For the past few weeks I have been finishing Candy-O. That's right, finishing. Last year at this time I was determined to make it to the Texas 200, a 200 mile cruise up the Texas coast starting at almost Mexico going up the Texas coast 200 miles. At the halfway point in where I live (Corpus Christi). I accomplished my goal of having Candy-O ready for the 200 and had her in the water one week before the Texas 200 start. Mission accomplished!
After a bit of a rough start things really smoothed out and I was off and sailing. The copious amount of new things I learn was like drinking from a fire hydrant. I really only had the sailing skills of a 12 year old, because the last time I had sailed solo on a sailboat I was 12. On the upside, I did a lot of sailing when I was 12! The sailing came back to me like riding a bike.
In the mornings of the Texas 200, the winds were light. The distances of the legs were long and the combination of the two made for very long days. Seat cushions could have gone a long way in making the second day much more enjoyable. There were other things like a tiller extension that also would have added comfort. I found sleeping in the boat was nice with the memory foam mattress topper I picked up at Walmart just before the start. The problem I had was in the middle of the night the mosquito netting I had taped up in the companion way feel down. I had a few hungry visitors with me before the nigh was over. I am building some screens into a spare set of drop boards, I also purchased a DC powered fan.
An outboard motor would have been nice. The outboard would not only aid in getting into and out of some of the tight harbors but would aid in safety if something in the rigging broke or I got caught in a bad current with unfavorable winds thing could figuratively go south in a hurry.
I did a really good job on a lot of things for the Texas 200. It is amazing what you can learn from the internet in preparation for such an event. I had pretty much everything I needed, and went overboard (pun intended) on a bunch of stuff I didn't need. I am still finding things I packed and didn't need, or forgot I had. This year I can be more methodical with my cargo.
After the Texas 200 I took out Candy-O in some fairly stiff winds and found some spots on the boat that need attention. The sail track on the mast is screwed on with screws every 3 or four inches. I used 1/2" screw into the soft sitka spruce mast material. The screws began to pull out...not good. Also the guy wires seemed loose. The turn buckles I was using were bottomed out and could not be tightened any more. Gotta fix that! It was a good thing I bailed out at the halfway point before I would have found these problems in the middle of nowhere.
It has been nice having Candy-O back in the Pocketship Yard. I really enjoy working on her and dreaming of not just making it to the Texas 200 but finishing the 200 in comfort.