The Story of Kim, Part III: Top and Bottom

Kim Home . . . Part I . . . Part II

10/2/00 (from a note to a friend)

>Speaking of food, I am so looking forward to some decent Mexican!

Can do. Also not bad Mediterranean I had last night (you probably have as good over there), plus Indian, Thai, the usual suspects. (Have not yet found Ethiope.) We could even go to Mexico for the genuine stuff if you like, though it's probably not worth the drive.

Still no monitor at home, so very sporadic on e-mail. Hope to resolve at latest tomorrow. Will keep you advised.

Cleaned much of Kim's bottom this weekend (somehow that doesn't sound right), but you of course can't see the results. Hopefully it will make her go a bit more smoothly in the water. BTW, my feelings won't be hurt at all if we get out there and you turn up your nose--for all that she's a good boat, she certainly looks rough around the edges. Fortunately, Newport Beach is about much more than that.

10/19/00 (from a note to Saroja)

I've been pretty seriously offline, with a monitor down at home, so I haven't been doing much e-mailing, but now that I have your address in front of me again I can pass you the basic news, which is that last weekend Kim tacked for the first time in about four years. There was barely a breath of wind, but she moved, and for the first time in all the times I've had her under sail, she was able to pick up enough momentum to come completely across the wind. I was very jazzed.

There's always more news, but that should do it on the Kim side.

I'm probably gone Hallowe'en weekend, but sometime after that I hope to get Kim's bottom all scraped and painted, and then she'll be almost like a real boat again. Before that (this weekend) or after that, though, I'd always be delighted to take you and Dana out, if you're ever in the neighborhood. I'm a little less apprehensive and apologetic about showing Kim now that I know she can actually sail.

10/22/00 (note to family)

Kim was out sailing last weekend and was able to make an actual tack in light wind. By next summer she should have fresh bottom paint and some more work done on her, and a kid or two might even want to camp out aboard overnight, though there aren't good facilities for having your Cheerios in the morning.

10/22/00 (note to a sister)

Never got a chance to write back to you and tell you how impressed I am at Chris's work (and of course how much I enjoy running through the same memories). I hope he keeps at it--and next summer, he'll get his reward for the hours he put in on Kim last summer. Good work!

10/25/00 (from a note to a friend)

Got a new bucket last night to replace the one you broke on Kim. You have to learn to be less violent.

If the handle breaks on this one, it's got two knobs to tie a rope to instead.

10/25/00 (note to Saroja)

You up to anything good this weekend? Care for a sail aboard Kim?

Last time I was out, in very light wind, she was handling better than she has before. If we get any real wind this weekend, it might be worth going for a spin.

10/26/00 (note to a friend)

Are you still thinking of a trip down here early November?

Any better idea yet of when?

I'm happy to offer a cot at my place, though of course you've got your parents to stay with.

I've got a kinda fun boat I've been playing with this fall, and if you're going to be down here, I'd be happy to take you for a sail, weather permitting. On the other hand, Kim needs a dry dock, so if you're not coming down, I'll probably just haul her out and start cleaning her bottom sooner.

But if you'll be around, I'll wait to pull her out.

10/27/00 (note to a friend)

Boat's doing great. I haven't put any updates on my website lately mostly because I've been too busy, also because I haven't been sending too many messages about it. But I scraped a lot of seaweed off the bottom, and Kim now sails pretty much like a real boat. The "duck yuk," as my nephew Christopher calls it, is gone (keeps reappearing, but in manageable amounts), and the seagull eggs are no more than a memory. The inside has been pumped and stays dry; all the worn lines have been replaced, and two weekends ago Kim tacked for the first time in four years.

So I'm very happy with progress there. In fact, I may go down tomorrow and take her for a last sail before I give her a good winter dry-docking, to scrape her keel proper and give her a well-earned coat of paint.

10/28/00 (note to a friend)

Went down to Balboa today, after yesterday's rain, to see if the rain gutter repair I did last week held up. I brought better tools with me this time, checked where the water was pooling, and adjusted things a little.

