Friday, August 22, 2014

Spring Sprang Sprung

My cousin, Suet, came all the way from California to visit us in St Augustine.  Since it was much too hot to go sailing, we decided it was best to take a little road trip to Ginnie Springs. Normally, we hear, the place is packed full of people just tubing and drinking, but luckily for us (as it was weekday), we didn't encounter too many people, just a bunch of college kids here and there.  It was a 2 hour drive from St Augustine, and it was well worth it as the springs were beautiful.  The water was ice cold, but it was some of the clearest, bluest water I've ever seen.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

♫ That's A-Mooring ♫

Well, we finally got the chance to take Moitessier out and spend the night on a mooring and it was incredible. After paying for night at St Augustine Marina and preparing the boat with supplies and food, we set out early Saturday morning.  It was a beautiful day, and we couldn't have asked for more from the weather. Bright and sunny, with a little bit of a breeze.  Picking up the mooring ball turned out to be easier than expected.  Truth be told, I had expected it to be a bit of a debacle somehow, with me dropping the boat hook or something, but it turned out perfectly.  I was able to grab the ball with the boat hook first shot.  

After securing the boat, we decided to take a swim.  The water was cool but the current out there was quite strong, so I floated along holding on to our dock lines.  We spent the day just swimming about relaxing, reading, napping, and enjoying a lunch of Caprese salad sandwiches in our cockpit.  The usual afternoon thunderstorm rolled through, which was nice as it afforded me a cold fresh water shower.  Watching the Schooner Freedom getting pummeled with the rain was quite funny too as it was full of tourists….I know, I'm bad for laughing about it.  As evening came around, and the sun was setting with the sky displaying its pinks and blues, we enjoyed a nice, romantic dinner in the cockpit.   I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of happiness and calm.  We were finally seeing St Augustine from the cockpit of Moitessier, something we had been dreaming of for years.  After our dinner, we just sat and watched the moon for a while before deciding to take the dinghy up to the bathrooms and shower as if we were real life cruisers.  It was a perfect end to perfect day. And though it was uneventful, we both felt one baby step closer to our dream.  I couldn't have asked for more.  

Singing in the rain...
Schooner Freedom :P

On a side note, the most serendipitous thing happened when we went up to shower.  As we were approaching the corner to the bathrooms, we bumped into Stephanie and Brian on Rode Trip.  We had met them a few years ago through our friends Matt and Jess, who had traveled extensively with them.  They were on their way taking Rode Trip up north from Panama and had stopped in St Augustine for the night.  They had just finished doing their laundry and were just as surprised to see us.  We stopped and chatted for about an hour and they gave us advice on cruising the Bahamas and Cuba.  It is such a small world and it was crazy that we ran into them at 11pm just as they were about to get in their dinghy with their laundry.  They set sail the next day as we were waking up and we saw them take off from our cockpit. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

More Cushion for the…

Since we have last posted, we have been quite busy.  We have gotten emails from readers (thank you guys for caring) wondering if we've taken the boat out for another sail and whether we are still well and alive.  Yes to both… Lately we have been trying to get to know the boat a little more and learning to dock her better.  We spent a day with a captain just doing straight docking drills and getting pointers on our technique and mistakes.  Anyone who has had to back up a 40,000 lb double ender can tell you that docking is not a walk in the park.  Rick, who was the captain, taught us the importance of clear, concise, and LOUD communication, and quick line handling.  It has giving us more confidence to safely return after a day out on the water. Eventually Frank wants to teach me to drive the boat so that he could be the one handling the lines when docking.  

On a side note, one of the last times we went out sailing, we discovered that we had a stowaway on board Moitessier.  When we unfurled our Genoa, out flew a bat!  He looked just as surprised to see us as we were him, as I'm sure we awoke him from his slumber.  Being that we were a couple miles offshore, he really had no choice but to just return to Moitessier and hang out on deck with the rest of us.  Eventually, he grew intolerant of the paparazzi's incessant hounding, and sought solace in the one of the dark limber holes of our hatch cover.  

From the bow
Our batty friend soaking up some rays...
Bridge of Lions
Storm on the horizon upon our return

For those of you who think that the boat projects have ended now that we are on the water, I'd hate to burst your bubble.  It seems there is always something to do, and I have been a little lackadaisical in updating the blog with current projects.  I apologize for that.  One of the most recent projects and one that has been extremely rewarding as well, has been our cockpit cushions. After taking the boat out a few times, we realized how much more pleasurable hanging out in the cockpit would be with a set of plush cushions.  We hadn't even given it much thought before now and had always put it off as we figured it would be too expensive. After doing some research on the forums, we discovered that it does not have to be that expensive at all if you are willing to do the work yourself.  Using his internet resourcefulness, Frank was able to find 2" open cell dry fast foam from The Foam Factory Wholesale, which we later had discovered is the same company, with the same contact info as The Foam Factory that sells the same exact product at nearly double the price.  Crazy because we didn't need to provide a tax ID or anything to get the significant discount. With the foam in hand and using this awesome Sailrite video as a guideline, as well as Sailors Exchange for their surplus Sunbrella fabric and Phifertex (the mesh material usually used for the backs of cushions to allow drainage and breathability); we were able to sew our own set for a total of $140.  Pretty awesome considering you'd pay close to $1000 to have  them made through a canvas shop.  I started sewing the starboard side cushion and after I quickly became frustrated with sewing, Frank took over and impressively did a better job than I was doing. The thing he did differently was that after cutting out the pieces, he took the time to staple the patterns together, preventing any slippage between the 2 opposing fabrics, and allowing him to ensure that the pieces matched up before sewing it all together.  (Something I was too reluctant/lazy/prideful to do, resulting in me using the seam ripper far more often than I care to admit).  It's really nice having an extra area to hang out in without our bums getting sore from the hard teak.  It's also nice to be able to lay out at night in the cockpit and watch the lightning storms, that have been pretty frequent here in St Augustine lately.  

Phifertex bottom
Stapling before sewing...