Shifting into project mode

Friday October 9    Santa Barbara

Today we shift into a different gear — project mode.

I have enjoyed the upscale amenities of Santa Barbara these past days. I’ve visited museums, become a regular at Starbucks, and hosted friends on a sunset sail, for which I was paid handsomely in hors d’oeuvres  and laughter.   But I have to pay my dues for this luxury.

Today begins project weekend. There is a list of things to get done prior to leaving for Mexico. Chief among them is installing a new pedestal for the windlass.  It begins when I up-anchor as the sun comes up and motor from the anchorage to the marina to obtain a slip for the next two or three days. The early bird gets the worm proves true, and I obtain one of the few transient slips that the marina has available by being an early bird arrival, and jumping through the hoops of the Santa Barbara harbor master’s office that has turned the simple act of renting a slip into bureaucratic nonsense rivaling entry into a foreign country. I am polite and patient in order to wrestle the slip from the staff.

Donn and Jerry arrive at 6 pm and I am so glad to see them. We get organized, have drinks, and then Donn cooks up a dinner for the three of us. And it feels like old home week again.

The next morning we attack the windlass pedestal project because we know it will take three times longer than our estimate. We work with wrenches and wires all day while taking turns in the cramped anchor locker. At about 3 pm Donn almost gives up on the install, and I am surprised, since he is one of the most determined people on the planet, and I’ve never seen him come close to giving up on anything. I bring him a glass of water and he gets a second wind. By sunset we have a brand new functioning windlass installed. We take turns playing with it. And all the day’s considerable pain, sweat, frustration and failed tries dissolves as we bask in our success.

We are men, and this is what we do for our lady Raven’s Dance.

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