Then I saw some kids walking around with sandwich boards advertising for Pat Beek's city council run, which reminded me I'd been meaning to offer them Kim as a place to hang signs out in the water.

So I walked up to the Beeks' house, a little before the ferry on the bay front (right next to Buddy Ebsen's old house, it turns out), knocked on the door and got me a cup of coffee while I sat and sketched a map for Seymour Beek, Pat's husband, showing him where Kim could be found. "I was trying to think what I was going to do today," he said. "I guess now I know."

He told me he'd been in a fund-raising race for Newport Beach arts this morning, and he'd won his age division. The guy handing out the awards was Steve Bromberg, one of Pat's opponents. "Pat says hi," he told Steve as he took his prize.

As we sat there at the kitchen table chatting, Pat came in from the back door--you remember the garages are all on the alley. She'd been out surveying her workers to see how they were doing. Seymour introduced me and said I was going to let them hang a sign on Kim, and Pat said thanks and gave me a cap with a pro-Pat button on it. She saw I was wearing my Balboa Island ferry hat and said she liked that hat too--"You can have this hat, but if you want, you can just move the button over to your other hat."

Which I did. But the one she gave me is pretty nice--a blue baseball cap, with nothing on it. Cause what a guy needs in this life is another baseball cap. You can't have enough.

As I told Seymour, I would have offered to hang the sign myself, but I have to get going, because I'm driving halfway to Seattle today--up to Mom's for the night, then tomorrow up to my sister's, at the foot of the Puget Sound. I have an eight-by-four aluminum covered balsa panel from the plant for Mom, who mentioned she needed some kind of flat panel to stack some boxes on. So I'll load that in the truck, and I'm on my way.

But if you see me in my new hat walking up the street, don't act all surprised at my dramatic wardrobe change. Now you know where I got it.

10/30/00 (from a note to a friend)

I don't know what I'm driving from or toward, or whether I'm just driving along, but in the few months I've been here I've probably driven 10,000 miles. I've taken a few longer business trips--here, Phoenix, Nevada, San Diego--plus there's all the driving around town, plus I'm constantly driving 45 minutes down the coast to where I'm refurbishing a boat in Newport Beach. When you come out, you can see Kim. She's looking a lot better now than she did when I started, but there's still lots of work to do.

11/12/00 (from a note to a friend in Amsterdam)

>Still enjoying the job?

Having a ball. And managed to do nothing in Kim today but break the engine, but still had a great old time out on the water. California's treating me well. Feel free to drop by sometime. (The babe can come too.)

11/12/00 (note to a friend)


Managed to get out today in Kim and do almost nothing except nearly lose the rowboat and break the engine.

Very nice, spanking fresh breeze, so it looked like a perfect day for sailing. Sadly, we got a little screwed up while taking off, and managed to cut the inflatable loose by mistake. Off it went downwind, down the harbor toward the Harbor Master's headquarters.

Did I mention it was a beautiful, clear day, lots of sunshine and sparkling water? Later on, when we went out to Ruby's at the end of the pier for a burger, we could see San Clemente Island in the distance, 56 miles away. I must have seen it from there before, but I really can't remember when. It's never this clear.

So anyhow, there we are in high winds with the raft launched and the sails up, and we can't quite get clear of all the mooring lines. We did, eventually, and with sails down we motored along after the raft. Someone had seen it floating along unmanned, jumped in the water and gone after it. He retrieved it and was standing on a beach a few over from our home beach, in his wet shirt and shorts. Good man. We thanked him and towed the recalcitrant (but cheerfully grinning) dinghy back to the home mooring, again under motor power.

After tying it off, decided the sensible thing to do here was to drive over to where the wind was, then put up the sails. It's easier to navigate off the mooring by motor, and with the sails up the wind blows you off course.

Except somehow in all the excitement, the engine had decided it only had reverse gear anymore.

Remember how you turn the throttle one way for forward, the other way for reverse?

Well, now either way you turn it you get reverse.

And in fact there's no neutral--just slow reverse.

This was not a convenient way to get anywhere.

We had already cast off the mooring the second time when I discovered this.

