Click HERE to see a video from our trip.
Log for the week of January 3, 2005 by PS
It 's been far too long since I sat down and wrote the log. Several loyal log readers have asked for updates, so here goes.
What to write about? It's not as if life suddenly stopped. Or did it? Sailing across seemingly endless miles of ocean, awake four hours, resting four hours, awake four hours, resting four hours, day after day, for weeks on end. Seeing a dark band of squalls screaming towards us on the radar, heading on deck to a dark pitching world, grappling with halyards and reef points to shorten sail before the tempest struck, where one wrong move would have you closer to Neptune's outstretched arms. Where everyone around you spoke with a voice that was anything but English. Where quiet tropical anchorages greeted you with hibiscus flowers gently floating in the water. As if they were saying, "Stay a while. Enjoy my beauty." Whoa. Where am I going with this? You must be saying to yourself, "Wait a minute. Is this the same PS that wrote "Passages are numbing of the mind.""? Ah, but the passing of time clouds the memory.
Seeing a dream turn into reality takes persistence, perseverance, patience, planning and a bit of luck. There are perhaps fewer than 200 people at any given time living the dream of a complete circumnavigation. Some dreams end at the boat broker. Some on the first sail across the bay. Some sailing the ocean for the first time. Some dreams get caught in the Caribbean, sailing around and around trying to stay ahead of the hurricanes. Some end after spending time in a ten foot by forty-foot box, where having "My Space" becomes all-important. Somewhere in the previous lines is the answer to Iwalani's fate.
Less than six months after we sold Iwalani, she was up for sale. The young couple that bought her seemed a good fit. He had practically memorized our logs and always dreamed of owning a Colin Archer type. She was young, energetic, had worked on offshore fishing boats and seemed to be ready for anything life threw at her. But their dream of sailing Iwalani to distant places ended after moving her a few hundred miles. Iwalani is now tied to a mooring in the Chesapeake Bay, awaiting her next adventure.
Unlike a child, Iwalani is truly on her own. A child is family for life. Iwalani is now someone else's charge. All Amy and I can do is hope she someday finds herself on one of the great oceans, with only the blue sea around her.
Our next adventure is re-modeling our house. Amy spent quite a bit of her time at sea planning the work. New roofline, lots of dormers, new interior layout. The list goes on. Basically, nothing that existed upon our return will remain. Not even the foundation is free from Amy's vision. That's OK. It gives me a chance to make up for my idleness at sea. A welcome change.
My life has consisted of creating lists of materials and then making those materials disappear. Eighteen yards of concrete, gone. One thousand cement blocks, gone. Eight yards of stone, six yards of sand and sixteen hundred pounds of Portland cement all mixed together by hand, gone. You get the idea. Hopefully, I will be finished in two years. Then we move on to the next stage.
Even before Iwalani's keel was laid, the plan was to build Iwalani, sail her around the world, sell her and buy a floatplane and fly to British Columbia. It turns out that if a buy a certified float plane I would not be able to do the work on it. I would have to go to school, apprentice as an aircraft mechanic and pass the FAA A & P exam. While I suppose I could do all that, I would much rather take the route of building my own plane. Then the FAA would let me maintain it myself.
I researched early floatplanes and wanted to build a wood and fabric replica. What I wasn't considering was the fact that early plane design was rather crude. The flight characteristics were poor at best and deadly at worst. A very good pilot (and friend of mine) quickly set me straight. Early replicas were OK for experienced pilots just hopping around the pattern, but Amy was now talking about flying all the way to Australia! Doh. Building a modern replica would involve getting permission from the designer and paying whatever royalties they demanded. Oh. Guess it was on to plan B. Building a kit plane. At present, the Dream Aircraft Tundra seems to be a good match. I say that because I know what I don't want, a low performance plane. My sons and I were witness to a floatplane crash because of lack of power and overloading. Amy and I visited the factory in Granby, Quebec and liked what we saw. Then we took a test flight and were hooked. This is a very "production looking" kit airplane. We will be picking up our kit in January 2007. Visit our building logs HERE and check it out.
So there you have it. House renovation for the next two years. Then on to building a kit plane and flying west and then perhaps south. Uh, is that a kangaroo I see out the windshield? PS