24 January 2009 | La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit, MX
To justify its space and weight everything on this little vessel, with the notable exception of the skipper, is supposed to have at least two uses. In the last frantic weeks before our departure we acquired a lot of new gear, hoping we were choosing correctly, but knowing that only time would sort out the vital from the fluff.
The 60 lb Sailrite sewing machine, bought because it seemed such a bargain at a swap meet, was always near the top of our "it must earn its keep or its gone" list, partly because of the storage issue, but also because Virginia's past relationships with sewing machines have been volatile and sour ... not pretty. How wrong we were.
Within the cruising community out here there are various overlapping sub-sets. For budgetary reasons we are firmly in the anchor outs, "no marinas for us" sub-set.. So what to do when our Dutch friends Ewout and Judith from "Bravado" offered to trade three days in the adjacent slip to them for a couple of days of Virginia's time on the sewing machine. Struggling hard with this identity crisis the promise of a hot shower, not enjoyed since Ensenada, lured us in, and so, thanks to the sewing machine, we have joined the marina sub-set and enjoyed three days of semi-luxury.
In addition to the mending and various storage pouches completed for Bravado the number of projects we have done for ourselves is growing. Most useful has been a vinyl liner for a West Marine storage crate we already had. This liner has flaps in the bottom, and suspended from a pole with weights attached to the bottom is really effective as a flopper stopper. Most of the anchorages here are subject to the Pacific swell wrapping around the headlands and rolling at anchor can be significant. The "Pardey" style flopper stopper, simple and taking up no storage room, is a big quality of life improvement.
Weather cloths, mast boot, chain bin liner, dinghy chafe pad and sun awnings are either completed or in the works. We even repaired a 2' by 1' rip in a huge asymmetric spinnaker belonging to friends David and Suzy from Sidewinder. The sail and its sock filled Mandy's cabin from floorboards to side decks, but the big kite has flown since and seems fine.
The sewing machine stays. Virginia is forging a kinder relationship, and we will continue to barter and keep our identity options open.
p.s. The photo of Mandy sandwiched between Bravado and a behemoth catamaran, gives some idea of the size of what is now considered an average cruising boat.