Here are two common conversation scenarios I experienced while out on this short stint cruising:
“What kind of boat is that?”
“It’s a Bristol Channel Cutter.”
“Oh a Bristol, I’ve heard of those, nice.”
“Where are you from?”
“Uh… ya mean where did I come from yesterday?”
“No, where do you call home?”
“Hmmm, good question… well, this boat is my home, so I’m from right here, I guess.”
“No, I mean, where did you leave from on your trip?”
So I guess I’m officially home now, because I’ve managed to find my way back to where I started. The epoxy coated breadcrumbs were a good idea after all. I sailed approximately 3030 nautical miles on this little jaunt - maybe I should’ve titled this post “After 3000 Miles”.
What have I learned? That the Bristol Channel Cutter is just pure pleasure to sail. My all time favorite thing that just gets me giddy inside everytime I do it, is reefing the main… 30 seconds is all it takes. No climbing on cabin tops, no stretching over the side for snagged lines, no cursing the flogging sail – just simple, quick, efficient sail reduction, like Neptune intended.
What’s broken, been replaced, or worn out? Max Amp Alternator died, Yanmar Starter fried, All 4 West Marine AGM Group 31 batteries were useless and replaced, Isotherm ASU and holding plate died and was swapped with an Alder Barbour Cold Machine and large evaporator plate, Simrad TP32 Tiller Pilot groans like a pig and can’t steer a straight course, the Raytheon ST60 Wind Indicator never worked, the Stuffing Box Shaft Packing runs like a faucet, and the Fatty Knees Dinghy took some major abuse, but still rows like a dream. Plenty of others, but this is the big stuff.
As the sun rose over Cuttyhunk and Vineyard Sound this morning I realized: I may have arrived “home”, but the voyaging is just beginning. This is a temporary layover to make some money, catch up with loved ones, and of course do some work on the old girl.