Shooting Point Salts out of Quinby on the Eastern Shore. Farm raised inside the barrier island inlets, you can taste the ocean. Perfect for a rainy winter day.
We have a howling wind out of the south that is bringing up all the moisture. It is also bringing warm temperatures, warm enough to allow for touch up painting on Spartina's hull. I am declaring the hull "finished." Varnish work needs to be done, but that will wait until March.
Rik, who is building a Pathfinder on Aruba, asked about the downhaul I mentioned in the sailing log. At one time Spartina had a downhaul from the gooseneck to a cleat on the foredeck for tensioning the luff. That went away when I added the slot for the mast and I substituted a non-adjustable shackle thinking that the simplicity - one less line, one less cleat - would be an improvement. It was not. I can never completely remove the slack in the main's luff without the downhaul. Early in the sailing season I will follow Stuart's advice and put a downhaul in place.
Brandons asked about the new outboard, a Honda 2.3 hp four-stroke. I am not in the business of recommending specific products, but I am happy to share my experience. I like everything about it. It starts easily, runs very well. The little bottles of two-stroke oil to be added to the fuel have all been given away. Regular gas is much easier to deal with, and cleaner too. I like the adjustable tension throttle grip. Mileage seems very good, but I do not have an exact number on that. The weight of the power head and the lower unit seems very well balanced, it is easy to raise and lower. For maintenance the cowling comes off with a tug on a single retaining strap (my Nissan required removing about eight screws). I had worried that the power head would be too large inside the cockpit, it is not. The centrifugal clutch takes a little getting used to, but I'm used to it now. (I once mentioned the centrifugal clutch to a friend, who said the proper term was centrifical, gently suggesting that I did not have a centrifuge - atomic, nuclear or otherwise - on board Spartina. Looking at the owner's manual I see now that it is in fact a centrifugal clutch, and I'm proud to say the boat does have a centrifuge. Who knew?) I am happy with the outboard. There are other outboards out there that might be as good or even better, but I don't have any experience with those.
Anybody seen the cocktail sauce?