There is nothing like a boat with no wi-fi connection to help the writing process. Now that Tranquility is launched I have the luck to enjoy Fairhaven Shipyard and finally live on my boat. There is no fresh water, no working head and no lights, but everyday a new improvement happens and soon all the liveaboard necessities will be satisfied.
There is a small electric heater and comfortable bunks where I can nap or read or write under a warm blanket. Days are becoming shorter and there are so many projects to do and sea trials to run before we can possibly think to set sails for the south. We have a deadline though: leave on the first possible weather window from November 15th.
It looks like it is going to be a hell of cold and we have a lot of miles to sail before we can possibly say that we are out of the winter. So far New England has been very magnanimous and fall has been mild with unexpected hot days. But that won’t last for very long and we are trying to do our best to get going. Freezing northerlies already showed up and it’s catching one of those that will take us out of the harbor for our first leg of the trip.
Everyday Tranquility looks more like a boat, a pretty one after all the care she received in the last six months. The first sail test was amazing. On a cold windy day we manouvered all around the New Bedford Harbor, tacking and gyibing with all our sails up on a 20+ kts day. Yankee, staysail and full battened mainsail are all brand new from Leesails in Hong Kong and they all fit the new beefed up rig. At the helm Tranquility was so governable and with my surprise she was not heeling too much when close hauling. The electric engine keep taking us in and out of slips with almost no power consumption.
A harbor seal showed up to salute the first sail of Tranquility. We hope it’s a good sign for the future.
In few hours I will finally lay hands on my boat again after 4 months. After purchasing Tranquillity, Kate and I went through a process of preparation that kept us apart and far away from the boat. For her it meant cutting the dock lines that kept her moored in NYC for a very long time. For me it was to wander the caribbean and harvest the necessary gold to start the restoration and equipment for Tranquillity. The rigor of New England’s winter contributed to postpone our project and the yard work. In some ways, we are still wimps.
We are brave however, when it comes to the decluttering process. We need to select and reduce our belongings to fit into a car first and then into a 29 ft sailboat. The task is not easy but I am lucky because Kate became a professional in this kind of operation and she is a great help. To reduce our belongings involves binning a lot of clothes and items, it means also merging departments and discarding surpluses. Sometimes I am terrified when I have to let go something, I feel like a real part of me is going away. Wait for an hour and this feeling disappears, and your pile of clothes and junk look more tidy, eventually fitting into a small place.
I am a very lazy guy and as many others I have this tendency to occupy all the available space, like a stuff Big Bang. Choosing a small boat means to seek discipline in this matter. There will be no space for the surplus, we will have to pick the essential and take care of what we have.
The decluttering process pointed out to me the importance of quality. While I was ironing my clothes I was amazed at how old but still beautiful is one of my shirts. That garment is probably more than 10yrs old and it has been with me in any place I traveled and went through third world washing machines, but it is sill pretty while other relatively new cheaper clothes show signs of wear. Quality is something to consider when purchasing equipment and even if we run on a small budget we should get few essential quality items.
Now we have no excuses, we finally moved ourselves and a well-sorted pile of things to the proximity of Tranquillity, in Fairhaven, MA. A kind friend, Keith, helped us to find a temporary nest in his parents’ house while we go through this project. For a long time Tranquillity will be not suitable for occupancy due to the restoration process and we will be shore-based in the place where Moby Dick took form, a place where the ocean is part of daily life and wrote important pages of history.