Learning Curve

Sailing away from the City of Sin in the final week of May gave us our first clue as to the complex shape of our learning curve. We were later than we liked getting off the dock for every reason we’ve already written about and they were all good reasons. It was cold and the boatyards of the North Shore rebuffed our attempts to give them money for mast and bottom work. So, the projects we focused on were improvement-oriented. We spent our last few cold weeks in Massachusetts installing a brand new 12 volt electrical charging system, upgrading to a better manual windlass, completely rebuilding the portsides lazarette hatch (the only real remediation project and one that was deeply needed), and rehabbing the dinghy bottom. We trusted that the boat we sailed into Lynn in November of 2021 was the same boat we sailed away from there. We were wrong about that. Cetacea needed more than new gear. We have spent (almost) the entirety of the last two months repairing the unseen damage of a truly terrible winter while also dialing in utterly brand-new systems. With hindsight being, well, you know, we should have been inspecting the whole boat, especially the parts we’ve never had to give much thought to, with a fine tooth comb while we were rebuilding the dink and installing our new electrical system. Even so, there’s no stationary test for boat balance under sail and no foreseeing how much work would be necessary in order to account for everything we’d changed. We expected a learning curve. We’d added weight to both ends and windage aft. We’d loaded Cetacea with massive amounts of food. We knew that there would be some effect and expected to tune both the rig (once we could find someone to unstep[…]

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