Hello blog, its been a while! Finally after so many rain drenched weekends the skies cleared and we had just gorgeous weather the past few days. Good thing too cause we were busy busy.

Tate put the mast sheaves back in and installed our new spinnaker bail. We are still in debate about which light air sail to go with but in any event the bail will give us flexibility with an extra halyard.
Spinnaker mast sheeves

We met our mast maker, Lefiell, and for a surprisingly low “marine cost” we went ahead and had them fabricate us new bolts, sleeves, upper and lower tangs and the forestay and backstay tangs. Like Robert warned the BLEE is in full force (Boat List Expansion Effect). Might as well just replace it all now while it’s easy right…right?
Upper Tangs
Lower tangs

Except for the upper tangs needing a larger diameter aluminum compression tube the tangs went on without issue. But this bugger… Yes it’s so crisp, clean and reminiscent of Christmas in all of it’s red and green money saving replacement led bulb glory. Yes this piece took 3 hours by itself to install.
LED Tri color light

Many times Tate was at his wits end and I could tell secretly wanted to destroy his foe, forcing us to get another light assembly, but he soldiered on, for me. This Frankenlight was a real problem needing epoxy for cracks, new and harder drill bits (that didn’t work), a grinder and a custom G10 base.

After we mounted the light in a few different arrangements with various holes, screws and bolts we realized the center “line” between the green and the red (port and starboard) on the bulb top wasn’t centered and further that the cover with shaded glass would never line up with the true center line of the bulb anyways!

We figured we could easily just mount the damn thing in any position on this convenient stainless steel plate that was elevated a bit from the mast head. There were already a number of holes drilled throughout so no doubt we’d only have to drill another one or two to make it work. However we determined this plate was made of diamonds so shortly before Tate’s suicide, plans changed and we instead screw mounted the tricolor to a piece of G10 which we bolted onto the diamond plate through existing holes.
Tri color G10 base
Tri color surgery

Oh yeah and we actually had to drill out a new “groove” on the fragile light fixture so the cover’s “key” would allow it to slide into place.
Tri color base

And finally after a few different angles we mounted it all correctly and it WORKS!
Tri color on

To be honest the anchor light arrangement wasn’t much quicker but the work was split into two days making it not quite as troublesome seeming. We took our weatherproof Bebi anchor light and screw mounted it into a Schedule 40 PVC pipe slightly bigger with a screw cap at the bottom as the base. We screwed the base to an aluminum plate which we bolted to the top of an elevated portion of the mast head. I was really impressed with Tate’s mounting creation and we both lovingly named him “R2” (you know, Star Wars).
Anchor Light base

The light is B-R-I-G-H-T! Blinding so close up. It can be wired to have only the front half pointing forward for the steaming light (to be on when motoring at night) and the whole thing which is the anchor light (when you are at anchor so people won’t run the heck into you).
Anchor light on

We didn’t get as far along as we had hoped but the mast head is really coming along.
Finished mast head

The only things left on the mast are to wire up the mast head lights, re-install the VHF antenna, install the lazy jacks (yes I’m screaming inside too!), make one half of the backstay then hook back up all of the standing and running rigging. After that we’ll be ready to lift her back up and finish the boomkin. Exciting times.

Even though we aren’t cruising yet we experience glimpses into the cruising lifestyle through racing, our marina and the boatyard. Just the other day when we were wrapping up our projects a nice gentleman named Bill walked over for a chat. Bill is the skipper aboard “Tortuga”, a really nice looking trawler that he “single handed” himself for 7 years from his hailing port of Rockport Texas around the Great Loop including the Bahamas (I’m nudging you Dad!). Now I’m always impressed by single handers but at almost 70 years old he really is something special.
Tortuga

After our first visit aboard Tortuga where we discussed politics, war (He flew B-52’s in Vietnam, can you believe it? I’m a huge history buff), cruising, working etc he invited us over again Sunday night for D-lish charcoal steaks on the back grill.
Tate having steak
Bill and Dani

After retiring from the Airforce he worked as a private pilot for various famous/semi famous people like Michael Jackson which took him to the far reaches of the globe. He still travels extensively on hunting and fishing trips and of course cruising. He has a thirst for life and really was so excited for Tate and I. He is in absolute agreement with going now urges us to live for adventure.

What an interesting time! I can’t wait to meet others in this world, all with their unique stories and hope that maybe one day it will be Tate and I who have those stories to tell.