With the help of another vessel, we managed to get back to the home mooring. Quickly resolved not to screw around any further, as we evidently were not meant to get any sailing done, so we put all the sails away, locked up and got back in the now penitent dinghy to row home.

A good time was had by all, thankfully, and rowing home got us where we needed to be to go get Balboa Bars and frozen bananas, almost as good as a stiff sail. I was a little disappointed not to have got Kim under sail power moving along at a good rate for once, but then I saw some other boats out there heeling over and clipping along real good, and I decided it might not have been such a good day to be experimenting with her steering.

Out to Ruby's for the (early these days) sunset, then home in the chillier wind to find cars and go our several ways.

Your weekend?


P.S. Tide as low as I can remember ever seeing it--way out past where the sea grass begins, so lots of the seaweed was lying flat on the dry sand when we came rowing in. Many boats high and dry as we walked around the island. The buoys on the moorings next to ours on the beach were nearly at the water's edge. Ours sits a little further out. Full moon, but even for that, a very low tide. Checked the tide book when I got home and found it will be even lower next month, same time, when the full moon nearly coincides with perigee and the moon's most northerly trajectory.

I should dive for my lost glasses those days. Brrrr.

Up at 5:30, before dawn, when the phone rang to tell me a perimeter alarm had gone off at one of our warehouses. No big deal (I knew who it was), but I drove up to check anyhow. Long day. Only 8 p.m. now, but I'm going to bed. See you in the a.m.

11/16/00 (from a note to a friend)

Seagulls aren't as dumb as they act. I'm breezing along the concrete ribbon between sand and sand when crack! comes a missile from the sky onto the hard strip in front of me. As I ride past I see a gull has dropped a mussel from on high, to crack its hard skull. Then I see more shells on the strip, gulls standing guard over them. Breakfast. Now I know how mussels get on Kim's deck.

11/30/00 (from a note to a friend)

Not sure yet what the weekend holds for me. I have a list about a yard long of things I should get done, but usually the weekend is for abandoning lists like that. I'm approximately thinking I should get down to Newport Beach Sunday to take the engine out of Kim--it stopped working right, so we need to fix it. But that may or may not happen, and the rest of the weekend is up for grabs--particularly evenings. Got any good ideas?

12/4/00 (from a note to a friend in Sweden)

>i did not know you had it in you!

Been a sailor all my life, lad. Everyone knows the ladies love seamen.

>i have a boat too:
>new acquisition since august. no sail, but fun in other ways.

I love to row, and in fact missed it more sorely in NYC than I did sailing. I row to Kim every time I visit her, in a little inflatable dinghy.

Tammi looks like loads of fun too. Wood always makes a boat feel more sincere.

Bet you could fit her with a sail, if her corners keep her stable enough
so she doesn't slide across the water.

You and I got involved with our boats around the same time.

Kim's motor broke last time I had her out, but with luck she'll be right as rain by April and you can come for a sail and see the beach. Something to keep spring joyous.

12/4/00 (note to a friend)

>Other than your walks around Balboa island, how's life? Is it still warm
>enough to work on Kim, or is it almost time for her bottom-scraping?

It's well past time to scrape her bottom, but it's a matter of getting around to it--further complicated now that the engine goes only in reverse. At this point, with daylight hours short and shopping hours precious, I imagine I'll settle for fixing the engine between here and January, then taking her to drydock in the early part of the year.

There's certainly no hurry.

Christmastime on the island is all you might expect. Remember the house with all the ghosts flying overhead? Similarly over-the-top display on for the winter holidays, angels replacing ghosts on the rotating rack. Plenty of other lights and icicles all along the bayfront, very pretty reflecting in the water. A good time to be a power company!

1/5/01 (note to a friend)

>Engine fixed? How dat ole Kim comin?

Actually, no--I was sailing the Hobie cat instead. The Hobie works, and it's easier to set up and get going in anyhow--a good short-term sailer, though you might not want to go as far as Catalina in it. (Then again, you probably could. It would just be a little chilly if you got becalmed and had to spend the night on the water.)

