Friday, February 22, 2008



Hmmmm...why is our boat tilting ever so slightly to the port? Do we have a lot of weight over on that side? No....that's not it.

Hey! Who raised our waterline paint up a few inches? Are we now a few thousand pounds lighter? No....Are we imagining it? No...the "tiltameter" thingy that shows how far we are listing is showing about 4 degrees of tilt.

We're STUCK in the MUD! Hit bottom! Aground on terra-firma here in the Barra de Navidad Lagoon! Land-based again. Landlubbers. How could this happen? Sure, everyone knows that the lagoon is really shallow, but we know where to anchor and this part of the lagoon certainly isn't it. We should be over nearer those other sailboats.

Well, the story is that our massive electric windlass decided to break a gear right as we were anchoring here in Barra. We are powerless to hoist the anchor and move - where the anchor lays now is now is where it's gonna stay until we fix the windlass. The wind pushed us over here to the shallows and as bad luck would have it, there have been exceptionally low tides this past week. So low that our dinghy doesn't float up against the seawall at the Sand's Hotel where we go ashore, and we can see the bottom sand bars that we've never seen before.

So we float at high tide, and sit on the bottom at low tide. It's a little un-nerving - plus I can't flush the head when we are aground as the intake pipe will suck mud (ask me how I now know this).

Fix it? Oh, sure...let me just get the parts. Ha-ha-ha-ha. They are in Rhode Island in the United States. Get on Skype, phone small family run manufacturer of this 25-year-old windlass. Yes! They still have parts - and are very helpful. Have parts overnight shipped to fellow cruiser visiting daughter in Los Angeles. Wait for said cruiser to come back to Mexico - this Sunday? Don't even ask how much this all costs.

In the meantime, Jonesy has been pondering how he's going to get this massive, heavy structure off of the deck and out into the open so he can work on it. He dreams of this stuff during the night. His every thought is about the windlass. I say "How about tacos for dinner?" He replies, "If I build a pile of anchor chain up in the anchor locker, then I can let the windlass drop down only a couple of inches."

So, the work of removing the windlass from the foredeck has begun. All of this has to be done from either inside the chain locker at the very pointy end of the boat (bow) where it is dark, dank and smelly from tropical growth on our chain while anchored. The flipside is the work up on deck in the tropical sun. Thankfully, it has been rather chilly these past few days - in the low 70's and down to the 60's at night! Brrrrr.

Success! We both heaved and ho'd and got the gearbox into the galley where there is light and a nice working space for Jonesy to work. It's now all ready for it's new parts! (Note the sweatpants! That's how cold it's been!)

Of course it isn't all work and no play. We've been having a great time hanging out in our favorite places here in Barra de Navidad and visiting with our cruising friends. We've had some great conversations with tourists and have learned many interesting things about their lives back in the states. We had the pleasure of a total eclipse of the moon.

And then there's the knitting...

Remember the Lopi Nordic Cardigan? Well, the recipient has longer arms than I have - so I offered to perform surgery to lengthen the sleeves. Carefully, oh so carefully, I cut a thread and unknit a row of stitches separating the hemmed cuff from the sleeve. Now, I am knitting some additional inches of patterning. Next, I will graft the cuff back to the sleeve. Because the sweater's new owner is also thinner less muscular than I am, I don't have to worry about the width. It's actually kind of fun!

Also on the needles, have been a series of hats for the Akkol orphanage in Kazatstan. I dug out some handspun wool I had bought on eBay and some leftover Noro Kuryon wool and knit up these two adult sized hats. Hard to believe that the gray handspun is all from the same sheep, isn't it?

Still on the hat mode, I tackled a skein of wool that I had hand-dyed a couple of years ago in vibrant shades of orange
. Voila! Another hat. Next up...socks in worsted weight wool. Just plain 'ole socks for the Akkol teenagers. This is the first time that I have knit socks with this thick of yarn! Wow - they sure knit up fast, and they should keep somebody's feet warm too.

And finally, when I had the blue yarn for the socks, and the orange yarn for the hat out and sitting next to each other I noticed that they looked GREAT together.

So, I knit another hat. This hat has a very deep turned inside hem to keep ears warm. Plus the stranded two-color knitting is extra thick. I had so much fun working out the design for this hat that I wrote it up in 3 sizes, worked out charts and line-by-line instructions and published it! It is now available on my website SailingKnitter Liann Originals

Busy, busy week. Hope your's was great too!

Yikes! And here we thought your life was all fun and games...
boy that is sure a tough Honey Do item on Jonesy's list. Just getting that sucker into the gally had to be a bear. Really interesting to see the surgery on the sleeve. Pretty had made from left overs. Will have to put working in two colors on my list for this year.
Thats scary. I hope the part arrives soon and you are back to sticks and string and smooth sailing! I reponded to your Stitches comment on Ravelry. LOL it was fun
You have been a busy ladie!!! Oh... FYI I found some Opal Rainforest from a lady on Ravelry and it is on its way to me as we speak!!! :-) :-)and it only cost me $16 including shipping!!! Jack Pot
Hope your parts get there soon. Boy that had to be heavy. I enjoy you telling us the workings of the boat. The in and outs so to speak. I hate seeing the Niki Wiki on it's side!!!! She needs to be free!!!!! Love the hats your doing for the kids. 60 degrees here would be wonderful right now. It has managed to get up to 50 a couple of days. And that was heaven.

A little glitch in paradise and cold to boot!

At least you have knit up a storm! I often wondered how commernce worked when you are on the sea - I see it is like a childs game of Telephone - one person tells another on down the line until the parts for the windlass arrives - how ever cool is that!
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