Sometimes I have to remind myself that we are already cruising. I tend to think of cruising as something you do in foreign ports with exotic names and lots of palm trees. But really, getting there is also cruising. Here we are in Harbor, Oregon where we've never been before, the sun is shining, it's at least in the mid-70s and we're exploring our surroundings. How is this not cruising?
This afternoon we mixed with some locals at the Voodoo Lounge. Met some nice older folks who've chosen this as their retirement place. Of course, it helps when they hear what we're doing and say how much they admire us. Gotta love 'em.
However, since cruising is often defined as "fixing your boat in exotic places", here's what we did before ambling over to the Voodoo Lounge. Granted, Harbor may not strike one as an exotic location but what the hey?
Anyway, this morning I dug into the electrical systems to find out what was up with the autopilot. Sure enough, there was no voltage coming from the breaker marked "autopilot". Why? ¿Quien sabe? Anyway, I connected the autopilot to a known good source and, sure enough, it worked. More and more I'm suspecting the original Westsail breaker panel as the source of all my electrical oddities. You remember the deal where all the lights go out when you happen to turn on a light somewhere? I think it has something to do with the breaker panel. I've started shopping for a replacement. Anyhoo, I got the autopilot hooked up so it should work next time out.
My next project is one that's been bugging me for some time. One of the prior owners apparently liked to fly a flag from the backstay. This is a tried and true nautical tradition but it presented a problem on Siempre Sabado. The hardware that had been clamped to the backstay to hold the flag halyard continually fouled the topping lift and, most recently, the SSB antenna. I've been meaning to remove the hardware for some time now. Today was the day. I could either hoist myself up in the bosun's chair and then swing over to the backstay to remove the hardware or, I could unhook the lower end of the backstay and move it up next to the mast so I could do the work while standing on the spreaders. After thinking about it for awhile I opted for the latter option. I removed the backstay and used the main halyard as a temporary stay. Then it was just a matter of climbing up the mast steps and removing the flag hardware. Once the hardware was removed, it took me about 3/4 of an hour to untangle everything and get all the lines secured in a nice shipshape manner.
While I was doing all this, Lulu was sorting out the fabric that she'd cut out for the new cushion covers. This is no small feat in a tiny little space like the saloon on Siempre Sabado. But she got it done. Why are we changing cushion covers? The old ones, while very nice and tropical looking, did not wear very well and showed the dirt really badly. The new fabric, a variegated green striped awning pattern, will completely change the look of the cabin.
We're still watching the weather and it's still looking like Thursday will be the day we shove off. We'll be doing a short run to Crescent City. Should give us plenty of daylight to try out or sails and try to get comfortable with them.
In the meantime, Harbor (Brookings) is just alright with us.