I mentioned some catching up to do in the last post, indeed October was quite the month! Boat work with my folks, the purchase of some pretty sweet metalworking equipment, and a road trip with my sister and cousin around New England.
Most engines like to be run occasionally and Northern Cross’s diesel is no exception. The trick was to make the engine think the boat was in the water, so with a hose hooked up instead of the seawater pump and all the connections as Dad remembered they should be, we turned the key. The trusty Perkins 4154 fired right up, not surprising but still a relief as it had been a few years since my folks last ran it.
On Mom’s list of canvas projects to repair or create anew was a windlass cover. Quick work for someone who used this same space to make entire sails years ago.
When I was 8 years old Dad and I spent quite some time in a friend’s basement machine shop working on boat stuff. I can still remember one project as if it were yesterday, turning anchor rollers on a metal lathe using scrap titanium recycled from the junkyard. Ever since then I have wanted a metal lathe of my own. Fast forward 20 years and a Maine Craiglist posting and I finally got my wish – a Sears / Atlas model from the 1950’s, with a 6″ swing and 18″ bed in beautiful showroom condition. I built a worktable for it and was soon hoisting it aboard, slipping it with barely a quarter inch to spare down the V-berth hatch. In a way this was a return to the boat’s past, for when we purchased her in 1989 the V-berth was a workshop. But my parents thought I needed a place of my so out went the dirty shop and in came a cozy cabin.
The weekend before my folks left we had somewhat of a family reunion with a gathering of a few of the dear friends who had all built steel sailboats alongside ours back in the day. To have gone through shared building experiences, cruised abroad, and even taken shelter from hurricanes together makes for life long friendships.
By then it was time for what is becoming an annual event, an adventure with my sister Taryn and cousin Kelli. I was thrilled to have Taryn spend the first several days of her visit in Rockland as she had never seen the boat before. I think she was thoroughly hooked and is now itching to go sailing as much as I am!
Next we met up with our cousin Kelli in New Hampshire to start a week long road trip that would take us around Boston, the White Mountains in New Hampshire, various Vermont destinations, and Montreal.
Next we were off to New Hampshire for a few great, relaxing days with Aunt Marge and Charles. First stop: the local Irish pub.
Off to Vermont we went to visit my cousin Joe and his wife Diana and then to Montreal.
This year’s road trip reinforced several key themes from last year’s trip (which was based in DC). 1) The three of us are quite relentless at ruthlessly harassing one another, nothing, it seems, is sacred, and your ally one moment will likely throw you to the wolves with an outburst of laughter the next. 2) Taryn and Kelli are awesomely up for any adventure at any time (as long as it’s not before noon), and 3) We won’t pass up any chance for ice cream, ever. So naturally the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Vermont was not to be missed.
I suppose that was the proverbial parting shot. Don’t think there’s a happier one in the set really, it’s hard to beat eating ice cream in a cemetery with my sister!