Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Turks head Tom

While we were in Roatan Honduras with Patrick and Nancy on S/V Stolen Child, Tom and I tried to absorb as much knowledge as possible from the cruisers we met. We learned many things such as how to take a sighting on a star with a sextant, all about HAM requirements, the protocol on the for the cruisers net, how to setup a spinnaker pole rope swing and the best mix for killer pancakes.
Aussie Ralph even got in on the teaching our last night on board by insisting that Tom should learn to tie a Turks Head knot. The exact purpose of this knot other than decorative was not shared other than the fact that Ralph had finally mastered it himself after much practising and was dying to teach someone how to tie it. It did not matter to Ralph that the dark cockpit of Stolen Child, after consuming ample rum drinks (both teacher & student), in a beautiful tropical anchorage, might not be the best teaching environment. He was determined. But Tom was a good sport and truly wanted to learn. He picked up as much as he possibly could given said conditions. For those of you who aren't knot experts, the Turks Head is a tough knot to master. It's complicated even in the best circumstances and takes practise.

Upon our returned to the rat race called normal life, Tom was determined to master the Turks Head and make Ralph proud. I added an additional challenge by requesting he put one on my steering wheel. I no longer want to be stuck backing out of a parking spot, turning the steering wheel as a really awful pop song comes on the radio and no way to change the channel until I complete the turns and straighten the wheel! That could lead to extreme road rage the likes we have never seen. A nicely placed Turks Head will let me know which side of my steering wheel has the channel changer and I can quickly banish John, Josh, Justin or whoever is making my ears bleed.

Well, as you can see, he has in fact mastered the Turks Head and can now decorate all kinds of things around our house and boat. I sense all our friends will be getting Turks Head key chains and dangley Turks Head earrings for Xmas. Good job Tom!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sabrina's Sail Loft is open

Distant Drum actually has two sets of sails. The primary head sail had two small rips in 2007 and major shredding of the sacrificial UV. We took it home for repair. Turns out the UV strip was applied with with adhesive that was a real bitch to get off. I yanked it off in small patches and got it folded up in time for the holiday season that year. "I'll do the actual repair in the spring." Yeah right!

That was spring 2008. Summer 08 found us using the original head sail. It worked just fine. However by the end of the season, it too was in need of repair. "I'll wait until the holidays are over. Setting up Sabrina's Sail Loft involves taking over most of the basement on a semi-permanent basis. "I'll wait until we get back from our sailing trip to Roatan." "I get started on the repairs after we complete our Coastal Navigation class." And so the excuses went. But now the weather is finally warming and we can start sailing soon....except we don't have a working head sail. Time for me to get busy.

I did some warm up canvas repair on our sail cover as some stitching was pulling out. Then I moved on to the older head sail. It primarily needed replacement stitches and a small repair along the leech line. Five broken needles later I have completed all but 2" that will have to be hand stitched.
Yesterday was spent fixing the helm cover for some sailing friends and pondering the best way to repair the rips in our primary head sail as well as replace the entire UV. I haven't yet decided if I am going to replace it with adhesive backed Dacron or Sunbrella. I have done some web searching and plan to read up on repairs in "The Complete Guide to Sail Care & Repair" Next order of business will be to place an order with Sailrite. On the plus side, I was able to take the original head sail up to the boat on Saturday and go for a delightful sail with ESS Kim.