The current (November 2013) issue of Yachting World contains a nice feature story I wrote about all the sailing I did on Lunacy last winter in the Spanish Virgin Islands. The theory, of course, is that this will inspire people to sail there this winter. When preparing the story, I therefore made a point of including an accurate map showing which parts of Vieques (a former U.S. Navy gunnery range) are still closed to the public due to the danger of unexploded ordinance. Believe it or not, I did have some trouble coming by this information when I was in the Spanish Virgins, and I impressed upon David Glenn, editor-in-chief at YW, that anyone visiting the area should find it very useful.
Of course, the comic didn’t have space to print my map, so I thought I better post it here (see image up top), seeing as how I went to all the trouble of drawing it. If you do visit Vieques this year and somehow manage to blow yourself up, now you can’t blame me. But on the other hand, if you want your visit to the island to be as interesting as mine was, you might want to forget to bring the map.
Lunacy, meanwhile, won’t be going anywhere this winter. I’m just back from spending a couple of days aboard in Casco Bay, where I enjoyed the dregs of the season in fine style. Yesterday morning I delivered her to Maine Yacht Center, and they pulled the mast out with the quickness as soon as I unbent the sails. Word has it they’re hauling her today.
I’m still in a state of denial, so to remind myself why I shouldn’t sail the boat south again this winter, I’ve drawn up a preliminary punch list of work that needs doing:
-Reweld and reinforce rudder skeg before it falls off hull
-Check bottom rudder bearing
-Install proper cap for bilge drain before boat sinks
-Remove propane hot-water heater before it explodes or something
-Rebed coachroof chimney fitting for propane cabin heater
-Replace rotted floorboard under propane cabin heater
-Replace window leak on forward house
-Reglaze aft port deck hatch
-Replace wind turbine blades
-Replace cockpit dodger
-Replace mainsail reefing lines
-Replace spinnaker tack line
-Repair edge damage to sails
-Repair mainsail cover
-Clean topsides for first time in years
Plus I’m sure there’s a bunch of other stuff I’ve forgotten to include. All of which goes to illustrate what I’ve always said about a properly maintained boat: it is not an object; it is a process.
All sailing this winter will be on a strictly OPB (Other People’s Boats) basis, which is often more relaxing, but not quite as much fun.