The time is ticking closer and closer to when we can take the boat out of the Golden Gate! It’s been such a long road to getting her sailing! In the past few months, Tom has replaced all the standing rigging, secured the spreaders, hoisted the mizzen boom and sail, and is now working on securing the anchor to a beautiful bronze bow roller he bought in Port Townsend.
We’ve also cleaned and sealed the huge stainless steel water tank, which resides under the floorboards in the “living room.” I wish I had more of a skill set to help with these things, but I call myself the “support staff”, and make healthy dinners every night. Although last weekend I did learn how to thread a screw hole! I’m slowly learning how to recognize tools, which doesn’t necessarily mean I know how to use them. In the course of watching Tom fix the boat, I’ve been wishing that more women (and people) knew how to use basic tools and knew how to fix basic things around the house. Tom’s been figuring things out and fixing things since he was a child, and can do almost anything himself.
I can’t wait to get the boat out of the marina and test her new rigging on the swells. This weekend is when we plan to take her out. It will be the first time with three sails, and I’m excited to see how well she heels and moves with the wind. Hopefully we can go around Alcatraz, under the Golden Gate Bridge. And after that, we’ll be able to cruise out to the Farrallons, anchor for the night in Point Reyes. I can’t wait for these adventures, which will turn the crowded Bay area into a nature scene for me, away from the crush of traffic and dense buildings. We’ll see endless ocean, sea life, and the rugged cliffs of the California coastline. I can’t wait to head down to the Channel Islands near Santa Barbara and scuba dive.
I have gotten so used to the small space of the boat. I love cooking in the kitchen with the breeze on my face coming through the main entry. I love the rumble of the kerosene heater, the teak walls, the dining room table. Now, when I’m in a big house with Tom, he feels far away, like we have to holler at each other across space to be heard. Now I am housesitting in Oakland and even this small house feels stagnant and static. I wonder how these new living experiences are changing my paradigm of what it means to call a place “home.”
The boat is a mobile home for the water. It’s a way to travel and explore without booking hotels, dealing with bedbugs and dirty sheets. My heart longs for the ocean. I can’t wait to go out the Golden Gate, heel her over, and fly.