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August 2001
Shake Down Sail

It was all Joanne Daums fault. Larry promised to take her sailing on Taleisin if she graduated summa cum laud. She did. But, I was in the middle of provisioning, Larry was trying to get the last ten items off the pre-departure re-fit list. We wanted to be underway within six days. But a promise is a promise. So we spent most of Saturday cleaning up the mess we'd made, storing gear so Taleisin could safely sail out of the river for the afternoon. On Sunday Joanne and Wayne plus three other friends arrived laden with great lunch goodies and we set off for a fine sail in 15 knot winds. Sure glad we did. As we were tacking and gybing, handling gear in a real sailing situation, both Larry and I found ourselves calling "remember to add nylon webbing to the shopping lists" or "the winch needs greasing, add it to the list" or "that bottle needs to be stored in a different place" or "cross this off your list, I found a spare can hidden under this sailbag."

Once again we were reminded, in the rush of preparing for a voyage it is easy to forget to stop and go sailing. Then when you finally do set off, you learn too late that you have forgotten just the things that could have made your actual voyage trouble free or more enjoyable, or you find a modification you made does not work as planned. Our rule in the past has been - two weeks work on the boat, then clean it all up and go sailing to see if what you've been working on actually works well. Joanne's special sail reminded us to re-instate that rule into our voyaging life. Thanks Jo.

The Port Stick
I am sure there is a real salty name for this handy stick. But whatever it should be called, it sure is handy if you have strong hawse holes or fairleads amidships, ones capable of taking a pretty hefty fore and aft load. Instead of having two spring lines lead to cleats on deck (and blocking traffic along the way) we create double fore and aft spring lines using one 60 foot dockline. We find the middle of the line then put a clove hitch around this 1-1/4 inch thick by 9 inch long piece of teak. This gives us two 30 foot springs. When not in use this stick is stored in the logical place, the port cockpit locker.

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