Monthly Archives: January 2013

All good plans

We checked the weather, checked the tides, checked alternate plans in case of this and that only to wake up this morning to 20-25 kt wind and a serious bounce here in the anchorage. We knew this front was moving through but it was supposed to be mostly gone by now. On top of that, Jack has come down with a cold that’s sapping his will and energy so we’re just going to sit tight for a couple of hours and see if things settle down enough to mosey south a little. We originally planned to go out the St. Lucie inlet and sail all the way to Ft. Lauderdale but with conditions as they are, we can either wait it out or get moving. Time will tell. Right now the wind is howling through the rigging and Jack went back to bed.

We had a nice sundowner last night aboard True Colors and met Dolph and Elisa from Tulum III. Funny thing is they were “introduced” to us from afar by Ed and Sue from Angel Louise, currently in Turkey. Ed and Sue apparently know everyone on a boat anywhere on the east coast and play matchmakers, sending emails to us all encouraging us to dinghy on over and say hello. Thanks, Ed and Sue, and we wish you were here, too! (But I’m sure it’s more fun in Turkey.) You can follow Ed on Twitter here.



It’s now 8:30 and the wind is still bouncing us around. I think we’ll wait here awhile.


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Izzy says

Izzy has that look again. “Did I just see a dead pig float by?” It wasn’t a dead pig but there was a coconut bobbing in the current as the tide slowly sweeps through the anchorage.
We had a rainy day, all-day bands of rain crossed overhead constantly changing the quality of the light and robbing us of much needed solar energy. By the end of the day we would have to fire up the generator and hope that the battery charger works.

The new charger is on its way to our friends’ house in Surfside, FL. If packages for Escape Velocity start showing up at your address, you can expect us to make an appearance in the near future. You have been warned.

As I said, it rained on and off all day which tends to limit on-shore activities. It’s not that you can’t dinghy into the dinghy dock but you will get wet. The bikes are also less fun in the rain but at the end of the day, when the reward is a double rainbow over Stuart, it’s hard to complain.


Looks like it’s our last day in Stuart.



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The view from the side deck


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The view from the galley

Fig and Gorgonzola pizza with farmers market arugula.



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Wash and wear

There are a lot of ropes on a boat, and sailboats have more than powerboats. This small black one is called a downhaul. It rides up the jib when we raise it and when we want to lower it we pull on this line and it pulls the sail down. Except on Escape Velocity it hasn’t worked so well. The line is hard and twisted and gets hung up in the blocks and invariably one of us has to go forward to pull the sail down. That’s not so bad in good weather, but you don’t want to be on the foredeck in a blow.


Our friend Alan suggested we wash it to get the salt out of it, then untwist it. I soaked it in a bucket for the afternoon. Yuck.


Then I laid it out on deck and untwisted it from front to back several times.


After it dried it was nice and soft and untwisted again, so we’ll see if it does its job when we head out.

While the line was soaking I worked on the new jib cover. It’s a lot of canvas to muscle under the needle. I’d love to get it done, but we need to do some modifications on the jib lazy jacks before I finalize the design of the cover.


This morning I was up at 4 am to listen to the Australian Open final on my iPhone app. This is the third day in a row I got up early for tennis matches. Later we went to the farmers market.


On our way back the jitney driver pulled over and asked us it we wanted a lift. It was only two blocks but we jumped on anyway for a free ride back to the marina.



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The view from the front porch


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Pick up the pieces, uh-huh

Yesterday it was too breezy to get the mainsail back on so we rode our bikes over the bridge to Best Buy to get a new iPod Classic. It’s got a big enough capacity to fit all our music; it will take about a week to move everything onto it because I have our library on two computers and two external backup drives. It’ll be great to have it all in one place and be able to listen to music a little easier than it’s been up ’til now.

We also decided to join the rest of the cruising world and get a Sodastream. We don’t drink a lot of soda, but we do like to have some mixers around and storing tonic or club soda or ginger ale onboard is problematic, not to mention the trash issue. We’re pretty pleased with how well it works and I’m looking around for recipes for homemade flavoring syrups. If you’ve got any favorites, please share.

We spent the evening with Lisa and Marty from True Colors at Duffy’s. There’s always so much to talk about with other cruisers, and doubly so when you have the same kind of boat.

