"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." -Andre Gide

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Neighbor "Wilson", John Denver, and the Sailing Poets

Charles Doane of WaveTrain wrote, "One thing I learned early on in my bluewater sailing career is that there are, in fact, just two sorts of bluewater sailors: there are poets, who become engineers in spite of themselves, and there are engineers, who become poets in spite of themselves."

Yesterday, we noticed that one of our dock-mates had mounted a satellite panel so that he could watch television on his boat. I remarked that that was anathema! Being on a boat on a lovely sunny day breathing the great outdoors! How could he watch television!?!! Why not read a book or write fantastic poetry?!? This is a 25' boat that sits in the marina 99% of the time! I couldn't believe it!

But, another dock neighbor, we will call "Wilson", argued that not all of us can be poets! Truman laughed. And then, almost by divine appointment, some old dude backed his truck up to the dock, sat on his truck-bed, played his guitar, and belted out some of the finest live acoustic tunes I've ever heard for the next hour. We listened to Rocky Mountain High better then John Denver delivered it, followed by James Taylor, etc.

Another marina-mate remarked, "Now there he goes messing up our peaceful solitude!"


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Weekend Warriors

Mounted a classic British Seagull motor (spare) on the back.
Ran new rope through the auto-furler.
Ran new rope through the main-sheet.
"Water Bow Line" knot tied.
"Lashing" done to secure rope ends.
Truman ran 10 miles today; I ran a leasurely 5. But, we spent almost all day in the sun! It was glorious!

The Original Boat: The Strega II

This is the original boat. It has been in the same slip for 40 years. It was built in 1970 and the buyer put it in this marina where it has probably been ever since!
We bought it on August 20, 2009. It was named Strega II by the manufacturer.
The boat was never renamed or painted.....until now!
We set out to give this 25' Coronado some lovin'. Commonly called a "pig" in the yachtie world, this Coronado sailboat offers a generous berth and galley, a wide hull, and short keel. You will see the whole size of the boat when we post the pictures of the boat on the beach like a whale!
The sails where toast so Truman gave them to a local sailmaker on consignment. And we got brand new sails made! We polished and shined the original fiberglass in order to find out what the original color of the boat was. Guess what? It went from dull, oxidized white to just plain shiny eggshell!
Basically, Truman took over the electrical and mechanical and exterior overhaul. I took over the interior and teak refinishing. The bulk of the work took us 3 months of weekends to complete.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Why blog? What's the use?

One of my favorite friends wrote to me, "I read your blog, but I feel like a stalker."

Well, what do I do? I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable, and of course, reading is optional. Sure, this is a little like having my own reality show. But, I've always decopaged, journalled, etc. I've resisted the scrap-booking craze!

Most of what we write is for our own enjoyment, but there are other things that blogging accomplishes:
  • I prove that there are many happy days on a boat, not just the day you bought it and the day you sell it!

  • I share with others the sincere and simple pleasures of the slow seaside life.

  • I build connections and points of common interest with readers that I may have never met in person.
  • I am accountable to our readers for the things I write and say that I am doing. The "accountable" life can push one past her comfort zone into successes that she may not have been able to achieve on her own.

  • I buy a kick-ass camera and post tons of mouth-watering pictures of the boat and the water!
What's not to love?

"Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow!"

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Captain's First Post

And now for some of the sailboat maintenance that all you followers have been reading about in this tag team blog. I won't be sticking to maintenence solely, but I will detail the retrofit of Training Wheels: the initial boat selection, the complicated renaming process, making old parts new, and even some modifications (who would think anything would be left to mod on a 40 year old boat). I am sure from time to time that I will work some Zen into my posts but I think by reading the posts so far that will mostly be covered by Lauren.

Why buy a sailboat? The question has come up a lot and I can understand why, most non-sailors only know two things about boats, that "boat" means a hole in the water that you pour money into and that the best days of your life is when you buy and then sell your boat. For me I would say it represents a type of freedom that is a natural extension of how I have lived my live so far. Being able to take steps forward where no path exists. To go places few have gone and to get access to more surfing locations that can't be had by car. I also hoped to learn new things about myself, my spouse, and life in general. Sailing is a lot like life; every trip out requires preparation and patience and every trip out has the potential for deep satisfaction, major frustration, or every so often life and death situations. I have tried to buy a sailboat many times over the last 15 years and always backed out for one reason or another. Now was my time, and in a sense, this will be the story.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How to Look at the World

One of my patients is an artist. I mean, a real artist…like, with paintings in galleries. Not just a hobbyist. She is radiantly beautiful. She glows with an inner calm, a spirit of peaceful harmony with life and the land. In some minutes of openness, she shared with me how she developed thinking, knowing artist eyes. Her grandmother, also an artist, took her out of school on special days and they would walk the land and look at trees and flowers and grass. And “my grandmother taught me how to look at the world.”

It is not a philosophical or religious question. Well, that is not fair, because maybe it is. But, it is meant to be a health question. How can I live the healthiest life available to me? We look at the world whether we think about how we do it or not. Clearly, some outlooks are healthier than others. Did we learn to look at it? Did I look at it the way I’ve always looked at it? Did I take any different steps in my looking? Were there any new vistas? Are there any new colors or shapes?

Since I’ve started examining how I look at the world, I’ve noticed that playfulness comes easier. There is more room for humor and even failure. What would it be like to have a purple dog? How about green eggs and ham? And almost as quickly as I can come up with these endless possibilities, I want to share them with someone else. This presents a problem akin to the tree falling in the forest. If I don’t post it on facebook, does it really exist?
George Berkeley (1685-1753) talked of objects ceasing to exist once there was nobody around to perceive them. Old George would probably be overwhelmed with the amount of information available at our fingertips today. The internet, while fraught with cyber-pollution and cyber-noise, may not exist if I don’t look at it.

