The Day After...

1/28 Monday, 59/45, partly cloudy, N20 - I slept peacefully and even gave myself permission to ignore the alarm at 6 o’clock this morning. Sunlight poked through the clouds, warming Grace’s decks and cabin as she sat gently rocking in her slip. Dobbs and I enjoyed a hearty breakfast of eggs, toast, bacon and kale and then started on the day’s projects.

Dobbs made up some more soft shackles, this time working with Dyneema in different diameters.

Proudly crafted, with feline assistance, in the USA.

Proudly crafted, with feline assistance, in the USA.

If you’d like to try a soft shackle - for your running rigging or anchor chain snubber, or any other application you can imagine - please consider buying one from us. Dobbs will make custom soft shackles in line diameters of 1/8” to 5/16” for $30 each, and we can ship them anywhere in the US for a couple dollars.


We can do mail-order custom dock lines and running rigging, too - send us an e-mail to describe what you’d like and we’ll provide you a firm quote that includes shipping and tax where applicable.

While Dobbs spliced, I created a blog page and began assembling a comprehensive estimate for maintenance and upgrades on a Columbia 8.7. Many of our recommendations could apply to almost any yacht and are fairly easy to do - a rig tune, installing a halyard restrainer and/or pendant on the headsail to eliminate the chance of halyard wrap when furling, new spreader boots, replacing light bulbs on mast light fixtures, streamlining hardware to make best use of what’s needed and remove what isn’t, and replacing wire halyards with rope.

Mid-morning, Dobbs noted a new arrival on C-dock - a Catalina 30 sporting a Maryland flag. He walked over to greet the owner and, lo-and-behold, it was Kyle, a young man for whom we’d done a rigging inspection in October. He left Bowley’s Marina in Middle River a couple weeks later, heading south for points and destiny unknown. We greeted him and swapped stories for a bit. He’ll be staying here a little while, having just been hired by the marina next door, and replenishing his cruising kitty.

I made lunch and then continued with the estimate I’d been working on. I also called Catalina Direct for a return authorization for the mis-matched water pump. As we were coming and going from Grace, Dobbs discovered that our port stern line had become a sacrifice to the weekend’s rough conditions. It had chafed all the way through - leather and all - and quietly parted. The back-up 1/2” line took over so seamlessly that we don’t actually know when the 7/16” line let go.


At 2:30pm, we rode to the park and played tennis, and then stopped for more groceries on the way home. I made us an early dinner so that we could be up at The Infinite Mushroom by 6pm for game night. Tonight’s game was “Betrayal at House on the Hill”. Players move by drawing room tiles that create the interior of a 3-story haunted house. In time, as more and more omens appear, one of the players is driven mad and betrays the others. The remaining players have to dash around looking for things that will placate the ghost released by their lost buddy and escape the house.

Betrayal at House on the Hill

While I enjoyed the social interaction, I was unimpressed by the game - I actually got more out of writing about it just now than I did playing it! I felt like there were too many minute details that weren’t easily accessible to all players. In fact, I made the winning move and didn’t realize it! I can see the possibility that after playing the game several times (it has many scenarios), I would become more familiar with it and “feel” more involved. One thing I did really like was that play involved both competition and cooperation, in a way that didn’t feel contrived. When the game ended, we stayed around chatting a while. Then Dobbs and I rode home and shared a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and glasses of wine - a “night cap”.