Thursday, May 08, 2008

The 2008 Sailing Season has Commenced

The 2008 sailing season has commenced.

While my 76-year old father, Pappa Salt, has been sailing in the very cold and rainy Midwest for over a month, our season started yesterday. Typically, we'd take a few weeks to prep the boat, ensuring that she was sanded, varnished, well cleaned, polished and painted (both below the waterline and the bootstripe). This year was different, a combination of family obligations, parenting Baby Salt (who's almost one year old) and work limited my boat prep schedule to one weekend. And it wasn't really even a weekend, I had a free weekend day to get the boat prepped and one day to get her in.

Thankfully, our boat is very heavily built, in decent shape and we've been slowly upgrading some of the more critical components, combined with the fact that she's a fairly low-maintenance boat, enabled us to do a good enough job to get her in the water for the season. In one afternoon, we applied two coats of Micron CSC bottom paint. Its supposed to be multi-season (the rep said we could get two to three seasons use), and at $200 a gallon, were planning for this to be the last bottom paint job for a few seasons. We also had a few prominent stains on the hull, which we removed. Other than that and a mild washing of the hull, we didn't do anything other than check the rigging to ensure that it was fine -- which it is.

Yesterday, we headed down to the bay and dropped her into the water, stepped mast, rigged the boat in under three hours, leaving us enough time for a little sail. Which we did. Life was perfect that afternoon.

Becoming a first-time father in June of 2007 didn't leave me with much time to sail, so we are trying to figure out a way that we can add more sailing into the mix, while, at the same time, being fair to Mrs. Salt in terms of weekend baby duties. So that is what we need to figure out this year. I expect in a few years that this issue will subside, because Baby Salt will be sailing with us. As I know some readers have expressed interest in balancing a marriage, sailing and a newborn, we'll do our best to tell you how this works.

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