My artist patient is a Baby-Boomer. I’m a Gen-Xer. Everyone born after 1980 is a Millenial. At some point, we all decide how to look at our world. Perhaps more of my days could be “special” days in which I take time out to observe, revere, appreciate, listen, describe, and find peace. Maybe I can pass it on to someone else the old fashion way: in person, face to face, with a bright radiant gift smile.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Morning

"Where is the sailboat maintenance?", you might be asking. Well, the Captain has been out of town. He is returning tomorrow and we hope to have something posted soon of a more mechanical, classic elbow-grease nature.
I could go on and on about my own Zen pursuits.... Have no fear! There will be more posts from this First Mate!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Taking Responsibility for My Own Happiness, Health and Well-being

Part of the appeal of the name Training Wheels is that we are in a new season of our lives. We are learning to live differently for the first time. Truman and I are both 30-something professionals who have given our lives to our career development. We moved to this quaint beach town 18 months ago with the hopes of downshifting into a slower pace of life.

I currently work 58 hours a week on an easy week, probably 80 hours on a hard week. I am still coming to terms with the demands of my profession. Tonight I had a major breakthrough, an "Aha moment" as Oprah would say!

Nathaniel Branden, PhD has written a great book entitled Taking Responsibility: Self-Reliance and the Accountable Life. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT to EVERYONE! I am reading through this book and am prompted to take greater responsibility for my physical and emotional health. I am not going to be a victim of my workweek any longer. I am unwilling to compromise and accept the fall-out of a lifetime of working 60-80 hour weeks! Don't get me wrong, I saw my parents do it. I have great respect for work ethic and working hard.

I am responsible for my physical well-being. I am the cause of my physical condition. I am responsible for my weight and fitness. My sense of self expands when I exercise with awareness and accountability. I am not a victim of my job. No one will come to save me. I take full responsibility for my physical health. I will make my health a priority by scheduling exercise into my day.

All this to say that I have decided to begin work 30 minutes later on Monday, and leave 30 minutes earlier on Wednesday. I think this will enable me to get to the gym almost every day of the week. I know it sounds crazy that I can only rationalize working one less hour a week! But, it is a start!

My weight has always fluctuated within a 20 lb range. I've felt my best when I was 146 lbs. That was 6 years ago and again 10 years ago. I would accept 148-150 lbs, but I usually I am around 156. Unfortunately, my weight effects every aspect of my self-esteem and sex drive. It is time for me to take responsibility for my own weight!

I am ready to work less. Monday morning I can lift weights and StairMaster, Tuesday evening yoga, Wednesday evening swimming, Thursday evening yoga class, Friday running, then Saturday and Sunday is whatever suits me!


Angela Lansbury, Eat Your Heart Out!

After 5 straight days of howling wind, thunder, lightening, torrential downpours, and power outages, I decided to bike down to the docks on this fine Saturday morning to inspect the damage. There were pictures of moored boats at Port San Luis, Avila Beach, being blown onto the rocks. I hope our little harbor is safer!

The Captain is out of town, so I am enjoying doing exactly what I want to do! Ha! I made myself a celery, apple, grapefruit juice, got on my pink beach-cruiser and headed out into the glorious sunlight!

Leaving the house, the Morro Rock and sea spray are shiny in the sun!

Everything looks calm. There are no boats washed up on the sandspit. That is a good sign!

It is just a little flooding. No sweat, right?

What a relief! All is well in the dock!

On my way back home, I stopped at Top Dog Coffee Shop and read a little of Middlemarch. George Eliot can capture the provincial life with spectacular clarity!

"But she hesitated to beg that he would keep entire silence on a subject which she had herself unnecessarily mentioned, not being used to stoop in that way; and while she was hesitating there was already a rush of unintended consequences under the apple-tree where the tea-things stood."

page 706

"She was unpleasantly conscious that she had been on the verge of speaking as 'one of the foolish women speaketh'--telling first and entreating silence after." page 707

Ahhhh, the provincial life!!!! Morro Road, Lazy Saturday morning.
The first day of sun in 5 days!
Have a great day, friend!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Elephant Seal Mama cries at the Birth of Her Baby

Totally Amazing!

Elephant Seal Rookery in San Simeon, January 2010!
~Lauren, First Mate

How to be a Good First Mate

Basically, every marriage book I've ever read has prepared me for taking on the task of becoming a First Mate. We have been married for 8 years, so I've read a lot of them! Now it is just time to follow all that good advice.

I feel like each time we take the boat out of the slip we are playing out some quotable vignette in which the Captain (husband) is supposed to manage the way-ward crew (wife and/or family) and subvert any possible attempted mutiny. This is not a compliment to my own behavior! I am usually the instigator of said mutiny attempts. Insubordination cannot be tolerated on such a small vessel!
Ha ha! All joking aside, the opportunity to become a better help-mate has rather clearly presented itself. I have taken to refinishing the galley. Truman has attended to the motor and sails. We make a good team actually. But, we are learning to steer, tack, navigate, anchor, etc.

There are several obstacles:

First of all, I have never taken a sailing class. I have never read a sailing book. I might be considered lazy.... the jury is still out on that one. But, Truman has the task of educating himself and then educating me at whatever level he feels appropriate. I am perfectly happy with this arrangement!

Let's see how it works out this year! Follow along with us!

~ Lauren, First Mate

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

First Post, Stardate 2010.1.18

Captain's Log

Let the adventures, or misadventures, begin! ha ha, ARrgh, Matie!