(Warning- only old codgers and devotees of 80s movies once thought sweet, but now seen as casually racist and misogynist will get that the title is a movie reference at all. No racism or misogyny intended– just some old man nostalgia here.)
Lots of good stuff has been happening- sailing, vacations, boat updates, equipment purchases. . . . So buckle up buttercups and hold on, because this is going to be one bumpy ride.
So, to sum-up life, since the last posting- a jury trial (yes, the day job still exists), sailing, arranged basics of shipping cargo to South Africa, started purchasing items on the inventory list, formed the official corporate entity for the boat, the boat is officially under construction, bumped up my ASA instructor qualifications to include Catamaran Cruising (ASA 114), and nervously watching COVID’s impact on Capetown and the possible boat delivery date (well, and concerned about the people too—- I’m not a monster).
That’s a fair bit of stuff, so I’ll summarize each and then focus on getting back to the stuff people care about –as soon as I figure out what that stuff is.
Jury Trial/Day Job
Although I managed to sneak away and sail here and there, the last few weeks of May and all of June were dedicated to a jury trial. As any trial lawyer knows, the amount of preparation time to trial is anywhere from 2:1 to 5:1 depending on the type of case. The two-week jury trial I was part of involved a lot of preparation largely because the opposing party changed the entire nature of their four-year-old case one month prior to trial. So, we had a lot of new/different jury charge issues, verdict forms issues, and, of course, a robust “motions practice,” which is legalese for our various efforts to get most of the other’s side’s claims knocked out by the judge.
While I was only local counsel, I did have a large role when the jury was not in the courtroom and handled a lot of the legal arguments and behind-the-scenes wrangling, which was fun. I missed being the person speaking to the jury, but the lead counsel was great and handled the witnesses and jury skillfully. By any practical measure, we won the heck out of that case ($15 million pre-trial demand, $5.5 million jury trial demand, verdict of $85,000, which is likely to be reduced by the judge), so, the work was fulfilling and absolutely valuable to the client.
I continue to sail most weekends and weekday afternoons when I can. I’ve been teaching American Sailing Association classes pretty regularly. Primarily, I teach Basic Keel Boat (101), Basic Coastal Cruising, (103), and the Docking Endorsement (118). (I’m also qualified to teach Bareboat Cruising (104), and Coastal Navigation (105)).
Since catamarans are my favorite, I aimed at upgrading my teaching credentials to be able to teach Cruising Catamaran, (114). Modern Sailing in Sausalito happens to be one of a handful of schools that are authorized to teach and evaluate instructor-level classes. So, after taking the written exam I was put through my paces as an instructor on a 38′ Seawind.
The addition of the Catamaran Class to my instructor qualification was not as big a deal as the step up to instructor overall since it was a limited topic, but was a rigorous process. In addition to the written test, I had to teach a class under the watchful eye of the instructor evaluator. I look forward to spending more time on catamarans in the San Francisco Bay before the passage. Everything on the SF Bay is more difficult than most other sailing venues. So the constant sail changes, MOB drills, and docking will further cement the basics of catamaran sailing in my brain.
As soon as we arrive in Capetown, Wild Rumpus will need sheets, towels, galley gear, fishing gear, extra PFDs, tools, binoculars, a kick-ass coffee setup, a first aid kit, etc. While it is possible that we could buy much of this in Capetown, I would have to figure out where to buy stuff, how to deal with the VAT and learn about local brands. Also, Wild Rumpus will be a 110-volt boat for onboard plugs, but Capetown is a 220 city. So, buying small appliances for the kitchen, a vacuum, tool battery chargers, and alike are better done near my home.
Once I have a garage full of stuff I need to get it to Wild Rumpus in South Africa. Even more daunting, I need to send that pallet of stuff to Capetown in a well-timed dance that has it arrive near the time for our departure, but not too far in advance such that it would incur import taxes.
Luckily, I met through a friend a shipping agent in the US who works closely with a shipping agent in Capetown. So, we should be all set for sending via cargo ship a pallet of stuff. My understanding is, and it may end up being wrong, that we won’t pay import tax since all of the cargo is going on an outbound sailing vessel. But, we’ll see. I don’t screw around with tax collectors as they can make your life very difficult and I’m too old to explore South Africa’s prison system. Also, I look terrible in a skirt.
Purchasing Inventory/Inventory List
Since we arranged for shipping a pallet, the shopping spree has begun. I am currently scoping out sales on my inventory list and starting to accumulate all of the stuff in the garage. The garage is slowly filling with towels, dishes, fishing gear, etc. The shopping process is actually pretty fun. I found a sale on some super tough dishes, good pots and pans, and even a superautomatic espresso maker (no pods on Wild Rumpus!!). Some of the crew scoped out and shopped for fishing gear already too. So, the garage is slowly filling up. More on these purchases and what we chose in a later posting.
Wild Rumpus Lives!
Wild Rumpus Sailing, LLC exists!! We had to hire lawyers who do that sort of stuff, but it seems like we have the entity all set up. We also have lawyers poised to help us get the boat registered and ready for departure from Capetown. Phew. Oddly, the legal stuff was stressing me out. I don’t like being a client.
Wild Rumpus is finally under construction. Fiberglass is being laid out and everything remains on schedule — for now. Fingers crossed that life in Capetown settles down, people are safe, and the boat stays on schedule.