Day one as in, my first day as a civilian. This was my last week as an active duty Air Force officer, to which I have no regrets leaving but am sad to leave the service.

Now is the time to catch up on the projects I’ve been postponing for days…weeks…months, because I haven’t had the time to accomplish them.

The mast is down. What a mess of wires and rigging…

I finally dropped the mast – something I’ve been meaning to do for at least six months. Removing a sailboat mast is some work.  I did as much prep on my own as I could, which involved disconnecting the electrical connections that run up my mast, removing the lower shrouds, the running rigging, and boom.

While the mast is down, I’ll be securing the wires that are loose inside the mast, polishing the mast, inspecting all blocks & cleats, replacing my masthead light, and replacing all standing rigging.

When I removed the boom to drop my mast, I also lost the spar that was holding up my shade awning. The temperature was in the triple-digits last week and 80-90 this week, and an awning over the boat can drop the temperature in the cabin significantly. I secured PVC pipe to my stanchions with hose clamps and tied off the corners of a canvas drop cloth to the PVC pipe. Shade!

The rigging is cleaned up, the bowsprit platform is off, and my shade awning is up

I also removed my bowsprit platform for some repairs to the spar, refinishing of the teak platform, installation of new, energy-saving (read: expensive) LED navigation lights, and installation of a heavy anchor roller.

I’m a person who likes to learn things on my own through trial-and-error, and I’ve picked up a few tricks on my own, but the knowledge of others can be invaluable. For example, I was at a roadblock removing my bowsprit platform. Some of the bolts just wouldn’t loosen. I’m sure I would have figured it out myself…in a few weeks…but another fellow at the yard came by with some vice grips and blocks of wood, and voila, my bowsprit platform was out. He’s been working on boats far longer than I have, so yeah, I’ll swallow my pride and take the help.

I’ve got nothing but time now…things are moving along!

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