It’s already growing dark when Doug gets my attention, says the crabs and oysters are ready and I’m missing them. Indeed, people are seated around long tables under the trees. Sounds of laughter and conversation, and crickets. Shadows seep from the woods and collect in pools beneath the sycamores and cypress. Fireflies lift off from the lawn, scribing arcs above the grass.
Still more to do on the Lightning before she could sail. Raising sails for only the second time, for instance, it became clear the halyards were going to be a problem. While attending to that I broke a few more things, so had to fix those, too.
Like other older racing boats, Lightnings have two-part halyards. The half you haul away on is conventional line, fat and comfortable in the hand. The other half is thin wire. The idea is when fully raised and cleated off it’s mostly the wire under tension, which doesn’t stretch much. Makes sense: Set it once and it’s good for the day.
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Dawn is very noisy. There’s a rooster. A rooster very near, like next to my head. The sun is barely up, and he is hard at work. Also, something else making a racket I can’t quite place. A sheep? No sleeping through it, rise and shine.
“Just pulling out of the driveway. Of course. Still a lot of things to fix.”
“Oh. OK, well, call when you get here. Not sure where we’ll stop, but we’ll be back sometime tomorrow.”
Two hours later, Freeport Landing looks deserted. The sun is low, throwing long shadows across the water. A row of empty trailers lined up near the ramp. One lone boat there. Hmm, maybe someone went along as crew and left their boat. And Mike’s Melonseed is anchored off the beach. Not a soul in sight, though. Sometimes people double up for company or to lend an extra hand.
After seeing those new Lightnings up close, I got some ideas for how to do a few things on old #2833. Still much to learn, but it’s a start. And I got back early enough Saturday to get started. Then had all day Sunday. Two good days in a row, a new record. Main thing is to finish the kickup rudder. That’s essentially done.
John included the plans for the boat, and those came in handy for this. I could draw out the original rudder lines on plotter paper to see how Sparkman & Stephens intended it. Laying the parts down on the lines made it easy to make final decisions and adjustments.