Blessed Lady

This is the cruising blog of the sailing yacht Mabrouka. The Favorites in the side bar allow those with discriminating taste to filter for just the stuff you want to read. Thanks for visiting, Roy.

13 September 2015
21 August 2015
21 August 2015
20 June 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
15 June 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
15 June 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
15 June 2015 | Mazatlan Marina, Mazatlan Mexico
13 April 2015 | Off Club Nautico, Mazatlan Commercial Harbor, Mazatlan, MX
15 February 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
13 February 2015 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
25 January 2015
06 January 2015 | Mazatlan, MX
24 December 2014 | Marina Mazatlan, Mazatlan, Mexico
24 December 2014 | Mazatlan, MX
22 December 2014
21 December 2014
18 December 2014 | Playa Isla de la Piedra, Mazatlan, MX
18 December 2014 | Mazatlan, MX
15 December 2014 | Ensenada des los Muertos, Mexico

On Squirrel Cove (back-dated from 09/28)

26 September 2013 | Squirrel Cove, Cortes Island, CA
Project day on Squirrel CoveToday has been primarily a project day. A short section of Mabrouka's port side genoa car track has been lifting up, not surprisingly right under the genoa car. This is NOT a good thing. Left unattended, it is very plausible that the load from the sail could, starting at that weak spot, cause the whole thing to zip itself right up and off the boat, flinging screws and heavy genoa cars every which way. Some of those which-ways could hurt, ...alot. My intent was to try to avoid that situation.

I was surprised to see when I got up that my some-time neighbors on VortiSeas and Seascape already weighing anchor, even though the morning mists were still clinging to the trees and had to be wiped off their dodger windows with a towel. This must be a tough bunch with such an early start after their boisterous evening. Well, more power to them, ...except they're in sailboats. Oh, what the hell.

The day was brightening up, though, and before I got into my project I decided to make a dinghy run to the nearby town of Squirrel Cove just to see what there was to see. Apparently, though, most of their commercial interests shut down with the beginning of September, so all to be seen was their general store and a somewhat over-zealous information kiosk on the local shellfish industry. I bought a few groceries and inquired after the nearest holding tank pumpout. Contrary to what one might think, since every notice board at every public building in every little port around here exhorts us yachters to use our holding tanks and NOT pollute their waters, there are none to be had north of Lund, more than ten miles south on the west side of the Malispina Peninsula. It just seems odd. With just little ol' me aboard Mabrouka, I can go (literally) for a week, maybe two before my holding tank is full. Most people cruise as couples at least, often with six or eight people on their boats, spending week or more in Desolation Sound. Wouldn't it make sense for the authorities that are charged with issuing and enforcing the edicts for proper waste disposal to provide a pump-out site somewhere in the area? Anyway, ...those are the thoughts that the town of Squirrel Cove inspired.

My plan for repairing the genoa track was put into action when I returned. I had to remove all the screws holding it down so that I could lift up the track far enough to get to the wood under the damaged section. I'd hoped I would just have to drill out and plug that one spot, resetting the screw. No such luck. First of all, several screws were a little cantankerous about coming out in the first place. Some good old fashioned, heavy duty persuasion overcame all their various arguments and I successfully drilled and plugged the defective location. Oh, oh. Putting it back together again, I found other screws that didn't seem to be biting into the wood.

If you look at the picture above, you'll see some big one-inch holes in the inside of the bulwark. Every fourth screw is actually a machine screw, not a wood screw, i.e. it's made to thread into a nut, not the wood. The location and shape of the holes I had to dig out had made me think that the builders had embedded a round bar or pipe that had been drilled and threaded to suit the machine screws, then set crossways into the hole into the bulwark. Maybe you know, like the little bits Ikea gives you to assemble that Swedish-slick, do-it-yourself furniture. Nope. Mabrouka's Chinese craftsmen had just used that big hole to put a little nut on the end of the screw, then plugged it up with epoxy. The nut was no longer being gripped by the damp, rotting wood and wouldn't hold on when the machine screws were retightened. All I could do was scrape out the soft stuff, then add a washer to distribute the load, and hold the nut with an open-end wrench while I reset the scrrew. Presto: temporary fix. I'm sure it will hold for the time being, but I have a bigger project ahead to complete the job.

Afterwards I rewarded myself for a job well done with a beer and a snooze in the afternoon sun.

