Beat the Clock

Remember that game show? This is the one where there was a large clock ticking away while game show participants tried to complete weird tasks within a certain time frame. If they ‘beat the clock’ they won. If not…BUZZZZZZZ. This is a great game for helping Attention Deficit Disordered people focus and get stuff done. Apparently it’s also something that lights a fire under the butts of middle aged sailors who leave the dock in 2.5 months and counting. Even as I type this on a Sunday evening, Mike is up at the storage unit working on something or other…probably solar panels he just got, but possibly the forward head. The big clock. It’s ticking loudly.

The list of projects Mike is working on is taking on a life of its own. It’s growing faster than a compressed sponge dinosaur in a hot tub. He’s run new water lines, put hot water in the forward head. He’s installed the new water heater. He’s working on rebuilding the second ‘head’, a Skipper II by Crittendon Marine, the kind you can flush a raincoat down. I thought I would give a hand with that, but then I took a brief glance at the parts schematic involved and quickly decided that my ‘help’ would be more trouble than it’s worth. The list of things I cannot really help him with much on this boat grows alarmingly long. But hey, I have nice  hair and its usually clean. I try to smell decent, too. Plus I can sing, paint rocks, and make beautiful mermaid dolls.  We all have our jobs.

Most of the time, this level of boat yoga is Mike’s job. Most of the time.

We are brainstorming things like the layout for our jack lines and where we will put attachment points in the cockpit. (That’s for clipping ourselves onto the boat so it’s impossible to fall off.) How we’ll store Penguin the Pudgy on the foredeck. How we need to organize the lazarette and what the odds are that we can create some kind of additional on-deck storage for all the bits and bobs that need a home. We ordered and registered our EPIRB (the emergency beacon we never want to use). Our list is long. We are learning to pare it down to the bare necessities rather than all the things we’d like to have. The list of items we won’t be buying is also long. Listen to me while I heave a big sigh. SIGH.

I hear clunking on the deck. I pop my head up the hatch. It’s Mike with the solar panels. He’s like a kid at Christmas with his new toy.  Wait till you see how he’s mounting them on the aft rail.  I’ll give you a hint: Tate and Dani of Sundowner Sails Again gave him the idea. It worked great for them, even though the naysayers insisted it wouldn’t.

Time used to go so slowly. Now it’s speeding toward our June departure. Monday is our 35th wedding anniversary. We can’t believe that, actually. It’s a bit surreal. We were just babies when we tied the knot. We know that we are the lucky ones: the ones whose love has grown rather than dwindled over many decades. We drew the 10 of Cups card when we found each other all those years ago, bright eyed and ready to take the world on together. And why not? Everything in life is more fun when it’s shared with the one you love.

That time we drove from Wyoming to Texas in a Ford Fairlane with no heat. Fun times, fun times.

When we had our 25th anniversary, that seemed like a big deal. We took the family to Hawaii. For our 30th, we went to La Paz, Mexico together and had a hilarious time; dreaming about going there on our own boat. You might want to read about that trip. Mike wrote some ripping funny posts about it. They still make me laugh out loud.

We like to travel on our anniversary every 5 years. Those years feel like real milestones. This year, for our 35th, we’re in the final phase of preparing for our trip of a lifetime. Who knows where we will end up for our 40th?

Tick. Tock.

By the way, if you are reading this on a tablet or on your phone, you may not see the sidebar on the left where you can subscribe to our blog via email and where you can search through old posts by month of publication. You’ll find those at the bottom of the page. WAY down there. Turning your screen to the landscape mode will help. We’ll be making some changes that we hope will fix that. 

17 thoughts on “Beat the Clock

  1. Because I didn’t know you when you wrote those previous posts, I had to click on your links and read them. I especially liked the trip to Mexico, and making margaritas with double the tequila that the recipe calls for! (The fish sounds delish too!)

    Happy Anniversary, here’s to another great year!

    • I remember those fish tacos fondly, in spite of the fact that I make fish tacos as a regular part of our diet. Something about the fish being completely fresh, doing it on the grill, and possibly the margaritas, make those tacos muy memorable.

    • You got that right, Stephanie. Right now excitement and panic are going mano a mano. The overwhelmed part is, I fear, what Mike feels the most since he is still working at a regular job plus doing boat projects in all his spare time.

  2. I’m SURE you’ve heard this all before re solar panels on side rails…

    – a pain to put up and take down whenever you move (panels on bimini/dodger always up and available)
    – a lot of windage, and in seas susceptible to being hit by big waves; in rough condition you’ll likely not deploy them
    – in a marina, the side next to dock hard to deploy without being in the way

    Solar panels were in our top 3 most important additions. The time spent on them all worth it.


    • Our hard dodger already has two large solar panels on top with no more room for more. We know from our experiences cruising for 5 weeks the west coast of Vancouver Island that these panels provide just about enough juice for us, but we’d like more wiggle room, especially at anchor. Mike has come up with a solution that we believe will work well, even given the cons you’ve listed. Of course, if it doesn’t work like we think it will, then we rethink.

  3. Congrats on the anniversary! Huge 🙂

    BTW, Jack lines don’t stop you from falling off the boat. They just keep you dragging along side while you desperately hope someone comes to your rescue and pulls you back over the rail. Ask me how I know this.


    • Thanks! We’ve been studying up on deploying jacklines that will keep you from actually falling off the boat. Long ago, when we had the Cal34 and were making a night passage across the Strait of Juan de Fuca in brisk sailing conditions, we put jack lines out and I insisted that the tethers be doubled, basically shortened by half, so that people would not be able to fall off and be dragged through the water. That’s an experience no one needs to have. We’ll be sure to post a further explanation when we get those deployed on board Galapagos, but until then you might find the articles on jack lines on Attainable Adventure Cruising to be of interest for your own boat. I’m not going to ask how you know. That sounds awful.

  4. Happy Anniversary!
    That list will never go away and it will get longer but your prioritizing will change.
    Fun watching the transition.
    SV Kelly Nicole

  5. Yep, so much to do in so little time. We’ll soon be tackling the solar project and have often thought about doing what Taye & Dani did .. Looking forward to seeing what you’ve done.

    Happy Anniversary!

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