So for bringing a passel of friends and their kids down to goof off on the beach, the Hobie was the obvious answer.

But we did take advantage of the opportunity to bring the engine in from Kim, so it sits attached to a barrel in the yard at the plant right now, partly dismantled. Not fixed yet, but on its way. Then we move on to the rest of Kim's life.

As with so many things, there's no hurry, and thank goodness.

1/23/01 (note to a friend)

>Yo, that Kim chicks lookin pretty fine. But, tell me, what kind of boat is
>that directly behind yours in the pic? Is that a Bristol or maybe an
>Alberg? Those are the boats I've been hooked up with lately. That friend of
>mine that was out in LA? He just bought the Bristol. He got the idea from
>sailing around with my friend Lincoln all last summer in Linc's Alberg.
>That boat behind yours looks awfully familiar, course I'm no sailer man.

Yeah, the boat behind mine is a stinkpot. Nobody's cleaned it since the last millennium. Whoever wants to claim it can say they designed it. But they have to explain why they put so many perches for birds on it.

Not that Kim was much better till I got going on her with a brush. Soon as we fix the engine up, she's getting a bottom job. Nobody likes a hairy bottom.

2/2/01 (from a note to a friend)

It's a busy life, but not a bad one. I haven't had a chance to get down to see Kim for some time now, but late March looks promising--weather should be good, and by then maybe I'll have the engine repainted and ready to put back in the water.

2/2/01 (from a note to Saroja)

I've been keeping busy lately at work and on some other projects, but sailing is never too far from my mind. Realistically I'm guessing late March should be a good time to try something. Right now the engine is out of the boat. It's fixed, but I want to prime and paint the lower half before I put it back in the water. Then the boat gets a bottom job. Then it should be ready to go--lots of little fixes to make here and there, but no major work left. Except painting. Kim needs all her exterior woodwork redone.

2/17/01 (note to a sister)

>It must be very rewarding to finally see the light at
>the end of the tunnel and leave the mooring.

Yeah . . . if. The boat hasn't moved for a few months, while we've been rehabilitating the engine, which got stuck in reverse--an inconvenient way to travel in a boat. Engine's back in shape, with fresh zinc, and next it's a matter of taking the boat to a dry dock to scrape and paint the bottom. First, of course, we have to fix the oars on the inflatable raft. One of them broke the last time I went out to visit Kim.

It's always something. But yes, rewarding. In between all the other rewards.

3/11/01 (from a note to a friend in Sweden)

[Today] I was down at Kim, picking up a fitting I need to replace, and using the chance to get in a little rowing. I'm looking forward to fine weather when you're here, and we have several boats to play on. I guess my mission should be to get you to forget the progeny while you're here. We should have some fun.

3/20/01 (from a note to a friend)

A big, nautical-style salute of thanks for the martini shaker and the pictures and the books.

Kim is doing well, though largely sitting idle. I was down there this weekend to clean up the yard at the house a bit, and to clean up some of the winter's accumulation from Kim's decks. Her engine is ready and waiting to be reinstalled, and as soon as I get a clear weekend when I can go down and get her to a dry dock, I'll do that. There's another whale-watch expedition coming up, and those pesky income taxes and such, but in the interstices there's bound to be some free time.

And that's when the shaker will really come in handy.

3/26/01 (from a note to a friend in Sweden)

I rowed out to Kim on Saturday and found that her mast had shifted from its customary vertical position above the boat to a more nearly horizontal position with the top part actually beneath the water's surface.

Further examination revealed that the brass turnbuckle that used to fasten the forestay to the deck had suffered what in aviation is called a catastrophic failure.

Chuckling more than a little at Kim's endless ability to amuse, I spent the rest of my weekend stripping the rest of the wires and cables off the mast, to bring them home, examine them and replace whatever needs it (probably the whole lot).

This actually gives me a fine opportunity to do some work at the top of the mast that I had been putting off. And as long as the mast is down, I might as well take it off the boat, bring it home and paint it.

What this means for you is that we will not be sailing on Kim while you're here. We can go sit on her; in fact, we may go out and motor her over to the shipyard where I'm going to get her bottom cleaned. But we won't sail her.

