24 April 2019 | Sunset Bay Stuart
Sally Stearns | Warm and sunny
We’ve been busy on Light Reach the past weeks have found us saying some good byes, working on projects and visiting with family and friends. The mooring field and docks have started to empty as spring arrives and folks leave for northern climates.
Kevin and Janice (Aria III) pulled out the beginning of April for Indiantown where they hauled out for the summer. They have also decided to put Aria on the market. It’s a trek for them to get here from Vancouver and Canadian laws regarding health care only allow them 6 months of time out of Canada. Sad, we seem to be losing cruising friends as fast as we make them.
My sister and her husband came up and spent an afternoon with us. We enjoyed looking through the downtown shops much to the suffering of our respected spouses After a great lunch we bid good-bye to them as they returned to New York for the summer.
Our daughter and her family were down this past week in Daytona. Craig’s step-mother and husband had rented a place in Daytona for a couple of months this winter and invited them down for spring break. They had a second condo for Jessica’s crew and they kindly invited us up to see them for a couple of days. We spent two nights with them. It was wonderful to get to see everyone and do a little exploring of Daytona. The beach there lives up to its name, absolutely glorious. Anytime spent with family is precious. We wish it could have been a longer visit, but that will come this summer.
Work on the dodger has progressed. We finally got enough days when the wind was low enough to complete the pattern. It was a bear of a job to make. The material (durascrim) that we used to make the pattern works well in that it is sturdy and doesn’t stretch. The problem was cutting accurately around all the obstructions on the coach roof and deck. Light Reach’s traveler runs right in front of the dodger frame just in front of the companionway. The posts that support the traveler are on either side. However they aren’t symmetrical since our companionway is offset to port. That shouldn’t be an issue except for the fact that the distance on the port side for the dodger fabric to fit is significantly smaller than the starboard. Trying to figure out the geometry of where to make the cuts in the pattern material was challenging to put it mildly. I think some of our neighbors in the mooring field were awoken by our colorful commentary. We had to be up early to work in order to find time when the wind wasn’t blowing us and the pattern material overboard. We finally took the bottom of the old dodger to help us figure out the spacing. I’m concerned that we won’t get a drum tight fit because our frame lacks supports on the front frame and the distance and curvature combined with the multiple obstacles on deck, (lines, grab rails, companionway trim and the traveler) made trying to smooth the fabric taut nigh on to impossible. We’ve decided to first make a trial run out of a less expensive fabric to insure our pattern is correct. Sunbrella is not cheap and also isn’t forgiving when you make a mistake. Hopefully this will let us alter the pattern as needed before final assembly of the real deal.
Also on my sewing list are covers for the teak in order to avoid the repeat of the great sugar soot of last summer. I’m going to recycle the material from the old dodger to make those. We have haul out scheduled for May 7 but I sincerely doubt they will be done by then as I haven’t got my machine on board and the clock is ticking.
We took the main sail off yesterday. We tried a new method in the hope of containing the sail better in the process. It met with mixed success and both of us were exhausted after wrestling with the sail over a couple of hours to get it down and bagged. Egads that thing weighs a ton. Both of us were kicking ourselves for putting the sails on in the first place since we didn’t use them at all this season.
Still to be done is get the jib down and stowed, unload all the stuff on board and schlep everything to condo/storage unit. With only 13 days until haul out for summer we will be busy.
The picture is of the port side of the dodger patterning exercise. We used double sided tape to hold the pattern in place while we worked on it. The clamps were put on to keep the wind from blowing it away when we weren’t. You can see the issue with getting it taut and all the lovey obstacles we were trying to work around. Fingers crossed we got it right.