26 February 2007, Home Port
"Yikes, there's a big boat in my living room!" Even dinghies look huge when they're inflated and set up inside a house. The kids think it's pretty cool having a full-sized Zodiac to play with indoors, and it does make a rather unique recliner for watching TV or reading. But it was also necessary. We had to turn our living room into a heated boat shed yesterday because, as you might have guessed, we couldn't get our Alaskan garage warm enough to glue-on the new registration-number plates. There are very specific instructions for bonding Hypalon fabric -- one of the parameters is that the material has to be above 65 degrees. (Quite frankly we chose to do this project inside the house now because it may not actually reach 65 degrees outside before we shove off in June.)
As you can tell from the above photo and the smiling crew, we were successful in getting the plates attached. There's a 48-hour cure time before we can deflate the boat and take it back out to the garage, so the dinghy will remain our home's centerpiece for a couple more days.
Might as well take advantage of the situation, so while it's still set up I'm going to attach the towing bridle, tow and stern lines, and make up the bungees for securing the inflatable thwart seat. And, hopefully, the "bow bag" (a triangular waterproof storage bag that mounts in the bow space) will be delivered this week so I can get it fitted and bungeed into place. The bag will hold the foot-pump, anchor and rode, first-air kit, oarlocks, patch materials, etc.
Our sail repair kit is now complete with the arrival of a set of Sail Clamps on Saturday. These emergency devices were invented by an offshore sailor whose roller furling gear broke down leaving him stuck with unusable foresails. Back ashore, he invented the nifty and inexpensive little clamps that allow you to quickly transform a roller furling jib into a "regular" hanked-on sail.
The clamps, fittings and shackles have gone into a canvas bag that also holds spare sailcloth and sailtape, sailmaker's needles, waxed thread, a palm and other items necessary for emergency sail repair.
"Your Offshore Doctor," the last of the medical books we wanted for the ship's library, was delivered late last week. While this is considered one of the best references for bluewater medicine, its availability is scarce at best. I believe we ordered it from three different places (including amazon.com) and found it to be out of print or seriously backordered. Eventually we ran across an outfit called Sheridan House - "America's Favorite Sailing Books" which had it in stock and got it to us.
Four more Mondays! After today, which is already half over, the four Mondays in March are the last ones we'll have to deal with as employees. I'm starting to like this "retirement" thing already and it doesn't even start for another 33 days, but who's counting?
25 February 2007, Home Port
The Photo Gallery has been initialized and we've posted a few shots from this past summer's Hot Springs Voyage. Just click the link at right for access.