4/2/01 (from a note to a friend)

No point coming to California, then, if you don't like gray and cold. It was gray and cold yesterday while we were out whale hunting. We only saw four or five whales--they weren't big enough to bring home, so we left them there. The dolphins were almost big enough for lunch.

Sunnier today, though. I'm ordering parts for Kim, the new rocker. Her mast fell down a couple of weeks ago--a brass turnbuckle broke. I think this time I'll get her some stainless steel. It's what a girl likes (I think).

4/12/01 (from a note to a friend)

Oh, yeah, and the boat:

I've been making it down to Balboa on a much more regular basis lately, with the weather better and the elections over, which means the Kim project is alive again. Two or three weeks ago I rowed out to say hi to the boat and maybe scrub the poop deck a bit, and I raised my eyebrows when I saw what had changed: The tip of the mast was in the water. It had fallen over.

I did a lot of laughing the rest of the weekend. I pulled the mast out, naturally, and tied it to the boat so it wouldn't go anywhere. The next day I went down and stripped all the cables and hardware off it. It fell because a brass turnbuckle attaching the forestay to the very front of the boat had broken. Nothing else remained to keep the mast from falling backward.

So now I can fix several things I've wanted to get to anyhow, up high on the mast where you can't reach normally. And as long as the mast is down, we might as well bring it up to the plant, sand it down real good and give it a good solid coat of fresh paint. (It's aluminum, thirty feet long and light enough that I can hoist it singlehanded.)

Anyhow, it redemonstrates the old maxim that nothing works on an old boat but the owner. Funny thing was, I had a VHF radio with me that weekend to install aboard, and I had been mulling over how best to get an antenna up at the top of the mast.

All the cables, incidentally, seem to be in good shape. I will be replacing all six brass turnbuckles, though. They look solid enough, but I don't want to mess around with others failing--particularly if I'm out sailing. The rest of the rigging looks to be in tolerable shape.

The good news is that we're closing in on lifting Kim out of the water anyhow to do a complete job on her underside. Her motor's running again and has a fresh coat of paint and new zinc, and I will probably take her down to the boatyard early Friday morning the weekend that A. and C. are here. They'll lift her out, spray her down, scrape her off, and by Saturday she should be dry and ready to start painting. They also can inspect everything that's normally in the water and fix anything that needs it. This will be a major improvement.

And at the same time I'll take the mast off the boat and bring it up to the plant.

So when you're here, we probably won't be sailing Kim. The mast probably will not be on the boat. (This will, however, make the boat a perfect platform for sitting and having drinks.)

4/14/00 (from a note to a friend)

I brought in the stay cables from Kim's mast and started stripping the turnbuckles off their ends. As he watched, we chatted about when the boat's coming out of the water, and how to fix the mast. He pretty quickly figured out that we should go pick up the mast right then and bring it up to the yard to sand, paint and refurbish.

To get the mast, we wanted to take the dual-wheel pickup, a manual-shift model with a big rack on top, 20 feet long total so only about 10 feet of mast would hang off and need a red flag on the highway.

On the way, we collected my now brown car from Earl Scheib. Very happy with the paint job. Technically I should have had them do the unexposed bits of metal too, but this way you can still tell it was a black-and-white before.

And off to the island. Did I mention the weather was perfect yesterday? An even 70 or a bit better, gorgeous sunshine, mild breezes. Looks like the same again today and tomorrow.

At this point it becomes a Laurel and Hardy flick about two guys in a tiny boat trying to move a 30-foot mast (and boom). But we got out there, untied the mast and lowered it more or less gracefully onto the Achilles, and headed for home. It was a good chance to show my uncle some of the work I've been doing on the boat, and to ask him some questions about other ways to fix things. He hasn't been on the boat for years, but he's a good source.

At this point the mast was so unwieldy on the dinghy that I couldn't row properly. Mostly we blew in the right directions, and where possible I used the oars to make minor corrections. Finally at the end I pulled one of them off the boat and started using it as a paddle to get us in, while two friends stood on the shore graciously not laughing too much. One friend’s contention for a long time has been that all Kim really needs is a few holes in the bottom of her, and then we can get a new boat. He doesn't understand the sandcastle idea.

