question over and over today. Fair enough—we’ve been ‘getting ready to cruise’ ever since leaving the boatyard several blog posts ago, and have Tuesday as our target sailing date.

Zartman- Ganymede bow

Boiled linseed oil preserves the African mahogany bulwarks.Ben Zartman

“Ready to go yet?” I heard the question over and over today. Fair enough—we’ve been ‘getting ready to cruise’ ever since leaving the boatyard several blog posts ago, and have Tuesday as our target sailing date. And in a sense, we are ready, since there’s nothing big left that HAS to be done before we can cast off the docklines and unplug the extension cord. But with the never-ending list of projects scrolling through my mind, a list that will still be unfinished months from now, however much we’ve cruised, it always made me pause and think.

At first I’d answer, “Not quite: I still need to paint the lazarette lid, ream these belaying pin holes, sort out the storm try’sl sheets, stow the dinghy, and—well, you know. Tons of stuff.” By the end of the day, though, I had caught the true meaning of the question, and could answer, “All set. I’m just tidying up a few details until it’s time to go.” And details, really, is all that’s left.

On Friday after work I did the last big thing, sanding the new bulwarks and applying a coat of boiled linseed oil. I had intended to do some painting in the aft part of the cockpit after scrubbing the decks, but spent the day organizing the cockpit lockers, finding all my sail ties and reefing lines, stowing the foc’s’le, and adjusting the Sailomat self-steering vane so that the servo turns the same distance to either side of centerline. There are three different adjustments to that bit of it, plus adjustments to the air vane itself, in addition the attachment point of the control lines to the tiller. So it will take some sorting once we get underway, but I have high hopes.

I had wanted to leather the new sculling oar I made at work over the last couple of weeks, but didn’t have enough leather, so I wrapped the loom with gaff tape where it sits in the socket and will see if some leather comes our way by and by. Today was the first ever Marina Yard Sale, and we sold a few odds and ends of extra shackles and blocks, and spent less on other stuff than we made, so it can be deemed a success. Last of all, since the wind really piped up in the afternoon, I hoisted the new storm try’sl that Jasper and Bailey made over the winter to experiment with different sheet leads. It’s good to have these things sorted out beforehand, rather than fumbling with them in the midst of a midnight squall. A few more parrel lines to splice and she’ll be ready to go.

Another heavy-weather piece of kit we checked out was the parachute sea anchor. We've toted it about since we had Capella, and never used it or had it out of it's bag. Since we'll have it ready-rigged for quick deployment when we set off on longer passages, I wanted to see what it was all about. Pretty anticlimax, really: a big circle of cloth with webbing cords. But it's in fine condition, so we can feel good about using it in ugly weather.

Tomorrow is set aside for rest, and Monday we’ll top up on water and food, get the sail covers off and halyards properly rove, and hope the forecast for Tuesday improves enough that our grand departure from the marina can be longer than just the 300 yards to the anchorage.

We are the Zartman family: Ben & Danielle, and our three girls, Antigone, Emily and Damaris. We created this blog to chronicle our sailing adventures on Ganymede, a home-finished 31-foot gaff-rigged cutter, which has been our home since 2009, when we sailed from San Francisco, California, to the Sea of Cortez, then down along the Central American coast. Currently in Newport, Rhode Island, we plan to sail to Canada, the U.K., and beyond this summer.