Look at that SHINY new boom! And the boom vang is back in place, as are the reefing lines, the outhaul, etc. Progress!

Another update only a week after the last?! What the… It’s true: stuff’s a-happenin’. Slower than it should and WAY later than it should have, but better late than never, I guess.

So, it’s Tuesday evening and I’m sitting topside beneath a beautiful summer twilight sky. The humidity is blissfullly low and I have some tunes going and I had dinner earlier (street tacos for Taco Tuesday) with a couple of dear friends so, yeah, it’s been a good evening. And I’ve been out here under similar circumstances for several nights recently. I’m back on board and life is just better. Not easier, not by a long shot. Life on board is, as I’ve said often, not for everyone. But for me? Yeah. These recent evenings alone…all the reason I need.

And on top of that, the riggers are proceeding apace. I was down in the main cabin a little after eight this morning, eating breakfast (yogurt and blueberries) and doing some honest-to-god work (see if there’s any breaking news, check the company’s Twitter feed, etc.) when I heard some feet step on board and felt Further roll a bit. I stuck my head topside and Angus was at the mast. I think I surprised him a bit when I said, “Good morning.”

With him arriving on site I opted to clear out and go work in the office of friends and former employers, S&J Yachts. It’s just down Back Creek a bit and their wifi is better and this way I wasn’t going to be in Angus’ way nor was I going to be distracted wondering what he was doing.

And when I got home at the end of the day en route to the aforementioned Taco Tuesday fun, I found that Angus had done the work seen in the attached photograph: the boom is back on (after being refinished and painted, just like the oh-so-shiny new mast), the boom vang as well, the outhaul and reefing lines that run through the mast are all brand new and in place, the traveler is back in place with some (not all) new components and new line, and the new mainsheet is coiled and hanging from the boom while the new running backstays are coiled and hanging from the mast pulpit.

There’s still no backstay (let alone the insulators on said backstay that are the primary instigator of all this delay), no flag halyards and the wires and cables coming from the mast (for the wind instruments, the radar, the wifi booster, etc.) are still just hanging in the cabin.

But there HAS BEEN progress. So I’m choosing to focus on that aspect of things.

That, and the serenity of spending most evenings watching the stars and listening to tunes (tonight’s selection is Goose). Ahhhhhhh….

A New Season, In a Lot of Ways

Halle-fuckin’-lujah! Further is FINALLY back in the water. And with a mast, no less!

The sun hit the northernmost point in its annual journey this morning at 5:13 a.m. local time. The summer solstice marked the end of spring and the first day of summer.

Today also marked the end of another super-long season when Further found her way back into the water. She was returned to Back Creek in Annapolis, six-plus months after she came out of those same waters for a winter of rehab. Several projects were completed this winter, including the installation of new lithium batteries, a thorough cleansing of the spaghetti-like electrical system and the removal and glassing over of some defunct through-hulls.

But the big project was a complete overhaul of Further’s standing and running rigging: her mast, boom, and the rod and wires them all up, and the lines that hoist and control the sails that hang from that rigging. It was a project that was supposed to be done in early April. And that’s when the fun began.

Early April got pushed to the last week of April, due to a couple of missing parts for a new rod backstay that was replacing the old wire backstay (the backstay is the cable/rod that runs from the top of the mast to the stern, or back, of the boat). Okay, fine…there’s been a complete mucking up of the supply chain around the world. I get it. Last week of April it is.

Then we were into May. “Looking good for next week,” I heard. Then…nothing. I heard that a couple of more times and then we were into June, at which point, after I started getting in the riggers’ faces in person, I heard about “well, we still have to point the boom.”

“Paint the boom?,” I asked. “That’s the first I’ve heard of that and you’ve had the rigging SINCE THE NEW YEAR.”

I don’t know if my tales of being homeless (my apartment lease ended on May 24) and having to spew money that had been budgeted for this rigging project into hotel rooms and AirBNBs and such got these guys off their asses, but I doubt it. I’ve written before of the, well, let’s call it the laissez-faire attitude of the marine industry here in Naptown, so I highly doubt anything moved the crew to actually, you know, put the damned mast back on the damned boat.

Not that the job is finished, mind you. It’s not. Yes, the mast is back where it belongs (and it’s beee-yoo-ti-ful) and the fittings are all nice and shiny, and the halyards are all nice and, well, shiny, too. But there’s still no boom, a bunch of the fittings are yet to be installed and, of course, there’s still no $%$% backstay, not even the old, wire backstay that was going to be a temporary solution until the ordered-in-February (yes, February) parts arrive.

But Further is in the water and that’s a start. The mast is on and that’s a start. I’ll be moving back aboard on Thursday and that’s a start. Then there are a couple of other projects that got started last year — as in: back in 2021 — that have had to wait on the new rigging, things like an arch that will replace the old davits and hold the solar panels and wind generator, and a new bimini (the canvas “roof” above the helm) to replace the old one that was falling apart. They will begin post-haste.

It’s a new season.

Blast from the Past

How cool is this? Friends Jen and Lee Maynard just alerted me to this YouTube video they shot back on Saturday, January 27, 2018 — a bit shy of four years and four months ago. The occasion is Further‘s renaming ceremony, which went off without a hitch, as you can see here. I mean: it’s January and I’m wearing shorts!

A bunch of friends came by, the rain held off, and with my friend slipmate Renee McMillan-Cox’s help (her former boat, Sunday Kinda Love, is visible to Further‘s port when the camera looks out toward the water/bow), we pulled off a by-the-book ceremony. I had Annapolis Smokehouse cater the event and between the rum, wine and champagne that were called for — and then all the beer around the fire pit later that evening — I woke up on Sunday with a whopping hangover. But it was SO worth it: a truly great time with great friends and, knock on wood, the appropriate gods were appeased in the process.

One thing missing from the video is me explaining the source of Further‘s name, but I’ll save that for a later post…

Thanks for the video, Jen and Lee!