Began the winter maintenance today. Washing sails, replacing the leather on the gaff jaw and doing some touchup epoxy and varnish work. Not doing all that today, just getting started. Above is the leather and bronze tacks off the gaff jaws. Kinda scary looking. That was the second piece of leather on there, the first one lasted five years, about the same with this one. I've got to drill out the holes left by the tacks, tap in 1/4" hardwood dowels, trim the dowels, epoxy and varnish. Hope to get that done over the next few days. Putting the leather back on is easy, based on directions years ago from John Welsford. Here is a post from the last time I did it.
Because of space I am washing the sails in two batches. Started with the mizzen and the jib today. Put them in a 32 gallon trash can with 16 gallons of water, eight cups vinegar and two cups of woolite. Will leave them in there for a couple of days, stirring two or three or more times a day. This should clean up the sails but will not remove the mildew. That will come in a couple of weeks.
Virginia inaugurated a new governor, Ralph Northam, today. He is the state's second governor from the Eastern Shore, the first serving during the civil war. Below is part of his inaugural address. I think he will be a good governor.
As a kid I spent hours behind our house, crabbing and fishing on the Chesapeake Bay. To this day that is where I find peace.
When I was just old enough to take to the water myself, my dad helped me build a rowboat and launch it, with strict instructions: stay close to home.
As I grew and became more comfortable, I began to take longer trips away from the shore, until I was ready to head out into the open water.
I remember standing with my father as I prepared to embark, and like all good Dads, he knew I was nervous even before I did.
He said, Ralph, remember—when you get out there, you can always trust your compass.
If things get dark or foggy, if you can’t find your way—keep your eye on the compass.
It’ll always bring you home safely.
He was right about that compass.