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After a lengthy delay in obtaining the mast track that my mainsail will go up and down on, new rig of MONGO is finally ready to step. Paint job is done, hardware is bolted on, halyards are run, shrouds are laced up, wires are run for masthead lights, antenna... it's been a mission to get to this point, but everything is finally ready. Bob-O, Allison and I loaded the rig onto Bob's truck this evening and it will make the brief journey down to the harbor tomorrow morning where we'll step it on MONGO, which will be another mission in and of itsel. I've got a great group of people that will be helping me maneuver MONGO around Lahaina Harbor, load the rig on, move the boat again and then step it using the mast of a 35-foot sailboat. With any luck, i'll be able to step the rig, remove the non-running government-mandated outboard engine off my transom, get MONGO back in cruising mode and head for Oahu this weekend. More to come soon!

Just look at that shiny, tapered masthead... New rig of MONGO should go up in about a week and be a significant upgrade over what was standing orginally. With a very solid spar to start with, thorough prep, a sprayed-on Awl Grip paintjob, lots of custom metal bits, new running and standing rigging and lots of new hardware, this new rig should be a significant upgrade. This project has been a massive investment of time, money and sweat equity, but also a phenomenal time in my life and my little ship will be all the better for it... Maui :)

More than five weeks after dropping the rig on MONGO, Maui is beginning to feel like home. No, my anchor is not rolling off the bow and getting stuck on the reef... I am still well on my way to Australia, but Maui has found a place in my heart and I can foresee myself having long ties to this island. It will be bittersweet to put Maui in MONGO's wake, but that day will soon come. If everything goes according to plan, we should be stepping the new mast in less than a week. Bob-O the marine metal fabricator has been an incredible help to me and a great friend in fixing MONGO. The plan is to step the rig in a week, do about a week of sea-trials, possibly a local race or two and then head to Honolulu before June 1. With access to an actual dock and West Marine nearby, I plan to do a lot of work to the boat in Honolulu. It never stops. This dismasting was a very serious setback and added a lot of "to-do's". By mid-June, I hope to have the boat fully sorted and ready to begin cruising again. With 1 crew aboard... Rebekah and I have been continuing to see each other and i'm very excited to sail to the South Pacific with her! The plan is to head to Kauai for a couple of weeks with her and then leave on June 30, the 10-year anniversary of my injury in Iraq, on passage to either Apia, Samoa or Pago Pago, American Samoa. It's been a good 10 years, stoked to be here. 

My internet connection is extremely slow right now. I'll finish this blog and add the photos and captions in a day or two.

 

 

Field to shop and back to field, new rig of MONGO has been strutting her stuff all over Lahaina. Maui re-rig in full swing.

This un-planned Maui re-rig is turning into an absolute highlight on the good ship MONGO. The various rig projects are coming along nicely, i'm sourcing a new main sail, i've lined up some part time work, wrtten several articles and have reconnected with my friend Rebekah from Kauai. Maui and it's people have been amazing, MONGO will be sailing in a few weeks and I may be picking up one crew for trhe voyage to the South Pacific :).

 

The new mast is actually far nicer than the original. A beefy section with a tapered mast head, internal halyards and aero spreaders, i'm pretty stoked on this new rig. Moving the rig into the shop, Bob-O and I stripped everything off of it. All rivets, hardware, tracks, bolts, screws, spreaders, etc etc etc. Down to a bare tube. Bob-O reworked the sheave box for the main halyard, his wife Allison polished and cleaned up a few parts. Bob-O also welded over and closed up several holes where hardware had been at one point, but no longer will be. We moved the rig back to Bob and Allison's field where I will strip it, sand it, clean it, primer it, hang it and spray it. I will also do the same to Bob and Allison's Cascase 36 rig.

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This view from this morning is indicative of how I think of Hawaii. A beautiful, magical place where anything is possible. Weeks like this last one are the reason why. Aloha.

“Aloha”. Those five letters mean much more than a post card to me now. Since dropping my rig off a lee shore on the windward side of Maui, i’ve experienced some pretty extraordinary kindness from random strangers who have happily offered to go out of their way to help out a sailor in a bind. I have sailed to Hawaii many times now and have always had nothing but incredibly positive experiences while here; it’s why I keep sailing back, Hawaii is paradise. But this is the first time i’ve found myself in a really, really shitty situation in Hawaii and the response has been equally overwhelming, humbling, gratifying, touching... Aloha.

 

 

You can't keep a good boat down. Just four days after being towed into Kahului by the Coast Guard, MONGO rolled out sporting 4 horsepower and a staggering 100+ feet of sail area.

 

Sailing for Lahaina when I dismasted, I was headed to the yacht club there to pick up a very important mail drop that included a new bank card and a couple of paychecks from magazines. With the rig down, I still needed to make the journey across the island to Lahaina. This journey would happen sooner rather than later. Just two hours after reaching the dock in Kahului with my now dismasted boat, an 8.2 earthquake struck off the coast of Chile creating a potentially serious tsunami situation in the Hawaiian Islands

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