So I'm off to ride down at the beach in the morning sun, maybe check out a boat that's supposed to be there--a big boat another uncle used to own. Then pick up some film and off to the plant, to get some sanding done on the mast, remove the sail and check another broken fitting I found when we took it all off Kim.

4/14/01 (note to a sister)

Two things:

I wore my Captain shirt yesterday as we rowed out to Kim to take her mast off and bring it ashore for maintenance. I never wrote Xmas thank-yous to let you know how amused I was to get the shirt, but I do thank you, and I was happy to break it in for the first time. I look forward to wearing it again when the kids are here (and you and Al).

Best bumper sticker I saw lately, which encourages entirely the wrong things:


4/19/01 (note to a friend)

>Planning a trip out there. Gonna go to Holland again June 1-10, after that
>I wanna do a Cali thing.

Sounds good. You let me know when's good, and we'll put something together. Kim's mast is off the boat right now, and she's due to be hauled for a bottom job next Friday, so by the time you get here, we'll have to come up with some new reason not to go for a sail.

4/25/01 (from a note to a friend)

Last night I stayed late at work, out in the yard sanding the mast from Kim, this boat I've been tinkering on since last August. I've only sailed her about three times in all those months, so I can't really say her purpose is transportation--yet. Right now, obviously, with her mast off, she's not much for putting up a sail and going to Catalina.

But Friday morning I'm supposed to drive her over to Lido Island, where a big crane will lift her out of the water, and we can start scraping and painting her bottom. Then it's back in the water sometime around Monday night, and by then, with any luck, the mast will be painted and ready to put back on the boat.

There's still more to do before she's sailable, but this gets her in better shape.

That's the kind of thing I'm doing Saturday. I'm not sure yet whether I'll be in the yard at the plant working on the mast (likely) or down at Lido helping the guys at the shipyard work on Kim's underside (preferable). So probably not a great day to get together.

4/27/01 (from a note to another sister)

Took Kim out of the water today to have her bottom scraped and painted, and maybe a few other things too.

Happy Weekend!

4/27/01 (from a note to a friend)

Also in the back of the truck was the engine for Kim, which I promptly rowed out (on your favorite craft) and put aboard the boat. Checked to make sure it was running right, then folded up and got home. Since it was already 8:30, called my local Irish darts pub and asked them to hold a shepherd's pie for me while I drove up. They didn't draw the beer till I arrived. All accomplished according to spec.

Back to the island to sleep, then up at 6a to row out once more to Kim, clean off some bird doo, fire up the engine and get down to the dry dock, way down at the far end of the bay (where you and I rowed). She is now high and drying. Lotsa mussels on her bottom (another similarity w/desk jockeys?), all duly photographed for posteriority. In case I ever need to know what shape her keel has, or where the through holes are for toilet etc., I now have it on film. Also a comparison set for before/after shots.

Did I mention her mast fell down a few weeks back? It's up at the yard being painted today (I spent a couple of evenings earlier this week sanding it). Still needs some new hardware before it's back in shape, but we'll restep it when they put the boat back in, and at that point the whole boat should be much more fit for inheriting the wind.

4/27/01 (from a note to a friend)

Up in today's gray dawn to row out to Kim and take her down to the dry dock, where a big crane lifted her into the sky--

5/1/01 (from a note to Saroja)

Kim should be back in the water Thursday, painted all the way up to the deck rail, with mast restepped but no boom yet (broken hardware). By June it would be nice to be sailing her again.

5/1/01 (from a note to a friend)

Kim's bottom is done, and now they're progressing to her sides. On Sunday we ended up sailing [in another boat] and had a great time. We tooled around the harbor a bit, then went out to the buoy that marks the harbor's mouth and visited the seals.

