Saturday, June 30, 2012

When the bow is in the trees...

Listening to "Bump & Sway" by Deep Banana Blackout

The other day a wise man said to us, "When the bow is in the trees, you're running out of seas".  Well...

looking towards the marina slips from Paragon's bow

Have we taken a wrong turn?  Perhaps zigged when we should have zagged?  No, we have simply, in our infinite wisdom and good timing, chosen to be hauled out in the hottest part of the year.  *sigh*

This has been a delightful summer thus far, with temperatures hovering in the mid-seventies to low eighties, cool breezes in abundance, and nights that require a light hoodie.  No longer.  The thermometer will be pushing 100˚F/38˚C this weekend with a heat watch advisory from the weather service.  (hey!  look at that heat!)

Fortunately for us the cruising community is an amazing group of people.  A cruiser stopped by earlier today and lent us a window air conditioning unit to use while we are on the hard.


Thank you, thank you, a million times thank you.  Thanks to this kind gentleman, I am now writing to you from the chilled confines of the boat.  

Getting hauled out was certainly an adventure.  Doubly so since we not only removed Paragon from the water, but stepped the mast as well.  No longer are we the slowest, saddest little trawler in the marina....we're a SAILBOAT once again!

We maneuvered into the working slip at Sailcraft Boatyard, tied off, and began preparations.

Paragon in the Sailcraft slip
We did a final examination of the mast, secured the rigging, then prepared to move her.  I'm not sure how I thought we would move this massive structure from point A (on the grass) to point B (by the boat), but I was certain it would involve all sorts of high tech procedures and equipment.  Nope.  Instead we loaded it onto this little trolley and rolled it right on over to the crane.  Space age technology, I tell you...

bracing the mast on the rolling cart

Of course, every bit of our work was carefully observed by the official quality control and safety expert, Bo.  He is Mark the rigger's dog, and is always ready to offer an ear...that is, if you're willing to scratch.

Quality control overseen by Bo
Wires were tied and, lo and behold, the mast was lifted.

I seriously hope this holds!

After some minor adjustments, the mast was set down...

Stepping the mast
 And voila.  Shrouds and Stays were attached (these are cables that run from the mast to various points on the deck and keep the mast from pulling a Humpty Dumpty and tumbling down), and some light tuning was done.

Next, Paragon was hauled out and the hull was blasted by a pressure washer to get over two years of crud off.  Much to our *happy* surprise, the bottom was mainly free of barnacles and other vermin...that means less scraping for yours truly.  *grin*

The power washing begins

Paragon is rather massive when seen from this angle
The last time Paragon had her hull scrubbed was just before Drake sailed from Sint Maarten to Oriental in 2010.  You can check out that voyage below.

So here we are...sitting on the hard and forming our plan of attack.  There is much work to be done, but since it is mosty toasty outside I believe we will sit back, enjoy the cool air conditioning, and perhaps share a toast to the newly restored mast. 


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sailing to Tortola on Bella Luna, a Swan 48

Listening to "Comment Allez-Vous" by Blossom Dearie

It is Thursday and you know what that means!  No, you say?  Well, Drake and I have been producing videos for our youtube channel (see the tab above for a link), and we release a new episode every week on Thursday.  Very exciting, yes?

This series has centered around a trip Drake and I took back in January/February where we crewed on a beautiful boat called Bella Luna.  She is a Swan 48 and, for those not in the know, a lovely and elegant racer/cruiser boat.  (look here for more info on these boats. )

In this episode we revel in our last few days at sea, view a luminous sunrise, and I come up with a brilliant idea for cutting edge marine footwear.  *grin*

Feel free to poke around the channel since there is bound to be something for everyone (DOLPHINS!), and subscribe to receive emails of new releases.  Hope you enjoy!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mug Shots

listening to "A festa" by Maria Rita

A few years ago I worked with a girl who had the most whimsical view of life.  She would put things together in such unique ways, or would draw images that were insightful, funny, and cute...yet with a razor sharp wit.  

She also saw faces.  


Getting up in the morning she might glance at the way the tea cups were arranged and see smiley faces.  Foam on her cappuccino glared at her with a frown as a parking meter gasped in surprise.  The world observed from every nook and cranny, and the result of this is that I now see faces too...

Drake and I finished putting up the mast steps not long ago, but part of the process involved making mylar templates to go between the actual step and the mast.  Why bother with the extra work you might ask?  Apparently, in this harsh marine environment if you put two different metals together they corrode at a rate that degrades faster than your computer can go out of date.  You start at the top and by the time you reach the bottom everything is falling to pot.  

So, drink in hand, I spent an afternoon making teeny templates for the tops and bottoms of the mast steps when, suddenly, I realized...

Yes.  There is a little surprised person at the fastening point of each mast step.  Of course, I had to give them a series of emotions because I am nothing if not a master procrastinator.  (I can still hear Drake in the background.  "Are they ready YET?)  This made it slightly harder to use the hole punch through which the rivets would go (not the eyes!), but what can you do?

Now these little faces can join the shore power cord

Drake's electric razor

and our rather wacky wood burning stove.

I look forward to discovering new little faces, wherever they may be...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Path...

Listening to "Nuvole Bianche" by Ludovico Einaudi

“Traveler there is no path,
Paths are made by walking.”
~~ Antonio Machado, Cantares