I'm happy to report that I am once again back on the move. I said goodbye to Ken and Ron this morning and as much as I wanted to continue helping out around there, I knew this string of sunny days wouldn't last. A quick flat rate box shipped to VA and I was off into the damp but sunny morning. My only plans are Thanksgiving in LA so that gives me some flexibility. Enough time wastin', gotta get back to the road.
Friends Gary and Barbara in Port Townsend asked if I could help scrape and repaint their sailboat. The 1934 83 ft Danish trawler they converted to private yacht is a member of the family after 40 years of ownership. Gary and I began by scraping any bubbles and marks on the hull followed by sanding with heavy orbital and primer. After long days of toil, it was time to mix and paint the bottom with the toxic anti-fouling. This process took days and culminated with the final coat of enamel above the waterline.
Some nights we worked after sundown, driven by the high cost of daily yard rental and lit by La Tortuga. Gary touches up a few bolts on the rudder and inspects the new zincs.
On the final day out of the water, 12 I think, she's ready to set sail. Gary removed a section of beetle damaged plank and repaired with a patch. Wooden boats are an edible item, Gary reiterates. There is hope that they can cut into the ship and remove the beetle growth in the spring but the situation is like a cancer of a loved one.
Before sunrise Gary started the SEMI diesel two stroke twin cylinder engine which settled into a stable chug-chug blowing black smoke rings into the breeze. The wind blew us back toward the dock in a difficult blackness of predawn. I scrambled foolishly about with rubber fenders feebily attempting to avoid a scrape on the fresh paint. Finally we kiss the far dock, steer clear of the million$ schooner and pass the crab boats and red and blue-lit Coast Guard patrol boat.
Gary turns on the radar and points to the marina and hands me the wheel. The sky is growing warmer with pink waves of bubblegum clouds against the slate blue of dawn. Through the gap to Marrowstone Island stands the pink hazy silhouette of Mt. Rainier. I turn to port slightly and set it as my heading. A sip of coffee and bite of biscotti is reward enough on this fabulous morning afloat.
The month of September was enjoyed in Bay Center along the southwest coast of Washington. Returning to this small island community was a comfortable respite from travel on the road. Not only was the beleagured Ruckus overdue for suspension and brakes, but I personally needed some rest. Long morning walks out to the tidal flats or along the Dike Rd offered views of the locally renowned Willapa Bay oyster operations, a connection to the history of these coastal people.
Neighbors Ron and Jane were planning to rebuild their garage and finish some improvements on their deck and welcomed me into their historic home for a few weeks or more. The projects were numerous but the ample work offered a focus away from the scooter while waiting for parts. My buddy Matt even showed up for a week to perform his own truck ane CT110 repairs. We had a good time catching up and look forward to more adventures in the SW this winter.
I recieved word that a friend in Port Townsend needed a hand scraping and painting his large antique wooden sailboat Ladyhawk so I prepared with work clothes, rain gear and ExtraTuff boots. La Tortuga was finally ready to roll with new front axle, forks, front tire and rear shock shoehorned in from a CH150.
In May 2014 I quit my job to ride a Honda Ruckus over 59'000 mi and counting. Wild camping most nights and cooking most of my own meals, I keep the costs low and the landscape changing.