This is the summer that wasn’t. An unscheduled stop. A colosal disruption. 2021 is the year of the known unknowns, then there are the unknown unknowns.
OMOO and crew started unplanning the yearly voyage while patiently waiting for Covid vaccines and restrictions to lift. One thing led to another in the breakdown department. Undoing the doing we’ve done every summer for the last ten years came with some painful adjustments.
OMOO turned out to be requiring some maintenance and the Skipper was holding things together and doing the fixing, a constant happy occupation for his engineer’s brain.
After taking four new crew to Tent Island on a day sail, the Skipper headed back out with old crew to chase some wind and enjoy an overnight anchorage in Princess Cove on Wallace Island. After a delightful sail, the crew secured the boat with a hook and a stern-tie. A pleasant evening of chit-chat ensued and all was right with the world again. OMOO was thrilled to be doing all the things she normally does. It started to look like the post pandemic world was opening up again.
Nope, not happening… The next morning with the stern-tie released, the engine purring and the crew in place to haul up the anchor, the windlass called it quits, caputs, nada. The bolts holding the motor in place sheared off and it separated from the capstan. It fell onto the panel above the V-berth and went into a deep slumber. It almost died.
Well, OMOO is 20 years old this year so she’s needing some extra lovin’. The Skipper and crew hauled up 60′ of chain bit by bit, using the spring line and hook we have for anchoring. The spring line is actually a climbing rope which stretches and is perfect to take the load off the windlass. The rope is long enough to reach the electric winches in the cockpit. Up came the anchor bit by bit, and home went OMOO to get repaired.
All the unplanning and getting stuck to the dock proved to be fortuitous. Being close to marine stores and repair shops comes in handy when the Skipper can hop in his truck and get what he needs. A few days later with alot of helpful advice from our talented neighbor/boat guru, away it went again, the windlass was revived.
Sideways Sally was having her own existential crisis. In the middle of a staycation her back and legs stopped working. With a little help from a steroid spinal injection things settled down enough to move again. What made the crankiness set in was not being able to do all the things she normally does. This includes sorting and cleaning OMOO and going sailing. NONE OF THE ABOVE WAS HAPPENING!! She got oh so cranky. There was alot of discussion and some tears shed before the partial solution arrived. Her name is Tammy and she’s a housekeeper for boats. She came aboard and accomplished in three hours what it was taking SS to do painstakingly in three days.
On the bumpy road to this final outcome were all the days of fixing and figuring out stuff on the boat, which the Skipper happily plods (his word) along on. SS is safely over yonder on the other side of the pond (in Vancouver) where outta sight outta mind is her motto. When arriving back to the boat after Tammy did her magic, SS felt like she won the lottery. The boat was fixed, AND clean. Miracles do happen!
Then SS won another lottery. A call came in that changed the scheme of things in a hurry. Her spine Doc had a cancellation in the surgery schedule and her awaited laminectomy and spinal fusion (fancy words for fixing an old lady back) was booked in a couple of weeks, instead of a couple of months or more!! Excitement abounded and the hope for some smooth sailing returned.
OMOO, the Skipper and Sideways Sally snuck out for a few days to celebrate, and we were thrilled with life again. Being escorted by a stiff breeze and a pod of Orcas on the way to Clam Bay was so serene we had to pinch ourselves.
Once again we were consumed by the ecstatic loveliness of sailing in the Southern Gulf Islands.
I’m writing this ten days post surgery and I can walk, talk and smile again!! The surgery was a complete success and there’s so many pain free minutes in days that I can almost hop, skip and jump my way back to OMOO.
I’m lovin’ life!!
Hershey – unedited.