(This is the only way that I can update while at sea.)
Adding the final touches to MONGO before her first blue-water voyage.
MONGO's almost ready, i'm almost ready, a weather window is opening up and my bank account is wrecked after this re-fit: It is time to leave. I am planning on setting sail from San Diego on or about Wednesday March 5, bound for Hilo, Hawai'i. The vibe is decidedly different this time around than before, now my sixth time departing for Hawaii... The first time ('08), was a shit show that ended poorly and the other four (2010, '11, '12, '13) were all races where I was under pressure with deadlines and competitive aspirations. This time is very relaxed and completely on my terms. I feel prepared, i'm not stressed, i'm completely doing my own thing both schedule-wise and sailing-wise. I'm going where I want when I want and how I want. I'm very stoked on that. When I first began sailing, a sailboat represented freedom to me - a beautiful and profound way to travel to distant lands. That aspect of freedom and the dream of crossing oceans never changed for me, but sailboats began representing sport and competition more than freedom and exploration. MONGO represents the former once again and for that I am very happy.
The trials and tribulations of MONGO
Haul out #2 for MONGO. Grinded away some fiberglass on the port side of the skeg in front of the rudder to allow the rudder to turn all the way. Massive thanks to Chuck Drisoll at Driscoll's Boat Yard for helpping me out! And thanks to Don at the Foss Company (builder of the rudder) who immediately offer post-sale supportfor my fitment issues, although I chose to haul out instead.
The re-fit has still been forging ahead at full steam. In addition to knocking out a lot of small tasks, the big one for last week was getting the new rudder installed. The rudder builder dropped off my new rudder in San Diego and I was stoked! Upon initial inspection, the rudder looked great, so I took the rudder to Dynamic Marine Machining and had Dave and Sean give her some love and drill a hole in the rudder post to bolt on the rudder head/ tiller head. After that, I brought the rudder back to the dock, sanded quickly and then painted with bottom paint. (Should've saved paint from my haul-out. Buying paint by the quart is expen$ive.) Donning my wetsuit, I dropped the old rudder in the slip and installed the new one. Perfect fit. Bolt on the rudder head and tiller and go for it. Left-right-left-right. What the f---? The rudder moved about 70 degrees to starboard but only 20 or 30 to port.