5/3/01 (from a note to a sister)

I have to go to an aircraft parts & service convention at the Long Beach Convention Center today, and then probably go to Boeing Huntington Beach to look at a freezer they're selling and see if it's right for us, and then probably go see how Kim is doing in dry dock. She's freshly painted, and after they put on one more coat and do some trim, they're supposed to put her in the water this afternoon. We have the mast up at the yard, freshly painted, with new stainless hardware, ready to re-step.

5/6/01 (from a note to a friend)

I was down there most of the day today, scrubbing and fixing and primping and pressing. She's still in dry dock, fresh painted so I put her registration stickers on and finally her name (Kim). Current schedule is for her to taste salt water again Tuesday, but that keeps sliding, so who knows? Anyhow, by the time you finish your book, she should be sailing again. Some assembly still required, but I think we now have a full kit of parts.

5/10/01 (from a note to a friend)

After a particularly long kayak ride this weekend--plus a lot of scrubbing on the boat, plus a fair amount of wrenching and screwing fittings and stubborn fasteners--I woke up with what I can only call shin splints in my right wrist. There's a little swelling, and the tendons really don't want to do any serious work or even let my hand bend unless they have to. Tuesday I had more screwing and unscrewing to do, and when I came home I brushed my teeth with my left hand. Fortunately, it's getting better--as long as I can talk myself into taking it easy for a bit. It's a reminder of how glad I am that I've never had much struggle with any carpal tunnel trouble.

This is my last day in Southern California for about a week. . . . I'll miss being down here, where I've just put the boat in the water and want to get going immediately restepping the mast and getting it ready to sail. But it's a great time of year to be driving the Pacific coast, and it will be good to see Mom and also my sister and her family, who I'll be staying with most of the week. The kids are always happy to see Uncle Doug--I'll get to drive them to school and let them work the searchlights on the squad car, and they'll be excited to hear that Kim is back in the water. (I pick up pictures today so I can show them how she looks. Last summer they were down here helping to clean her.)

5/28/01 (from a note to a friend)

Haven't made my March target date for having Kim back in the water and running, but as of early May, she had her bottom scraped and painted, with new stickers on the side and her name on the stern, and she was back afloat with a properly working engine. Two steps backward, three steps ahead--a few weeks before that, her mast had toppled, the result of a broken fitting. So she wasn't sailable as soon as she hit water again, but all the pieces are fixed or replaced now, and the mast is ready to put back up.

I was going to do that this weekend, actually, but I'm not there yet, and it's overcast, so I have a feeling I'll put it off a bit longer. Maybe later today. We'll see.

5/29/01 (from a note to a friend)

I did get a chance to pass by Kim, who's still looking fine after her repair and upkeep, and much less dirty from seagull droppings than I'd expected she might be. Did I mention there are new pictures of her on the Website?

Weather finally nice after a mostly ratty weekend, lots of overcast high and low. But by sunset the harbor was tinted with the most amazing light, warming the white hulls of boats lapping at moorings, touching the feathery clouds and tips of seagull wings. I stood on the seawall and watched for a while, not wanting to abandon the vision for more mundane yard scenes. I am my father's son. Finally I turned and walked the long way back to the house. Well worth it.

5/29/01 (from a note to a friend)

I had a look at Kim while I was out and found her cleaner than I expected after a few weeks untouched. Maybe the seagulls really don't like a clean boat. Whatever it is, I won't look a gift horse in the teeth. I had several low-end maintenance things to do, as well as the more ambitious move of raising her mast--but being a holiday, I opted to just say hi, compliment her on how fine she looks, and paddle on.

Count on the weather to be perfect today after being basically ratty the rest of the [three-day] weekend.

5/29/01 (from a note to a friend)

Did I mention new pictures of Kim on the Website?

What you don't have there yet is the new seagull deflector at the top of the mast. I have pictures of that too, but I only posted a couple the other day when I was tinkering the site.

Kim Home . . . Part I . . . Part II

Highway 127 . . . Desert . . . Town . . . Football
Balboa Island . . . Ferries and Pavilion . . . Beaches . . . Kim
New Year's . . . Bluesmobile . . . Whaling . . . The Prayer Wheel
Tall Ships . . . Santa Barbara Island Hop . . . Minding the Train

Cali Index

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