This morning Marty dinghied out to the anchorage to help us bend on the mainsail. It’s so much easier with that third person and we’re thrilled to see that Mack Sails got our batten pocket on straight and we now have a full set of unbroken battens. We can’t believe this boat was sailed with a broken batten for years and that no one noticed what the problem was. Of course it took us a couple of months to figure it out, but it’s fixed now and Colin Mack says the sail should be good for another circumnavigation.

We’re put together again, so we can start watching for a weather window to move on down the coast toward Miami.


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Do it again

I picked up a length of Sunbrella for our new boom cover at Sailor’s Exchange in St. Augustine for the unbelievable bargain price of $8 a yard. The boom is 18 feet long but the longest piece of fabric they had in our color was 4.4 yards. No problem, I thought, I can piece it together.

The boom cover is an interesting design. There’s a rope sewn into each side, and those slide into slots on the edges of the boom. The ends of the lines are sewn together making two continuous loops; you pull the line in one direction and the cover pulls forward to protect the sail. You pull in the other direction and the cover is pulled back so you can raise the sail.


I pieced together two lengths of fabric to reach the 18 feet and made a lovely neat flat-felled seam, sewed the rope into both sides and finished the edges like my Mom taught me. And then I took the cover up on the roof to check that it would fit in the slots and be easy to pull on and off.


No. No it didn’t fit. The added layers of fabric at the seam made it too bulky to pull through the slots. True to Schulz form, I’d have to do it again. I got out the seam ripper and deconstructed the area where the two lengths joined.


I had to give up the idea that the cover should be perfect and figure out a way to make it work. To reduce the number of layers I eliminated the folded seam and the folded edge and just zigzagged the edges to keep everything flat and neat.


So perfect it’s not, but it does fit into the slot and slide beautifully back and forth. And if I hadn’t shared this little screwup and modification you’d never know about it because you’d have to climb up on the roof to even see it.


We made one more minor modification yesterday. We love our beautiful new cockpit table but it turns out the Starboard is slippery and we almost said goodbye to a plate that took off when we were waked by a passing boat. Jack caught it in time, but we knew we’d have to do something to save the china. Simple solution: a piece of leftover non-skid shelf material cut to almost fit.


Tomorrow I’m hoping to make some headway on the new jib cover. And I sure wish my champion-quilter sister were here to help!


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The view from the back porch



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Mooring glue

I can’t believe we’re still in Stuart. We thought we would make a list, get everything done, then leave. Two weeks, maybe three. Ha!

We still can’t get our Manta guy to return our calls. We’re trying to tackle the things he was supposed to do, which means our learning curve steeped up again. We did get our mainsail back from Colin Mack, batten pocket moved finally to align with the Leisurefurl mandrel. No charge.

Jack got Marty to help detach the boom vang from the boom, then he drilled out the rivets on the bracket that needs welding. He took the bracket to the welder hoping to have it done the next day but after not getting a call back he rode his bike over the bridge to get it, only to find the welder decided he didn’t have time to do it. And didn’t call to tell us that. So Jack rode his bike on a tour of the peninsula in 30 kt winds to find someone with time to fix this thing, and found success about five miles south, which isn’t all that far on a bike unless you have a 30 kt headwind coming back.

Meanwhile, back on Escape Velocity, Izzy and I were fighting seasickness in the wind and chop. I set up the sewing machine to start on the new jib cover and Izzy promptly parked herself in the open case.



It took me a long time to adjust the machine to accommodate the canvas and it’s no fun wrestling a 13′ x 8′ beast under the needle of a machine meant for dressmaking, but I managed to get the initial center flat-felled seam done before I realized I was very close to hurling my breakfast because we were bouncing around so much. That was enough for me for the day, and Jack came back exhausted from his odyssey on the bike.

I forgot to mention that the cushion covers for the stadium seat came back beautifully beveled to match the angle of the seatback. We had to bevel the foam to make a nice fit, then install the snaps, and now our cockpit cushion array is complete and comfy.




Today Jack is on his way to pick up the boom bracket from the welder and I’m cutting out the new canvas cover for the boom. If I can get this sewn up later we can reinstall the bracket, install the cover, bend on the mainsail again and be back in business and ready to move on again. Whew!

Still to be addressed: a new battery charger to replace the one that only works when it feels like it, AIS, and some engine maintenance. Oh, and rerouting the refrigerator venting. I think we’re gaining on it.


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