Monday, May 28, 2012

Chapter 3 So much to learn . . .

Chapter 3

 So much to learn . . .

Floyd & Ken had quality time to chat after the 21st of April, not only to reminisce of our Gr8 weekend together . . . but to discuss what additional adjustments were required to the modifications made on Floyd, including a consensus that I (Joe) needed  more sailing time and some thoughts to get more publicity for:

The Story of Joe & Floyd . . . and more

First on their agenda, was to get a different motor mount that had a higher profile to make the outboard easier to operate and to put the permanent oarlock brackets on.  This was an easy task for Ken and his staff.  They also both agreed, that Floyd’s trailer should have a spare tire and that I should have a spare prop and shear pins all of which were purchased.  Oscar, Ken’s “# one guy, adjusted the newly arrived 9’ oars to fit Capt’n Joe and installed the anchor & rode on the bow pulpit.

Kudos to Oscar and the other guys on Ken’s Staff !

The second item on their agenda was to ensure that Capt’n Joe had completed his duties to obtain the logos for Floyd.  The required logos on the list were:

  1.  Floyd’s name which would be affixed to the foreward sides port & starboard,
  2.  The logos for our intended purpose . . .”Motor-row-sail-4-the-Cure”,
  3. Our website, so folks can follow our adventure on our newly created Blog.
The third item on their agenda was to invite Floyd & I ( Capt’n Joe )  on a weekend adventure (May 19th) for the 3rd Annual Marina Del Rey “ Marina Fest” and to be a guest of Ken to the “City of Hope’s” annual fund-raiser event for cancer research.

The last, and most important item on their agenda, was to provide another opportunity for me to improve my boating skills with Floyd. Even though, I did O.K. on our first day on the water,

I still have so much to learn . . .

You may remember that Floyd pointed out several of many lessons that
“I have to learn” . . .

I can now  tie knots, especially a bowline and stopper knot, I have a better feel of the tiller when entering or leaving a dock, Still need to remember to give more throttle to the outboard to control direction, and  I will never forget that Ken and Floyd  are always ready to assist me.

By mid-day, of May 18th, Floyd’s logos were affixed in their proper location and we drove to the MDR public launch area again.  This time, however, single-handedly, I preformed the ceremonial preparation for Floyd’s launch. Floyd was pleased at my improvement . . . including my recently accomplishment in knot tying.

We indulged ourselves with some boating pleasures . . . to re-acquaint Floyd & I with each other, and then we navigated to Ken’s live-aboard, the “Compass Rose”. Floyd & I spent our first two evenings on-board  . . . with many more to come.

The Marina Fest afforded an opportunity to meet other WWPotter enthusiasts, some of whom prove to be additional mentors on the Sacramento Delta Waterway.  Moreover, not surprisingly, everyone we met had a story to share about how cancer had affected his or her life or that of a loved one or friend . . .

The awareness has begun

Everyone, thought Floyd, was Cool.  For some folks, it took a moment as they only saw her pink haul . . . but once they viewed her name . . .

Everyone made the connection.

Pink Boat ?  

Named  Floyd 
Pink Floyd

The “City of Hope’s” annual fundraising event provided an additional opportunity to meet like-minded folks who knew so much more than I, and who collectively touched so many more folks than I . . .

I was, deeply touched, by their dedication . . . and their deeds

I will share more about their good works later.

Til’ we chat again, 

Floyd & Joe

The Story of Joe & Floyd Is just beginning   .  .  .

Chapter 2 Début for Floyd & Joe

Chapter 2

Début for Floyd & Joe 

Post Script from Chapter 1:

“Floyd, Bless her Heart, asked also to be fitted with oars and a motor so she could relax and enjoy our adventure.  How could I say no . . .since we fitted her with many features to make it more pleasurable for me.”

Between April 7th of 2012 and April 20th of April 2012, the modifications made to Floyd, as shared in our first chapter, has now been almost completed by Ken and is staff and we are now ready for our first shakedown trip scheduled for Saturday April 21st

In summary, the planned modifications, to date,  includes:

  1. A solo sailing package for the main and jib sails so that I could raise and lower the sails from the cockpit,
  2. Modifications  to raise and lower the keel from the cockpit without having to go into the cabin,
  3. Shore AC and Solar/DC power capabilities that also charges both batteries, with several DC power connections in the cockpit and AC/DC connections in the cabin,
  4. An upgraded 4 hp. Outboard with a 3 ½ external gas take to provide up to 9 hours of running time,
  5. The Custom-made 9’ oars were ordered and oarlocks the temporarily mounted mid-ship, ( Ken had 8’ oars available for testing for April 21st)
  6. The Bimini, still needs to be installed,
  7. A Compass and Depth Gauge with a Keel/Off Set Alarm,
By this time, all the required, Coast Guard Approved, safety equipment was purchased and stored on board (Readily accessible).

Floyd was tickled Pink  . . . .
With all the attention that he has received during these past two weeks  . . . .
and waited anxiously for April 21st  . . .

By mid-day on Saturday, Floyd & I made our début, at the public launch at Marina Del Rey, CA.  Ken guided me through the ceremonial rites of preparing Floyd to be launched and served as my mentor to ensure all went well.

Once Floyd was ready, we left the public launch area and sailed in the MDR Harbor so that I could get a feel of Floyd and had an opportunity for Floyd to get to know me. 

Floyd, most certainly, had a better understanding of sailing, than I, and as you know, he is much younger than I. Even though Floyd knew much more than I did, she was patient with me . . . and with the assistance of Ken and the forgiving qualities of Floyd . . .

I did O.K. on our first day on the water. 

