Back in August, when we hauled Celeste out of the water, we anticipated launching again in early October, but ‘plans are drawn in sand at low tide’, as the saying goes, and that’s not how it worked out.
We did manage to get all our planned repairs completed by the middle of October. These were the last items to address after the storm in Dutch Harbor last winter – the mangled toerail, bent genoa track, and bent stanchions and stanchion bases.
We also mounted a new liferaft, ran new wiring for one of our solar panels, replaced the cutlass bearing for the propeller shaft, and had some new varnish and bottom paint put on. So we were all ready to launch!
Before re-stepping the mast, though, we checked over the rigging, and it’s a good thing we did! It was clearly due for replacement, probably from a combination of age, hard sailing, and the strains put on it during the ex-typhoon in Dutch last winter. We found two cracked strands in the wire rope of the lower shrouds, a hairline crack in one of the turnbuckles, and then the threaded rod at the end of one of the swageless fittings had been bent in the typhoon:
Out it all came, to be taken to a local rigging loft for measurement and replacement. Actually, just yesterday we picked up all our new standing rigging – shiny new wire rope, turnbuckles, toggles, fittings, etc. etc., which we’ll start installing very soon!
In the meantime (back in mid-October) we decided to launch without a mast so that we could move back aboard the boat while we waited for the rigging. As it turned out, though, we discovered a new problem almost as soon as we got back in the water! Our keel bolts were leaking! Again, this was probably due to a combination of age and stress on the hull, keel, and bolts, but no matter what the reason, we had to address it – the last thing we want is rot and/or corroding keel bolts. So we hauled out again less than a week after launching – a pretty big disappointment.
Since then we’ve been working and trying to get outside on days when it’s not raining. The Olympic Peninsula is not at all a bad place to be stuck – the National Park is huge and varied and we’ve really enjoyed hiking here. Pictures to come in future posts!