• Deanna Sansbury

View from the Top


One month.


What’s in one month, might you ask?  Well, that’s when we will have handed our house keys over to the new owner and will be officially released from our obligations in the ‘burbs. Yep, we’ve sold our house and now have no other option but to plow forward with this crazy plan that we dreamed up one night not so long ago.  The safety net has been taken away and now it’s go time.  Just two weeks after going on the market, we had two offers and settled on one that was above our asking price.  It’s like the Gods are rooting for us to go ahead and get this adventure started already!   Which is a slightly different reaction than what we’re getting from our family who all seem to think we’re crazy.  Hey, can’t win them all, right?


So, how did we spend the weekend celebrating?  By doing boat work, of course!  We serviced both engines this weekend – changed the oil, fuel filters, topped off the coolant, generally inspected both engines, you know – the usual.  It was only the second time we attempted this, and it went over much better than the first time.  The only thing that stinks about servicing the engines is that by the time you get one done and everything all cleaned up, you realize that you have yet another engine to do.  Both engines took us nearly 3 hours from start to finish.  Dang.  Score one for the monohulls.


I also took a heat gun to the fading Lagoon logo on either side of the boat.  They were cracked and faded and were showing their age worse than those scary photos of Madonna without makeup.  In other words they had to go and will be replaced by two brand new ones once we can find them.


Getting more and more confident, we decided that it was time to attempt something a bit more advanced.  As in, me taking Matt up the mast so he could change out some burnt out light bulbs we had.  Yeah, all 70ft of it.  We were going from Boat Maintenance 101 to 301 in the course of the afternoon.  No pressure. Why would we attempt such a daring/dumb/incredibly awesome move? Well, we noticed during our trip to St Michaels, that our anchor light was super dim compared to the other sailboats anchored out in the harbor.  Not just like a shade dimmer, but just barely visible, which is a big safety issue since you always want to be as visible as possible to other boaters when anchored at night.  Also, our deck lights were burnt out and needed to be replaced as well.  So, we pulled out this nifty little chair / harness thing that the previous owners left called a bosun chair, attached it to two lines running up the mast (one as the main – the red one, the second as a safety in case the main broke – the white one Matt is tying on) and got down to business.


We employed a crank/climb system where I was down below cranking the winch that was slowly lifting him up the mast one inch at a time via the red line attached to the bosun chair by a pulley.  Matt would help me by climbing up the mast as much as he could to take some of his body weight off the lines, making it way easier for me to crank.  It was a difficult job for both of us – about 15 ft up my arm felt like it was going to fall off, and we still had 50 more feet to go.  About this same time, Matt’s anxiety was starting to kick in.  And then there was all of the attention we were attracting from boat passing by saying things like ‘it must be pretty scary up that high’ and ‘I can’t believe you’re trusting your wife with that!’. Yeah, it was a real pleasant time for us.  Thankfully he made it up and back down without incident.  And not without snapping a few good photos from the top.



We ran out to pick up the replacement bulbs, and guess what? We got do it all over again.

Best. Workout. Ever. I think I would have made a deal with the Devil for an electric winch after the second time hoisting him up.


Can you tell why our anchor light was so dim?  (The old cover is on the left).  The halogen bulb had slowly been burning the plastic cover over the span of 15 years.  A new cover and LED bulb and we were back in business.


We had been going after it since 9am that morning, and were sunburnt, sweaty and exhausted.  Determined to balance out the work and play, we decided to head out and spend the night anchored up in a small cove somewhere.  It was a beautiful night and we thought of it as a small reward to the exhausting day we had – plus, we got to practice our anchoring skills again, which we nailed, of course!  We found a spot with a great view of the Bay Bridge and hunkered on down. After a nice dinner on the grill we were in bed by nightfall.  A great way to end the day.  And yes – our new anchor light shined like a diamond up there atop the mast.  No more anchor light envy towards the other sailboats in the harbor.


Seriously, I still can’t believe this is our life.  We love (nearly) every minute of it.  I keep saying that it’s time to start planning our adventure, but you know, I think it’s already started!



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 By The Sansbury Team 2020