That's all for today's actual events. Shocking, I know. I seem to ramble on so. But there was one tidbit I left out yesterday, thinking I'd probably already worn any readers I had left plum out, so I'll wrap up with that today. I do go on and on about petty things. Spider webs, for instance. Ranting about how they probably have all sorts of scraps left on them from spider dinners. Complaining about having to disrupt my idyllic walks through the woods to wipe them off my face. Well, another thing is that I just can't seem to keep them off my boat. Even if I've succeeded in sweeping off all the actual webs, a constant campaign, they still cling to the rigging and fittings in long streamers, shimmering in the sun. I waiver between inspired patrols around the boat to brush them away and lazy resignation to the uselessness of the effort.

Yesterday I was just sitting at the helm, glaring at the webs flailing from Mabrouka's shrouds, while I tended faithfully to my steering duties and grumbled about all the injustices of the natural world. Then I stumbled on an epiphany. Motoring down Lewis Channel, I had been gazing up at the silhouette the afternoon sun was making of the ridge along the east side of Cortes Island, when I saw those very same streamers drifting solo on the wind. The damned things are EVERYwhere. I could see them a hundred feet up. I could see them in clumps. Big ones. Little ones. Are they actually evidence of the balloon spiders I'd heard of, or do spiders just spew random test strands of web into the air, like a spray painter testing his spray gun. Pffft, pffffffffft!

Perhaps you're thinking I've lost it, that I've gone and developed web-o-phobia. On the contrary. The strands floating on the breeze were really quite pretty, drifting golden streaks of corporeal sunlight. I think that, instead of fighting the obvious inevitability of it all, I'll treat them like ribbons, ...Mabrouka's awards for her freedom on the high seas, festooning her mast and rigging for all to see. There. How about that for a rationalization? I'm so proud! (PS - Let it be known among the spiders of the world that their webs are STILL not welcome on my boat and will be destroyed without pity!)
Vessel Name: Mabrouka
Vessel Make/Model: CT-41
Hailing Port: Seattle, WA
Crew: Roy Neyman
Mabrouka and I have been partners in crime since October 1998, hanging about in West Coast waters, first in San Diego, then in Seattle. All of that time we've lived together aboard. [...]
I've called this blog "Blessed Lady" because that's my preferred translation from Arabic for "Mabrouka". She's a 1980 CT-41, one of several clones of the original Bill Garden design Mariner ketches. At 50 feet from the tip of her mizzen boom to the tip of her bow sprit, she's 16 tons of [...]
Mabrouka's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 10 of 10
On the streets of Freemont
Street art edited.
Elvis the stuffed cat is a memento of my daughters at the age of about 5.  The peace sign was a gift from good friend, Karyn Borcich.  Thanks to both!
This is Swan as I knew him, though in a more rugged environment than we ever shared.  We usually met at the coffee shop or at Voula
This is of Swan as I would also like to have known him, ...cigarettes, cameras and wine.
This is Steve hosting our Elliott Bay Design Group company picnic at his vacation home in Darington.
I never went fishing with Steve, although he let me try out his fly casting rig in the river by his house during one of the company picnics he hosted.  I
The winter slip on Lake Union
Temporary raft up with Molly Bella near my old slip at Stimson Marina
This album shares photos from mainland and Baja Mexico.
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 1 March 2015
The beginning of the South Pacific cruise, heading to San Diego and Mexico
1 Photo | 6 Sub-Albums
Created 15 August 2014
Killing time with local sailing and projects before heading south with the Coho Ho Ho cruiser's rally
56 Photos
Created 29 June 2014
Kathy and Karyn (with a "Y") used me as an excuse for a party. I was just fine with that!
25 Photos
Created 31 May 2014
On Lake Union where Mabrouka and I spent the winter
20 Photos
Created 31 May 2014
Shakedown cruise to Port Townsend
7 Photos
Created 25 May 2014
Gunkholing in the Seattle area, with me and Mabrouka getting our sea legs back under us.
50 Photos | 28 Sub-Albums
Created 14 April 2013
Custom made sailing skiff hand-built by NW School of Wooden Boatbuilding in Port Hadlock, WA
18 Photos
Created 21 March 2013
Pre-retirement cruising pics
27 Photos
Created 21 March 2013
Photos accompanying Projects blogs.
43 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 12 March 2013