January for me can best be summed up as a time when little could be done towards making progress at building ‘Faith’; she’s a Paradox sailboat I have set my heart on. (I imagine sailing her in idyllic conditions on the open sea, perhaps on a cruise to the Scilly Isles, which is a beautiful archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean to the west of England’s Land’s End.) Days typical of this time of year bring fog, rain, sleet, and snow and last month was no exception which somewhat brought on a mood of listlessness. I must make a positive effort at changing my mindset so as to attend to those achievable ‘odds and ends’ unconstrained by climatic conditions. I could even boldly tackle ‘odds and sods’! Sods being those tricky jobs requiring ingenuity or sustained effort.
When building a boat awkward jobs always arise, but there is a tendency on my part to delay tackling them. This attitude is not a solution, because without addressing such issues the building project can not be completed.
While the weather is so uninspiring and restrictive I should put my mind and body into active mode for accomplishing tiny works such as attaching a strong rotating fitting to the outer end of the boom for the mainsheet and the topping line. I could strengthen the tack downhaul and I could make a box for stowing the kedge anchor. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t repair a small tear in the second-hand mainsail and why I shouldn’t make a large toggle for the rudder control line. I need to drill a larger hole in the rudder for a thicker and stronger support bolt. If I could really motivate myself, I might get around to reshaping the yuloh shaft so that it will fit snugly beside the cabin top. Although I have not yet made the cabin top, I know the dimensions; therefore it’s a matter of motivation. A day of warm sunshine might just be inspirational for me to tackle the job.
While I’m on the topic of ‘odds and ends’, perhaps I should be compiling a list of those things I could take aboard for making life afloat more enjoyable. I’m reading Charles Stock’s, ‘Sailing Just for Fun’ which is full of useful tips for the sailor of small boats. He recommends having a hot water bottle for those cold nights when sailing early or late in the season. Another of his ‘must haves’ is a toaster that can be put on the stove which adds a dimension to easily prepared food. I know there’s nothing better for restoring the soul after a hard passage than a toasted sardine sandwich with lashings of tomato sauce and plenty of melted butter!