Saturday, June 26, 2010

Furry Pirates and Landlocked by Water

It's hard to believe it has been 8 months since my last posting. I could make excuses about being busy at Christmas, visiting our kids in Australia in February and March but it just comes down to being lazy.

"So True", the world's first completed Pocketship after the prototype, survived being covered with a tarp over the winter and I had actually kind of forgotten what a beautiful little design she is. After her short maiden voyage last October I have been anxious to get her out for a real sail but the weather has been rather uncooperative.

There have been very heavy rains this spring and much of the cottage lot has standing water making it impractical to pull out the boat's trailer without creating huge soggy ruts on the lawn. Hence the landlocked by water in the title of this post. Read on for more photos and also details on furry pirates.

I do promise to post sailing photos and videos as soon as we can actually get the boat down to the nearby harbour.

The water in front of the boat...

The water around the boat...

The water on the supposedly high ground of the cottage lot. For us it is just an inconvenience but for the local farmers it is the third year in row that some of them will not be able to sow their crops because of the saturated fields.

I did manage to get the sails fully up and do some minor rigging adjustments that I found were necessary from the boat's inaugural sail. I discovered John C. Harris' (Pocketship's designer) instructions for raising the mast easily by one person lifting the mast up from the cockpit while another person on the ground pulls it up the rest of the way by using the spinnaker halyard attached to the top of the mast. I also sawed off part of the keel trough so that the rudder can stay on the boat rather than being attached and removed every time it is launched. In the wet conditions it has been difficult to clean the boat without tracking mud into the cockpit. Hopefully some respite from all the rain is in the future.

And now for something completely different, the furry pirates story. When we opened the cottage this spring one of the roof vents was damaged from what I thought was winter ice and snow. I replaced it only to find the next weekend that the new vent had been completely chewed through. I assumed it was squirrels but when replacing the destroyed vent with metal vents I looked in the roof opening to discover a nest of baby raccoons. The photo shows the mother raccoon giving me the evil eye when I looked in the attic to investigate. Wildlife management informed us that we would have to trap the mother before making any attempt to crawl in the attic and remove the babies as the mother can be quite dangerous and vicious when protecting her young.
The mother raccoon ignored the trap baited with sardines and instead spent 2 nights chewing her way out of the attic through the metal vent. Conveniently for us, we had disturbed and made things uncomfortable for the mother and she evacuated the attic with all three babies.
If we had trapped the mother and babies it would have been our problem of how to dispose of them.

A photo of me and my son in front of the 36' Pearson that he and his wife are now living on. He is now out of this marina and at a swing mooring at the Southport Yacht Club on the Gold Coast, Australia. I did get to do some minor cabinet work alterations done while I was there on our visit in February and March.

The entire family in our Australian apartment that was right on the beach. Left to right, my daughter Dana, her Kiwi boyfriend Paul, my wife Gab, myself, my son Trev, and his Australian wife Ali.

There is not enough room for 3 vessels on our cottage lot so the old stinkpot is up for sale. The sailboat and jetski should be enough to keep as busy.

Until next time, and I promise it won't be 8 months.