Ship's Log

June 3rd, 2008:

Some sad news:  On May 21st, Brian's Grandpa, James "Pete" Nisbett, passed on.   He was 90 years old.

We flew to Arkansas to attend the funeral.  Brian's wonderful Grandma and some other family members had put together a slideshow of pictures from Grandpa's life, and it was comforting to be reminded what a full life of love and family he lived.  He had a full military funeral, in honor of his 30 years of service for the US Army.  After the service, everyone went back to Grandma's house and spent the evening telling family stories, playing a card game unique to the family (Nisbett Rummy), and passing around old photos and memorabilia.  Grandpa will be missed, and never forgotten.

Pete and Aileen Nisbett, 67 years together.

On May 23rd, Alicia's grandmother underwent a triple bypass operation, and thankfully, she pulled through like a champion.  Having retired from a lifetime of nursing, she's comfortable in a hospital environment, and the staff loves her (how could they not?).  She's itching to get home though, and should be able to do so soon.  Here's to a speedy recovery for Gran!

These events and others have caused our boat projects to stall, but visiting with family is always time well spent, and we hope to make up for lost time this week.  Our June 1st deadline has come and gone, and we're still mastless.  Something has got to give, and that something is our mast plan.

With no window in the schedule long enough to feasably make the trip ourselves, we're going to have to bite the bullet and have the mast shipped to Lockwood's instead of bringing it there on SARABANDE.  With more family obligations looming this weekend, we wouldn't be sailing until July at this rate!  It'll cost us extra, but we feel like it's worth the money if it gets us out on the water faster.  Time's ticking away, and we desperately need to start racking up more sailing experience!  We'll head down there mastless to pick it up when it's done, have it stepped and tuned there, and then sail home.

In the meantime, Brian's wired in our new golf cart batteries together, and he's working on making sure the batteries and the generator are, in his words, "BFFs" (high school yearbook talk for 'best friends forever').  

These batteries are what we'll be living off during our cruise, powering our fridge, our lights, our navigation instruments, Neddy the Autopilot, and all the other niceties.  It's helpful to know that everything is brand new, and Brian's happy to have redesigned the old system.  Now it's much more reliable and the mysteries are solved.  

Brian used an unraveled knitting project of Alicia's to map out his wiring plan before the final installation.  Blue yarn, however pretty, does not conduct enough electricity.

Alicia's been spending most of her time working on our teak and re-apholstering the cushions in the main cabin.  Please do not comment on the fact that neither of these help us stay afloat-- they contribute to quality of life via pride in one's boat, and the way others percieve our vessel.  Just as a spoiled child reflects the ignorance of his parents, a slobby-looking boat reflect the laziness of her crew (or perhaps the fact that the crew has spent the last year barely getting the boat liveable and functioning, but no matter).  It's time to spiff up and get presentable.

The scraping.......oh God, the scraping.

Working outside in the sun, mindlessly scrubbing and sanding cooks Alicia's mind, and she wrote a poem one afternoon out there in honor of the wood she was working on.  Here it is:

by AMC, teak slave

You came from the rainforest,
that's where you grew.
But a fancy boat builder
had eyes out for you.

Shipped to Rhode Island
and bolted in place,
you became part of SARABANDE,
and added some grace.

You must've looked good then,
so glossy and bright.
It's been a long time though,
and now you're a fright.

Your color's all wrong now,
those mold stains are wack;
Old varnish is peeling,
your blonde has turned black.

I've got me a heat gun,
I'm scraping away.
Gonna give you a face lift,
just like in L.A.

I'll coat you in plastic,
all careful and fussy.
You'll look like a lady,
no two-dollar hussy.

Scrubbing and sweating
your every inch,
from the mess at the pulpit,
to every last winch.

We bought the best products,
and all the right tools.
There was no money left
for hiring some fools.

It's just me out here,
so don't do me wrong.
Please start looking good soon.
This takes way too long.


She also snapped up an SSB radio of an excellent brand for an excellent price on eBay, and is studying materials to get her HAM license in the coming weeks.  Happily, this is a skill that might help the boat stay afloat, via important weather information and increased communication with other boats.

In other news, Brian turned 30 years old on June 2nd, and we celebrated with a day at the beach.   He hasn't slowed down in his old age one bit, God bless him!  For his present, we got SCUBA lessons, which we'll begin in two weeks.  SARABANDE came with the equipment, and it seems silly to not put it to use exploring all the reefs we'll be trying not to crash into!   

Hopefully, at the next update, we'll be a sailboat, complete with mast and everything, once again.

Take care,



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