Nevertheless, I still have so much to learn . . . and Floyd pointed out several of many lessons that “I have to learn”  . . . as we sailed the MDR Harbor.

First, Floyd instructed me “we can not only feel the presence of wind, but that we can see her approach” by looking at the ripples on the water and to be ready for an abrupt change in its direction and force.  Equally as important, was for me not to over-react in its [wind] potential change . . .  but rather let my intuitiveness permit me to make a calm and deliberate change of course as required.

Second, Floyd reminded me that sailing is a “Zen  . . . Yin & Yang thing” all about balance.  The water, its current . . . and the changes of the wind . . . coupled with our presence does not act as separate entities . . . but are one.  One can only know this to be true if one truly is aware of its uniting presence.

Floyd’s last comments, for now, were:

  1.  I need to know how to tie knots, especially a bowline and stopper knot,
  2. I needed to get a better feel of the tiller when entering or leaving a dock,
  3. Remember to give more throttle to the outboard to control direction, and
  4. Lastly, to remember that Ken and she is always ready to assist me.

     At the day’s end, we navigated to Ken’s live-aboard, the “Compass Rose”.  Floyd and I were berthed close by.

It was truly a GR8 début for Floyd and I.

Floyd did not ask, again . . . 

why I came to Inglewood . . . 

By now, he knew that it was, I who would come and take her on a journey . . . 

 to motor-row-sail the 700 miles of the Sacramento River Delta waterway.

Til’ we chat again, 
Floyd & Joe

The Story of Joe & Floyd Is just beginning   .  .  .

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Chapter 1 When I first met Floyd

Chapter 1

When I First met Floyd

It was April 7, 2012 when I first met Floyd; however, it was not until our meeting came to a close that she revealed her name to me.  Floyd is much younger than I am, she can only recount his birth month and 
year  . . . being February 2011.  I recall being born in the month of December in the year of 1952.

Ken, the owner of International Marine, whose manufacturing facility of the West Wight Potter was located in Inglewood, CA, introduced us as he gave me a tour.  While Ken showed me the various boats that were in different stages of completion for customers, my eye was always drawn back to “Floyd”.  Floyd, at the time was referred to as “Pinky”. Built and painted Pink to promote awareness for the “Sail 4 the Cure” campaign.  Pinky participated in several fundraising events since her birth date by the time we met.

During the tour of International Marine’s plant, Ken excused himself  . . . as a call came in that he had to attend to . . . upon his departure Floyd asked me why I came . . .
This was the moment . . . when Floyd and I began our friendship.  Floyd wanted to know why I came to Inglewood . . . as she felt that someone would come and take him on a journey . . . 
but not sure if it was, I , that she was to take the journey with.

Before I could speak, Floyd asked me if I had a child . . . I replied that I had a daughter 27 years old named Sabrina and that her mother passed away 2/14/2012 from cancer. 

Floyd asked again . . . why I came to Inglewood.  My response took me back to the mid-summer of 2000.
I told Floyd that prior to 2000, I had not experienced many friends and or family members passing away.  However, that mid-summer of 2000 changed all my perceptions about living, death, grieving, recovering and a re-awaking of our Devine purpose.

On that mid-summer of 2000, my mother was admitted to a New Haven, CT hospital for observation.  Our parents, Florence and Robert, had four sons . . . I am one of the four.
We all were there to support our mom and Dad . . . the oldest Bob was the primary care support.  To him we will always be thankful.  By November, our mom left this world to be with our lord in heaven.  Within five months, our Dad who grieved at the loss of his beloved wife went to be by her side.

Prior to our Dad leaving this world, he told me to live each day as if it was your last day and to take my retirement on an installment plan and give thanks to Jesus.  Our Dad wanted to share with my brothers and I that only the lord knows when it is time to go home. However, while we are here . . .  and always give something to others.

Since 2001, I have done my best to find balance as given to me by the last words of my Dad.  Since then, I have taken time from my day to day work . . . saving as much as I could to visit and connect with family that I have not seen in a long time and empty my bucket list.

As of today, most of my Uncles and Aunts have passed away (mostly from cancer) in the most recent 10 years, and all of them were as special to me as my mom and dad.  Moreover, I had an opportunity to visit with most of them before they left this world, as my dad encouraged me to do.

As Floyd listened, her sails were not Luffed . . . nor a sign that he was in irons as she quietly stood fast in the following wind.

Floyd asked again . . . why I came to Inglewood . . . I told her that I was seeking balance in my life and that of my daughter and for all those who have left this world via circumstances of living such as cancer, including those who have survived; such as my brother’s wife.

 I also shared with Floyd that it was a passion of mine to sail the 700 miles of the Sacramento River Delta waterway.

As Ken returned from his business call, Floyd and I included him into our conversation.
Long story short, we all embraced the pursuit of an adventure to Sail “Floyd” through the 700 miles of navigable waterway in the Sacramento Delta.  Floyd and I have now bonded.

Floyd since birth was not fitted for this adventure.  Ken and I, with the assistance of many references to previous Potter Owner’s modifications . . . re-fitted her so that we could make this adventure possible.
Most stories have a beginning, middle, and end . . . The Story of Joe & Floyd is no different.  Floyd and I met on 4/7/2012, shared our history and found common grounds, and decided to ‘Sail 4 the Cure”. 

Post Script: Floyd, Bless her Heart, asked also to be fitted with oars and a motor so she could relax and enjoy our adventure.  How could I say no . . . since we fitted her with many features to make it more pleasurable for me.

Til’ we chat again, Floyd & Joe (Joe will be rowing and motoring so Floyd can relax)

The Story of Joe & Floyd
Is just beginning . . .

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