The big day has come and gone. The day when Blue Starr 1 became a schooner again.
Over the past year just about everything in my life has taken a back seat to this boat. After showing up in Blaine (Semiahmoo Marina) last winter, I geared up for a summer of mast building. Mast building research began way back before I even bought the boat two years ago. With my budget, or lack thereof, I knew I was going to have to buy a boat that needed work. Blue Starr needing two new masts was the perfect opportunity. So, I started learning about the different options of cutting solid masts from trees, telephone poles, glued up boards and started calling suppliers to cost things out. Half of the people I would talk to about this would call me crazy and the other half would question why I wasn't going with an aluminum pole.
The job at Semiahmoo Marina was the perfect opportunity to build the masts. The marina was gracious enough to let me use the boat yard for a work space. It was the perfect opportunity to have no money and no life at all, working in the marina by day and building boat masts by night and weekend. Finally, the masts were completed. The foremast first which was stepped in July took roughly three months to complete. The mainmast was a whirlwind and I had it completed in just around a month and a half. The main was stepped in mid September just in time for my mom to visit.
After a haul out for fresh paint and zincs and help from friends to complete the rigging, Blue Starr was ready to sail again. And what better a sailing companion than my mom who planned a trip to visit the first week of October. Mom and I planned a trip to Lopez Island for a schooner meetup with the schooner Zodiac and a handful of others. We left on a Friday in a flat calm and by the time we reached the last buoy in the channel the wind was blowing 30 knots and the waves were up to a choppy 4-5 feet. This was a little more excitement than mom and I bargained for not to mention my apprehension with two brand new masts. After fighting our way through 4 miles of the 15-mile trip, we got a little practice reefing down Blue Starr and had an exciting sail back into Semiahmoo with our tails between our legs. I was very much bummed to miss the schooner meetup.
We were lucky enough to have some nice days while my mom was here allowing us to get out sailing in less harrowing circumstances. Since then, I have had the boat out on several evening cruises with friends from the marina and a few single-handed trips to Sucia Island. Blue Starr 1 is a remarkable sailing vessel and she is truly a pleasure to have on the water.
This is by no means a summary of all that has happened in the last year. There have been many ups and downs. Friends have come to visit, camping trips made, tons of other boat maintenance, selling the big red truck, buying a new (old) Jeep, selling my beloved '76 Triumph Bonneville, the addition of a wood stove and of course all of Otto's exploits. Now that the boat is up and running again priority number one is finding another engineering job to pay the bills. But all of that for another time.